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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: 8.7 x 5.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,301,906 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.

Denise Jaden's short fiction has appeared in Mississippi Crow Magazine and The Greensilk Journal. The first draft of her first 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, is forthcoming from New World Library in 2014.

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

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Kramer Bussel VINE VOICE on September 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
I found this book via the group blog The Contemps, and am making my way through the collected authors' YA novels. When Brie's sister, Faith, dies by falling off a cliff, neither Brie nor the friends of Faith's she talks to can believe the devout student committed suicide, even though rumors about her are swirling through school. Brie quickly loses her boyfriend and best friend and is forced to make new friends, a quirky bunch including the goth girl Tessa, who most students are afraid of, and Alis (yes, that's his name, short for Alistair), as she goes about using Facebook and other means to investigate her sister's death. Was it an accident, suicide, or something more sinister?

Brie's new friends and those she meets are also helping her deal with the silence emanating from her parents, who pretty much ignore her in the wake of their older daughter's death. She longs for them to comfort each other but that process takes time and Brie is impatient to find some kind of peace about her broken relationship with her sister and her own feelings about religion. This is a novel full of suspense, not in the traditional amateur sleuth mystery sense, though certainly the team of Brie and Tessa are excellent at finding ways to retrace the past. What they find is dark and mysterious and yet is the path toward Brie getting the answers she needs. Jaden's writing, about life in a small town (Sharon, Oregon) and about what it means to fit in--at school, amongst family, and in, or out, of a church--is rich and will appeal to teens and adults alike. A gripping first novel that lets Brie, and readers, come to their own conclusions, something that its antagonist is so loath to do. Though we don't learn all about every character's motivations, Jaden leaves us with a glimpse into the lengths people will go in the name of conviction. This is definitely a book you won't soon forget.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
When I first received Losing Faith, I wasn't sure what to expect. I was familiar with Denise Jaden's writing so I knew it would be quality work, but I wasn't certain it would be my cup of tea. I imagine I'm well outside the intended audience.

As a mystery lover, a few pages in I was hooked. Losing Faith is centered around a great, believable mystery that builds steadily and has a very tight conclusion. Strong characters with natural voices really brought the story to life. They have serious, often heart-wrenching issues, but the main character Brie is presented in a way that is thoughtful, entertaining, and often funny, despite the tragedy she is working through. I instantly liked her. With a strong supporting cast of friends, Brie confronts her trials with intelligence and a refreshingly positive attitude. Because of this, I always felt touched by her loss, but not depressed and never annoyed by the way she handled it, so the mystery and story stayed at the forefront while reading. That's a good thing, because the story itself is unique.

I enthusiastically recommend Losing Faith, not only for the teen reader, for but for anyone that likes a good mystery/adventure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hannah @ Paperback Treasures on September 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
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!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amber Lane on April 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
This was such a good read! Denise Jaden did a fantastic job of weaving in different elements of a teenage life, death, and a glimpse at a cult-like experience. Because of that last part - this was definitely different from what I've read before in the contemporary genre.

Brie faces one of the biggest aftermaths of someone's death: Regret. We've all experienced it. No matter how close or unclose you were with someone you knew that passed away, you always wish maybe you would have just hung out a little more, got to know them just a little bit more. With Brie, she never really knew her sister. Sure she knew her Christian sister. The one that drove her nuts, but after her death, she notices there was a lot of things she had missed out on. Memories flood her mind, brining the reader so much closer to Brie and the mystery of Faith's death.

Denise Jaden does something very tricky with her writing. She has the super writer's ability to lure you into the story without even realizing how hooked you are. Each chapter seemed to give just enough questions to make me keep turning the pages, wondering what exactly went on while Faith was alive. The characters in this book are so well developed. I loved how Jaden weaved in all these different personalities like Tessa and Alis into Brie's life. The three of them were the biggest odd trio, but yet, she made them fit perfectly together.

The only part I had trouble with was the middle. There was a great build up to the truth, but it started to drag just a bit. I do wish more was talked about with exactly what Faith was into while she was alive because I always find it fascinating how certain groups can suck a person in.

If you are worried that this book might come off as preachy due to it having religious type context, please don't let that discourage you from picking this up. This book was no way preachy or pushy on anything.
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