Thursday, April 21, 2011

Review: Losing Faith

Losing Faith by Denise Jaden
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Goodreads description:

When Brie's sister, Faith, dies suddenly, Brie's world falls apart. As she goes through the bizarre and devastating process of mourning the sister she never understood and barely even liked, everything in her life seems to spiral farther and farther off course. Her parents are a mess, her friends don’t know how to treat her, and her perfect boyfriend suddenly seems anything but. As Brie settles into her new normal, she encounters more questions than closure: Certain facts about the way Faith died just don't line up. Brie soon uncovers a dark and twisted secret about Faith’s final night...a secret that puts her own life in danger.

First sentence: The statue has got to go.

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

The premise for this one sounds right up my alley, and it's part of the Contemps challenge, so I had pretty high expectations for Losing Faith. Maybe that's why I was so disappointed by it. I don't even know exactly why, but this was just an okay read for me.

This book was hard for me to get into in the beginning, mainly because of the characters. Brie was so self-absorbed and obnoxious, and her best friend, Amy, and boyfriend, Dustin, were even worse. The only character I could picture myself liking was Faith, but she died within the first few chapters. I didn't really get Bree's and Faith's characters - from the synopsis, I thought Faith was going to the popular, pretty one and Bree the quieter one. However, Brie describes herself as more social and prettier than Faith. The only reason she feels less loved than Faith and considers faith "the good daughter" is becuase of Faith's beliefs. I don't know why, but that just seemed kind of strange to me.

It took me a while, but I did get into the story eventually. Brie showed great character growth throughout the book, and I really started liking her once she started hanging out with Tessa and Alis. Both Tessa and Alis were great, complex characters. Tessa's family situation was interesting to hear about, and I think she would have made a great protaginist, too (for a different type of story, of course). Alis' family situation was also unique and interesting, and he himself was a great character. The development of his relationship with Brie was realistic, and natural, and he was just so cute!

At first, I thought how Brie's parents dealt with the loss of their daughter would have been interesting to read about, and their reactions did seem realistic, but I would have liked that storyline to be elaborated on more, especially the changes in their relationship with Brie towards the end, which seemed to abrupt, in my opinion.

Aside from the characters Alis and Tessa, which I loved, the writing was probably my favorite part of this novel. For me, that's what carried the sometimes lacking plot - it was just so beautiful and vivid!

The whole plot was different from what I thought it'd be - Brie's dealing with grief wasn't nearly as important as the mystery aspect of the novel, which I didn't know from reading the description. Even if the mystery is the main plot, I would have liked to know a little more about Faith's grieving process - she rarely ever seemed sad about losing her sister. While the build-up of suspense was really well done, I would have liked the resolution to be a little less obvious. Brie figures out how Faith died around the middle, but there's no confrontation until the last few chapters, so the time between that was just kind of boring.

I'm not sure how I feel about the religion aspect of this novel. From the synopsis, I didn't even know it would play an important role. I generally dislike when books get preachy about religion, and that wasn't the case here; it was closer to being preachy against religion - I don't wnat to spoil it for anyone, but the group that portrays Christianity in this book makes it seem like a bad thing. I was surprised to read that the author is a former church secretary and youth group leader, considering how negatively she portrays religion in this book. I was more confused than anything about this aspect.

The ending is another part of the novel I have mixed feelings about. It wrapped up the story a little too neatly, in my opinion, without really giving any answers.

I'm not sure whether or not to recommend this book to you - there were parts I really enjoyed, like the characters and the writing, while others, like the lack of suspense later on in the story, the confusing statements about religion, and the missing elaboration on interesting storylines, really subtracted from my enjoyment of the book.


  1. Sounds like a great read to me!

  2. This sounds like a good read from the synopsis but by the sounds of it, it looks and sounds better than it actually is.
    So it's maybe a library read? I might have a look out for this, it sounds interesting and a little bit different to most books.
    And it also sounds like 'The Sky Is Everywhere' to me a little bit which I found personally great.
    Good review - I too hate books that sounds amazing but seriously let you down :)

  3. I also like the premise of this book. And I love the cover! But books that deal with topics about religion put me off. So I think I'll skip this one, though I might buy this because of the cover. :p - from CEP


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