Summary (from goodreads):
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.
I thought this was a very good YA book that tackled faith and death in an interesting way. It is also a great mystery that is intense and exciting mixed in with boys and high school drama.
Faith: the thing, not the girl. This book takes a very interesting look a faith. And it isn’t bashing you over the head, it is subtle and in the background, but it is there. Even though Brie does not have much faith anymore, it is a big part of her life because her parents are so involved in the church, so there are touches on religious faith and what happened when you lose it. Her parents handle things very differently, her father jumps back in and uses his faith to guide him, while her mother shuts down.
As much as it is about religious faith, it is also about faith in others. Brie and her sister were not close, but she knows her sister would not have killed herself. She has to use her own brand of faith to start to trust her new friends and let them help her, when everyone else is keeping their distance.
Death: This handles death really well. I felt sad for the family’s loss, especially when I realized that none of them really knew her. It did a great job of showing how true that is. Brie’s fickle “friend” said something along the lines of “your sister who you didn’t even care about until she was dead”. So much of the time we don’t get to know someone or show them we care while they are around because we figure we can do that later and they will be around forever, but they aren’t. We tend to realize it too late and this book reminded me to get to know my family a little better. I actually called my older brother that day and had a great conversation!
High School: It also made me think of how mean high schoolers can be. Once her sister is gone, no one is really interested in her anymore. Her boyfriend acts like a jerk. Her best friend doesn’t care and betrays her. People show their true colors when times get hard and it is always tough, but the sting in high school can be even worse. Luckily, people show who they really are in a good way too
Boys: I couldn’t get interested in the romance. I mean, I liked Alis, he was a cool guy and sweet and everything, but with everything else going on, I just didn’t care. I liked their friendly interactions, but I felt that it took away a little from the other relationships in the book that were told better (Tessa, her parents, etc).
Mystery: Do not expect a fast paced mystery with this book. A lot of figuring things out was done slowly and over time in order to develop some of the other issues that I have discussed in the review.
Overall, I really enjoyed it and look forward to more of her books! I am interested in reading other YA mysteries, I forget how much I like them until I read one. Do you have any suggestions? Let me know in the comments!