Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Leap of Faith
Simon & Schuster BFYR, 2013
Source: Received an e-ARC from the publisher through Edelweiss.
Though YA contemporary is my favorite genre, I sometimes find myself discontented reading the same sorts of stories set in your typical American high school. Luckily sometimes a book like Leap of Faith comes along and shakes me up.
Faith has lived with an angry drug-using mother with a history of bad decisions her whole life. The latest is to become pregnant with her drug dealer's baby so that he and his girlfriend can raise a child. This absolutely outrages Faith who spends the nine months of pregnancy trying to stop her mother from drinking, smoking, and otherwise abusing drugs but as the big day approaches, she becomes even more upset about the possibility of this new baby living a life that looks anything like hers. So once baby Addy is born, Faith takes her, driving south and making a new life for herself as Leah, the young single mother. There Faith finds a community that embraces her including cute guy Chris. But what will Chris think when her past catches up to her?
I am so in awe of Faith and the steps she took to give Addy a better life, one filled with love and being wanted so unlike Faith's own childhood. Her heart was definitely in the right place even if her actions are objectively wrong. She makes a lot of mistakes in her new life as Leah such as overfeeding Addy and trying to use a gym for her day care. But she does learn and seems poised to continue mastering the whole motherhood thing until a cop starts poking around.
Chris was an unbelievably sweet and understanding guy. He seemed almost superhumanly perfect but was a very welcome addition. I also adored his grandmother and the other characters who provide support to Faith. One character I wish we could have seen more is Faith's older sister Hope who has fueled her desire to escape their horrible upbringing into athleticism leading to a scholarship and who does not have the capability of taking on parenting at this time. Their mother (and her cronies in the drug business) are just awful. There seems to be not a moment of anything redeeming or human about them and though their page time is short, their many wrongs to Faith and others hover over the pages.
However, despite some strong characterizations, this book just didn't quite gel for me. I really do like your average high school read and I was highly anticipating reading some other books I had in my queue. But it's just hard when you don't particularly like the main character (I liked the new people she met) and you can't muster up much enthusiasm to keep reading. I did manage to finish this book, which leads to the following mini-rant.
My biggest complaint about this book is the ending. What happened there? I honestly thought my e-galley had been cut off...which maybe it was. Maybe the finished copy will provide some resolution and make it abundantly clear that the last words are the ending. As it stands though, I was super disappointed. I know I'm a reader who prefers a nice closed definite ending but I can handle some vagueness and openness. This was so far past that though to a whole new level of abrupt. If you've read this book, what do you think? Almost every other review I've seen has mentioned this lack of resolution.
Cover: I like the colors but I'm not really feeling the two girls overlapping on the cover.
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