When a sexting scandal destroys her social life, her home life and her self-esteem, 17-year-old Dylan decides to reinvent herself as Faith, a devout Christian with radically conservative values.
After stumbling upon a blog featuring homeschooled Christians, Dylan starts her own blog, posing as Faith, a fellow devotee to the righteous lifestyle. Dylan (Faith) strikes up a cyber-friendship with Abigail, an expert at living as a Virtuous Maiden. She secures an invitation to visit Abigail, where she gets an insider’s view of this nontraditional lifestyle. Faith rebels against the subservience that is expected of her. She is further challenged when she meets Asher, Abigail’s intriguing brother. Torn between wanting to live a more simple life and wanting to reveal who she really is, Faith finds that faking it is harder than she thought. Alas, what could have been an interesting portrait of a teen wrestling with personal values and faith ends up being a story filled with negative stereotypes and cliché. Populated by overbearing men, insipid women and a skewed vision of Christianity, Abigail’s world is portrayed as unenlightened. Dylan’s real life, while flawed, is obviously preferable. Readers are left with the message that Dylan’s experiment as a Christian was at best educational and at worst bizarre.
A disappointingly uneven handling of faith. (Fiction. 12 & up)