Spotlight: FAKING FAITH by Josie Bloss

Faking Faith by Josie Bloss released on November 8 from Flux.

After a humiliating "sexting" incident involving a hot and popular senior, seventeen-year-old Dylan has become a social outcast—harassed, ignored, and estranged from her two best friends.

When Dylan discovers the blogs of homeschooled fundamentalist Christian girls, she's fascinated by their old-fashioned conversation themes, like practicing submission to one's future husband. Blogging as Faith, her devout alter ego, Dylan befriends Abigail, the group's queen bee. But growing closer to Abigail (and her intriguing older brother) forces Dylan to choose: keep living a lie or come clean and face the consequences.

blurb from goodreads

It's a bit disturbing how giddy I get over novels that involve living a lie. In Josie Bloss' newest novel, Faking Faith, Dylan Mahoney starts her deception slowly, an innocent escape from the drama of her real world.

But like any other lie, it isn't satisfied until it has made a mess of everything. And that's why I love these types of stories. They drag you through a beautiful mess.

So let's hear in the author's own words why she wanted to write this novel.

Faking Faith was, I admit, born out of my own secret Internet obsession.  Like Dylan, a few years ago I became fascinated by the blogs of home-schooled fundamentalist Christian teenage girls. At first it was just a sort of voyeuristic interest in the lives of people whose convictions seemed out of another century (things like parent-guided courtship, the evils of public education and college, and frightening and antiquated beliefs about the appropriate place of women in the family and in society). I read the blogs in order to be flabbergasted. People believe this and write about it on the Internet?

But something unexpected happened as I read - I started to care about these bloggers. These cheerful young women who were more or less physically sequestered away from the rest of the world. Who were told that to want anything from life other than marriage and motherhood was selfish and wrong. My heart ached for them.

And I didn’t understand. These girls were online - didn't they ever see the bigger world out there? Didn't they ever want more?

So I decided to put my secret Internet obsession to good use. I wrote a book about it and tried to answer my own questions.

Dylan Mahoney is part of the bigger world, and it hasn’t been doing her any favors. She was the victim of a humiliating sexting scandal after her ex-boyfriend shared private pictures of her with the whole world. She's now estranged from her best friends, an outcast at school, and the shame of her high-achieving family.

Then she finds Abigail, a home-schooled fundamentalist Christian blogger, who projects an image of such protected happiness that Dylan is attracted like a moth to the flame. Dylan becomes obsessed with the idea of this one-track lifestyle. She's been totally screwed over by the bad decisions that she's made, and the idea of handing over autonomy to someone else in exchange for safety is strangely appealing.  She begins to fantasize about being part of the culture. She even goes so far as to create a blog, pretending to be one of them, writing as her alter-ego Faith.

Eventually she visits Abigail in real life, and finds the image is not reality. Abigail's situation is not as simple or blissful as it appears, and Dylan struggles painfully with her own dishonesty.  Feelings are hurt and illusions are shattered for both of them. But in the end, the important thing is that Abigail and Dylan become true friends, and discover that even though they are from completely different backgrounds, they can still have each other’s backs. 

Josie Bloss is the author of four young adult novels - Faking Faith, Albatross, Band Geeked Out, and Band Geek Love.

You can learn more about Josie and her books on her website. And be sure to congratulate her on Twitter for her newest release!

Happy reading,


We Heart YA said...

"But like any other lie, it isn't satisfied until it has made a mess of everything. And that's why I love these types of stories. They drag you through a beautiful mess."

Yes! Perfectly put.

This book sounds strange and wonderful. (And extremely relevant.) Thanks for bringing it to our attention!

jenniferpickrell said...

Thanks for the spotlight, I've been looking forward to reading this one!

Becca Christiansen said...

I cannot wait to read this! I ordered it yesterday and I'm eagerly awaiting the day it arrives. It's strangely similar to one of my WIPs, so I'm excited to see how it turns out.

Coleen Patrick said...

Sounds great-can't wait to read!

Janet Gurtler said...

Oh This sounds Great! Must go on my to read list!

Ashley said...

Umm, this book sounds AMAZING. Like, whoa.

April said...

The book sounds incredible! Thanks for the spotlight!

Michelle Roberts said...

Sounds like an interesting book. I'll have to check it out.

C0 said...

This is an interesting concept, using the old theme of masks and applying it to the Internet age.

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