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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: 1 x 5.2 x 8.5 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: #668,671 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

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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 3 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 Naomi on June 22, 2014
Format: Paperback
This book is absolutely amazing. I loved it from the first page. It is very captivating and it totally crushed my heart in a good way. It was very emotional and I had a book hangover from it. I was also very happy to learn that it was a NANOWRIMO book. I am a huge contemporary book fan and this is one I would recommend to other contemporary YA fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Estrada on May 23, 2014
Format: Paperback
There's something about the way Denise Jaden writes that draws me right into her characters. I loved this story of a young girl searching for the truth behind her sister's death, but at a deeper level, searching for the truth about God. Jaden doesn't get preachy, nor does she criticize the church, but leaves the question for both her characters and readers to answer. The budding romance and usual teen angst are well written and fit perfectly with the story. I look forward to reading more from this author!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Basically Amazing Ashley on January 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
Losing Faith by Denise Jaden is a story of life and death, pain and hope, and friendship.

Brie hasn't been close to her sister Faith for several years. Their parents are deeply religious, and Faith is a fervent believer as well. Brie is more interested in whether she really wants to spend alone time with her boyfriend than listening to people talk God, and it's caused some tension between family members.

Then Faith dies. Brie feels like she's losing ground, and there's no one for her to talk to. People at school don't know how to deal with her (what do you say to someone who's been that close to death?) her boyfriend is more interested in her body and her parents are so wrapped up in their own grief there is no room for Brie.

Then, Tessa starts talking to Brie. She's the tough chick, always dresses in black, scowls at everyone and seems more than willing to beat you up. Brie's always been terrified of her, so she's definitely wary when Tessa starts being, almost... nice. Turns out, there's a lot more to Tessa than meets the eye and she's the only one there for Brie as she starts getting closer to the answers about why her sister died.

The characters in this novel were amazing. I was so impressed with how Jaden wrote these characters. Because they are real. I believed in them. They didn't always act how I wanted them to, but I never felt that anything they did was really out of character. The only character I didn't fully believe was Faith, but I won't tell you why because that would spoil the book, and she's dead most of the time, so I can overlook that. Tessa is tough. She doesn't take crap from anyone, and because she's been so isolated from people for so long, she's really abrupt and doesn't really know how to communicate. And she stayed that way.
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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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