i received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. all opinions below are my own.
big, big thanks to the lovely people over at the fantastic flying book club and page street publishing for letting me join in on the blog tour for have a little faith in me!
Have a Little Faith in Me by Sonia Hartl
“Saved!” meets To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in this laugh-out-loud romantic comedy that takes a meaningful look at consent and what it means to give it.
When CeCe’s born-again ex-boyfriend dumps her after they have sex, she follows him to Jesus camp in order to win him back. Problem: She knows nothing about Jesus. But her best friend Paul does. He accompanies CeCe to camp, and the plan—God’s or CeCe’s—goes immediately awry when her ex shows up with a new girlfriend, a True Believer at that.
Scrambling to save face, CeCe ropes Paul into faking a relationship. But as deceptions stack up, she questions whether her ex is really the nice guy he seemed. And what about her strange new feelings for Paul—is this love, lust, or an illusion born of heartbreak? To figure it out, she’ll have to confront the reasons she chased her ex to camp in the first place, including the truth about the night she lost her virginity.
there are spoilers in this review. to view them, highlight the concealed text.
in my arc august post, i mentioned my excitement for have a little faith in me, since it has some of my all-time favorite tropes – best friends to lovers, fake relationships, childhood friend romance and the clichést cliché – boy who pretends he doesn’t love girl but actually does, and it did not disappoint!
this book reminded me of frat girl by kiley roache, in which the protagonist, cassie, gave a sex ed class to frat boys. in have a little faith in me, the main character, cece, teaches her cabinmates and other female campers about safe sex and how to protect themselves, and i loved seeing girls who are raised and taught to view premarital sex as a sin treat this with open minds.
the author did a good job exploring the topics of sex and feminism. the parts about consent, and how women do not have to be responsible for dressing conservatively just to prevent sexual assault from males, are handled so amazingly well, and i loved it. i also loved how the characters are open about their sexual experiences and are not afraid to share what they know with the less experienced.
other than that, the friendship in this book is the best. cece’s cabinmates clearly know that cece’s not really a christian, but they don’t judge her at all, and even offer to become her friend. they even back cece up when she challenges the camp director’s values and how some people interpret christianity, and it was truly moving seeing them bond and trust in each other. they are the sweetest girls ever, and i love how they forgive each other quickly after a fight, and try to understand each other’s views.
paul and cece’s relationship was also so stinking adorable. they have a tradition of making up and telling stories to cheer each other up, and i was already rooting for them from the very beginning. paul is not perfect – after his dad left him and his mom for another woman, he starts to get himself into casual relationships to protect himself from getting heartbroken again, but i loved him so much because he always makes cece feel safe and loved, and he knows how to respect and properly treat women. must protect paul at all costs.
on top of everything, this book is hilarious. i was literally shaking with laughter when reading it (, earning me some weird stares on the train). cece is so sassy and funny and i love her personality and the way she narrates the story and describes everything. it made cece more three-dimensional as a character, and the story, so much more enjoyable.
this book has its flaws though. growing up catholic, and having attended a catholic primary school and an anglican secondary school, i have made many devoted christian friends, and none of them talk like the characters in the book. they don’t throw bible quotes at each other. they don’t refer to their ex as a “seductress sent to them by satan”. different people have different ways of worshipping, and i’m not saying the author’s depiction of christians is completely wrong, but i simply find it a bit unrealistic. still, i liked how the author showed in her writing that while some christians can be utter assholes, like cece’s ex, ethan, others, like cece’s cabinmates, can be amazing people.
have a little faith in me is a book full of important messages and beautiful relationships, served with a huge heap of laughs. i’m looking forward to reading more of sonia hartl’s books 😀
GIVEAWAY (US ONLY)
win a finished copy of have a little faith in me by sonia hartl ; ends 11 september 2019. enter here.
have you read have a little faith in me? what did you think? what are your favorite book tropes? let me know in the comments!