Thursday, October 28, 2010
My Simon Pulse editor, Annette Pollert, sent me Denise's debut, Losing Faith, because she knows I love to read phenomenal contemporary YA novels. It hit an out-of-the-park home run with me, not only for the sympathetic and complex heroine (which I expected), but for its courage in dealing with a touchy subject that is central to a lot of people's lives: religion.
At the beginning of the book, the main character Brie loses her sister Faith in a tragic accident that the police suspect was actually a suicide. Faith had been a devout and passionate Christian, and as Brie became a nonbeliever (in religion, at least, if not in God), the two sisters grew apart. After Faith's death, the old fond memories gradually return to Brie, and she remembers how much Faith meant to her.
But Losing Faith isn't only about mourning a loved one and exploring belief or the lack thereof. It's also a riveting mystery. Despite her parents' objections but enabled by their emotional withdrawal, Brie begins to investigate Faith's death, at first to determine whether it was suicide or an accident. The clues lead to an even more disturbing possibility.
The true testimony to this book's enthralling nature? I read Losing Faith in two sittings--on the same night Mockingjay failed my fifty-page test. (I'll get back to that book later, and I'm sure I'll love it. I just wasn't in the right mood, and it was due back at the library, so it was all-or-nothing.)
More about LOSING FAITH:
A terrible secret. A terrible fate.
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.
Praise for LOSING FAITH:
Strong in its characterization…satisfying…a thoughtful read.
This book is wonderful. I stayed up way too late because I couldn't put it down. Tessa is one of my all-time favorite characters - fascinating, nuanced - she lived for me, jumped right off the page. Terrific read!
- Janet Fox, author of Faithful and Get Organized Without Losing It
Suspense, religion, romance, teenage angst—this book has it all and it is all well done. Losing Faith was an amazing read that hooked me in the beginning and when it was done I was well-satisfied with the conclusion. Great from start-to-finish!
- Crystal at myreadingroom-crystal.blogspot.com
And now, my interview with the lovely (and incredibly fun to hang out with, did I mention that?) Ms. Jaden:
1. If you could inhabit the life of any of your characters, enter their world and deal with it as that person, which one would you choose?
I'd love to walk in Tessa Lockbaum's shoes for a day. She's tough and full of spirit, does all the things I wish I could do. Mostly I just think it would be interesting to be in her life.
2. On the flip side, which of your characters would you most like to bring to life in our world (as a friend or a little bit more ;-) ?
I'd love to have Alis in my world. He's sweet and deep and I know I could trust him with anything. Oh, and he's cute too!
3. What's the weirdest tidbit of research you've ever incorporated into a book?
I recently attended a high school archery competition to incorporate into my next novel. It was so interesting, and I even got to try my hand at shooting!
4. What's your earliest memory?
This is kind of gross, but I think the first memory I have is as a toddler, throwing up behind my parent's big armchair.
5. Do you have any phobias?
Like my main character, Brie, I have a fear of heights. Though I don't think mine is as severe as hers!
Simon Pulse is giving away one free copy of Losing Faith, because they rock! (Not that I'm biased--okay, I am, but I thought they rocked even before they were my publisher, so trust me on this.)
To enter, leave a comment below, about the interview, about my thoughts on the book--or just wish Denise a happy debut! Deadline: Monday, November 1, 11:59pm eastern. US shipping only.
Thanks to Denise for stopping by, and congrats on your wonderful new book!