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Losing Faith Paperback – September 7, 2010
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From School Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
“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
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 & 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 other fiction includes FOREIGN EXCHANGE (an editor's pick from Evernight Teen), and a story in the anthology FALLING FOR ALICE. Look for upcoming YA novels A CHRISTMAS KERRIL (Oct. 2015) and AVALANCHE (Leap Books, Spring 2016).
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.
Denise lives just outside Vancouver, Canada with her husband and son.
Top Customer Reviews
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!Read more ›
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.
Many shades of intense, in fact.
The beginning is intense due to death. Sudden, violent death. How do you deal when your sister dies? You don't, not really. And the only person reaching out to Brie is her locker neighbor, gothy Tessa Lockbaum. Not her idea of a good friend.
Then the book becomes intense due to the mystery - who is Reena M. Black? (Not to mention, who was the cute boy at Faith's grave?) Brie's sister Faith clearly spent a lot of time with her before her death, which doesn't necessarily mean anything bad. Reena just seems kind of cracked.
The plot of LOSING FAITH isn't new. Someone dies, partially revealing their secrets. Those left behind try to uncover the truth. Denise Jaden pulls it off well. Part of that is Brie's voice, which is confident and self-aware - she knows where her weaknesses lie - but she still has her uncertainties, like any teenager under stress.
Plus, the plot is common for a reason. Those who love us are easy to lie to because they don't expect the lies. You just assume you know a lot about someone you live with. It was a nice change of pace to discover that while Faith had secrets, they weren't bad secrets. Brie thought her sister was a good person and she was.
Tessa is also a treat. I was friends with a lot of the 'scary Goth' kids and high school and thus know that most of them are perfectly nice people. Tessa has her edges, but she's smart, strong, and compassionate (aka the kind of friend everybody could use, going through a crisis or not).
I expected to cry during LOSING FAITH, what with the whole dead sister thing, but I didn't. Jaden didn't go after my heartstrings.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found this book to be deep and yet very revealing on issues that YA's face in today's world. There are those who commit suicide, there are those that die unexpectedly, there are... Read morePublished 15 months ago by M Wag
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. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Naomi
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,... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Ronald Estrada
this book is amazing, so much going on that it keeps you on your feet. loved it. I truly suggest this book to all reader.Published on December 27, 2013 by Vanessa Leahy
This book took me a very long time to read. I don't know how many months I've struggled over it, picking it up at random intervals until a more captivating book came along to knock... Read morePublished on April 5, 2013 by Kayla
When I first realized it was about teenage suicide, I thought to myself, the author really needs to pull this together properly for it to be a YA novel. Read morePublished on July 24, 2012 by fredamans
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. Read more
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... Read morePublished on November 3, 2011 by Amazon Customer
Losing Faith by Denise Jaden
Simon Pulse, 2010
I was excited about this because a. Read more