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Losing Faith Paperback – September 7, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (September 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416996095
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416996095
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,122,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up—Faith was the good sister: perfect voice, devout Christian. When she dies in a mysterious fall from a cliff, her irreligious sister, Brie, and their parents are left to cope—or not—with the devastation. This thoughtful first novel explores early grief and shows how it can tear at the structure of a family that cannot mourn together. Brie's parents pull apart, into their own self-contained worlds of anguish. But Brie does not want to mourn alone; she feels angry, guilty, and confused, and she wants answers. She stumbles through her days at school, observing her pariah status with former friends and everyone except the rebel Tessa and a mysterious homeschooled boy, both of whom know loss and grief firsthand. The more questions Brie and Tessa ask about Faith's death, the more they are stonewalled by those who knew her well, and the more they suspect that her death wasn't an accident. Once Brie uncovers the breakaway Christian study group that her sister belonged to, the story becomes a mystery thriller. It wraps up neatly, but not before readers are taken on a ride through a secret world of religious zeal gone haywire. The fault lies not in the religion—an earnest Christianity—but in the fanaticism that can happen when people follow a charismatic leader with a personality disorder. With pitch-perfect portrayals of high school social life and a nuanced view into a variety of Christian experiences of faith, this first novel gives readers much to think about.—Carolyn Lehman, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA
(c) Copyright 2011.  Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

“The conclusion wraps up the loose ends neatly and is satisfying....Overall, [Losing Faith] is a thoughtful book." --VOYA

“This thoughtful first novel explores early grief and shows how it can tear at the structure of a family that cannot mourn together…. [R]eaders are taken on a ride through a secret world of religious zeal gone haywire….With pitch-perfect portrayals of high school social life and a nuanced view into a variety of Christian experiences of faith, this first novel gives readers much to think about.” --SLJ

More About the Author

Denise Jaden is, or has been, everything from a professional Polynesian dancer and fitness competitor to a mushroom farmer and church secretary. Most of her time now is spent homeschooling or playing with her young son or in front of her computer writing.

The first draft of Denise's debut novel for teens, LOSING FAITH, was written in twenty-one days during NaNoWriMo 2007. It was released from Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster in September 2010, with her next one, NEVER ENOUGH, out in summer 2012. A companion anthology, NEVER ENOUGH STORIES, is available as a free ebook at various online book outlets. Her first non-fiction work, WRITING WITH A HEAVY HEART: USING GRIEF AND LOSS TO STRETCH YOUR FICTION, is available online wherever books are sold, and her second book for writers, FAST FICTION, was released from New World Library in 2014. Her most recent young adult novel, FOREIGN EXCHANGE, is available from Evernight Teen.

She lives just outside Vancouver, Canada with her husband and son.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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I recommend this one to YA and adult fans alike.
Angela
This book was intense and had its heartbreaking moments but the writing and characters were well crafted making LOSING FAITH a highly satisfying novel.
Fantastic Book Review
There's a little bit of everything in Losing Faith.
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids Book Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Caitie F on December 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
I thought this was a very good YA book that tackled faith and death in an interesting way. It is also a great mystery that is intense and exciting mixed in with boys and high school drama.

Faith: the thing, not the girl. This book takes a very interesting look a faith. And it isn't bashing you over the head, it is subtle and in the background, but it is there. Even though Brie does not have much faith anymore, it is a big part of her life because her parents are so involved in the church, so there are touches on religious faith and what happened when you lose it. Her parents handle things very differently, her father jumps back in and uses his faith to guide him, while her mother shuts down.

As much as it is about religious faith, it is also about faith in others. Brie and her sister were not close, but she knows her sister would not have killed herself. She has to use her own brand of faith to start to trust her new friends and let them help her, when everyone else is keeping their distance.

Death: This handles death really well. I felt sad for the family's loss, especially when I realized that none of them really knew her. It did a great job of showing how true that is. Brie's fickle "friend" said something along the lines of "your sister who you didn't even care about until she was dead". So much of the time we don't get to know someone or show them we care while they are around because we figure we can do that later and they will be around forever, but they aren't. We tend to realize it too late and this book reminded me to get to know my family a little better. I actually called my older brother that day and had a great conversation!

High School: It also made me think of how mean high schoolers can be.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Book Scout on November 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
Losing Faith was an original and captivating debut that left me dying to read more by Denise Jaden! Her writing is beautiful and the plot of Losing Faith was so different from any other YA novel.

To begin with, the main character, Brie, was one of a kind. She had spent most of her life living in her sister's shadow. When Faith dies, Brie's world begins to unravel. Even though Brie never had a real relationship with Faith, her sister's passing impacts Brie's life in more ways than anyone could imagine.

Brie was very likable and over the course of the story I grew to like her more and more. At first she may seem like a silly and not so serious character, but as the novel progresses Brie learns a lot about herself and what she stands for. Dedicated and determined, Brie never gave up on finding the truth. Brie's family has always been very religious, but that's one point that Brie and her sister Faith did not agree on. Faith was very extreme in her beliefs and Brie was still deciding what she thought of God and religion in general. After Faith's death Brie uncovers some startling secrets about her sister.

Death is hard in any form and Denise Jaden made Faith's passing seem very realistic and heartbreaking. Watching Brie's parents unravel was so sad and the way Brie's "friends" were not there to support her was awful. Luckily, Brie made some new friends that were ten times better- more trustworthy, caring, and determined to make everything right for Brie and her family. I especially liked Tessa because she was such a complex character. She was dealing with a lot at home and it took someone like Brie to break through her tough exterior. Alis, the male "lead" of Losing Faith, was another sweet and caring guy.

The plot was so original and, at times, dark.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
I was very interested to read Losing Faith as soon as I heard what it was about. I have never read a book with a religious cult before and I wanted to see how this author would handle it.

The main character, Brie, was a very realistic teenager. Her life was wrapped around hanging with friends, impressing her boyfriend, and all around having a great social life. I remember those days all too well. Faith was very different than her sister. Faith lives and breaths her religion, where Brie didn't even go to church. Needles to say, these two sisters weren't very close.

When Faith dies, Brie's whole world gets turned upside down. Her friends treat her like a social leper, her loser boyfriend still only cares about getting in her pants, her mom spirals into a deep depression and ignores her, and her dad would rather not talk about ie and try to pretend life is back to normal. With all that aside, Bries starts to find clues that point towards Faith's death being more than a suicide. My heart broke for Brie. This is a lot to handle for anyone who has just lost a sister. I wouldn't even be able to imagine it.

My favorite characters were the two new friends Brie makes after Faith dies, Tessa and Alis. 'Terrible Tessa' is in your face and down right scary, but she is the type of person that will do anything for a true friend, including breaking and entering. Brie and Tessa's dialogue together was hysterical. I also loved finding out about Tessa's background story. Alis was such a sweetheart. Being homeschooled, he was entirely socially awkward, which is the opposite of Brie. I didn't know if I was going to like him in the beginning; I was afraid he would go all creeper on me. But he surprised me in the best of ways.
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