I recently read Faking Faith by Josie Bloss. I stumbled upon the book when looking for possible agents. I was immediately drawn to it because of the premise. A teen girl goes way too far, way too quickly with a boy. She then is drawn into an online world of super-fundamentalist, homeschooled Christians. She pretends to be a girl, Faith, with the same beliefs. This facade eventually provides her with an opportunity to submerse herself into one of the super-Christian girl’s family. We then see the complete opposite of the dating spectrum, with dating escorts and basically arranged marriages.
I am a youth worker, and so I was interested in reading this book about a girl who pretends to have faith in order to fit in to a world with which she has no experience. I am also always looking for new ways to discuss dating with my middle school kids. To be honest, I was apprehensive as I started reading that the Christian girl and her extremely fundamentalist views were going to be made fun of and Christians would, yet again, get a bad name. I was pleasantly surprised by the honesty and vulnerability of both the protagonist and this Christian girl, Abigail. Forgiveness and second chances was a major theme in this book, and I appreciated it.
I think it is a great book for teens because it shows both extremes of the dating world. The main character makes a big mistake and then sees how others are making different missteps by being too strict about dating. The novel ends with the protagonist finding a healthy view and understanding of dating, and the reader ends up rooting for her and her new love interest. I would definitely recommend it to my youth kids, and we will be discussing the book further in some upcoming discussions about dating. I have to just say thank you to Ms. Bloss for not exploiting Christianity and making Abigail so lovable and loving.
You should check out the book too.