Monday, September 2, 2013

Review: Leap of Faith by Jamie Blair


Leap of Faith by Jamie Blair
Series: Standalone
Published: September 3rd, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
240 pages (eARC)
Genre: Contemporary young adult
Acquired this book: From the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review
Warning: May contain spoilers
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Leah Kurtz has finally found a place to call home, a town where she and baby Addy can live in peace, far from the drug-infested place she grew up. Chris is one of the best parts of her new life, the only person who’s ever made her feel safe. And now that she’s found him, there’s no way she can tell the truth:

Her real name is Faith, not Leah. She’s seventeen, not nineteen. And the baby isn’t hers—Faith kidnapped her.

Faith’s history catches up with her when a cop starts asking questions and Chris’s aunt spots her picture in the newspaper. She knows it’s time to run again, but if Faith leaves, she’ll lose Chris. If Chris is in love with a lie, though, did Faith ever really have him in the first place?

I went into Leap of Faith without any expectations. It sounded completely different from other contemporary YA books, which I liked, but those books that seem ‘unique’ often fall short because people build them up so much. So I was pleasantly surprised when I found myself not only connecting with Faith, but genuinely enjoying her story.

I’ll be honest: I didn’t think I was going to like Faith at first. I felt sorry for her in the beginning because of her horrible life and the fact she was stuck with a cruel drug addict mother who neglected her and had a revolving door policy when it came to men. I thought Faith was just going to be a smartass troublemaker, and knowing what was coming from the synopsis, I figured she’d be one of those characters that you end up yelling at through the book for being so stupid and impetuous.

But then I slowly started connecting with her. I loved her voice, and I felt like I was really able to get inside her head and see her thought process and feel her emotions. She was impetuous, and her decisions weren’t necessarily the smartest, but I could understand her reasoning. I wanted her to get away, start fresh, and more than anything be happy and live the life she never would have if she’d remained stuck at home.

There were so many great secondary characters in this book. Chris especially really shone for me. The way he and Faith connected instantly in a strange, unspoken way made me curious to see where things would lead. I loved the way he fell head over heels for Addy; the scenes where he was taking care of her completely melted my heart. Then the way he took care of Faith and genuinely cared about her. Chris and Faith both had secrets, they both had haunted pasts, and even though neither knew the full details of the other’s life, they knew their connection had a lot to do with needing someone and needing something real and solid.

My only real issue with Leap of Faith was how convenient a lot of things were. There’d be this sense of urgency and fear, but then an easy, all-too-convenient solution. It happened time and time again, but I found myself being rather forgiving about it because I was enjoying the story so much and I wanted things to work out for Faith and Addy and Chris. I liked that Faith remained strong, and even when I didn’t agree with what she was doing, I still appreciated that she was doing what she thought was best. She was so young and had been through so much, and where a lot of other characters in a book like this would have fallen apart and taken the easy road, Faith toughed it out and made things work.

While the romance moved a bit fast, and I’m sure a lot of people will have a problem with it, it felt right to me. Faith and Chris weren’t typical teenagers and they weren’t under typical circumstances. Things moved fast, but it felt genuine to me.

Even though there were parts of Leap of Faith that were dark and a bit depressing, it had an overall feeling of hope. It was about second chances, love, acceptance, and having faith in people. I loved Faith’s strength and her voice, and I thought the characters were well fleshed out and memorable. While it had a few small issues, I think Leap of Faith is a strong debut from Jamie Blair, and I’m looking forward to more from her in the future.

 3.75 stars
Have you read Leap of Faith? What did you think? If you haven't, does it sound like something you'd be interested in?

2 comments:

  1. Happy you liked this one! Chris really was a sweet-heart, and I loved all the good he saw in Faith and how he cared for Addy. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Faith sounds wonderful and complex, so glad you enjoyed this one.

    ReplyDelete

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~Marie

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