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.
Taken from GoodReads.
Losing Faith is the story of teenage Brie and her sister Faith. Faith and Brie couldn't be more different. Brie is a bit shallow - she likes instant gratification, she likes her makeup and her hair, and she likes boys. Faith, on the other hand, is strictly religious. She's devout, she's the "good daughter," and she is extremely strong in her convictions. When Brie's world is ripped apart by her sister's sudden death though, her life beings to crumble and unravel around her. Plus, rather than finding closure, Brie seems to be finding more and more questions about the sister she barely knew.
I actually won Losing Faith from a blog buddy of mine (thank you, Elle!!), and that's pretty much the only reason I decided to push it to the top of my TBR pile. I heard a lot of iffy reviews about Losing Faith, hearing everything from "it's too religious," to "it's too preachy." Now, I'll add my disclaimer that while I'm a very religious Catholic, I would never think to force my views on others, so the topic unnerved me a wee bit. Nevertheless, I decided to give it ago. Denise Jaden handled the sensitive topic with skill, and she has a remarkable writing talent. Losing Faith was alive with a painful story of loss and discovery, but it was made all the better with rich detail that I could relate to.
Most of all though, I think Losing Faith had extremely well-written characters. Brie played the tempestuous teen well. She was perfectly aloof and inconsiderate until smacked with the reality of her sister's death. Her parents' grief was also extremely believable. Her mother spirals into a dark hole of depression, and her father forgets the will to partake in anything real. Faith, though a tedious character, was perfect. She wasn't overtly preachy. She was steadfast in her beliefs, and a her character made me want to have had the chance to help her. Plus, the secondary characters that enter - strong-willed Tessa, Reena, and a love interest for Brie (Alis) - heighten the story of Losing Faith and give it depth. The characters added to an already full-figured plot, weaving a delicate story of a painful loss, the existence of cults, the importance of the mourning process, and learning to live again.
I give Losing Faith a definite 4.5 out of 5, simply because I hoped the ending would be fleshed out a bit more. I urge readers not to let the topic of religion scare you off, as Losing Faith is truly not preachy. I recommend this to fans of YA, realistic fiction, and those who enjoy a sweet, rather than overpowering romance.