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 further and further 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.
Title: Losing Faith
Author: Denise Jaden
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: September 7, 2010
Source: Own. Purchased as the review is part of the Teen Book Scene blog tour for Losing Faith.
My rating: 4/5
Losing Faith starts out with Brie wanting to sneak out with her boyfriend. She asks her sister, Faith, for a ride; not realizing that she is never going to see her sister again. Life falls apart for both Brie, and her parents later that night. Her parents are dwelling in their grief, leaving Brie on her own. She tries the best she can, but all she wants is closure. When she finds out that some things don't add up properly on the night of Faith's death, she can't help but investigate Faith's supposed suicide herself.
Brie is a sad, and empathic character. She feels guilt over her sister's death, as she wanted to go out, and ultimately blames herself for Faith's death. She can't grow accustomed to the zombie-like state of her parents. It seems like they are giving up on life, and each other. They would rather stay in their dream-like state rather than face reality. When Brie finds out that her sister had secrets, she realizes that knowing what exactly happened that night, and who Faith was with, might bring her some closure. Her investigative methods may endanger her more than she realizes what was really going on.
It really hits home, how horrible it is to lose a child, regardless of age. The sorrow felt, was palpable, and realistic. Brie's guilt is also realistic, especially given the fact that she thinks her sister was going to stay in that night, and the only reason she didn't was because Brie needed a ride. Her friends abandon her, as they don't know what to say. Her saving grace though, is the new friends she makes. Friends who know what it's like to lose someone close to them.
Losing Faith starts off slowly, opening up and letting a bit of information out at a time. The last section of the book gives way to more action though as things come to a head for Brie.
All in all, a vividly drawn portrait of a family in the midst of turmoil, having to learn how to move on after a family member's sudden death. The religious undercurrent included in Losing Faith works well for this novel. How far is too far? An exceptional and moving debut, well worth the read.