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Faking Faith

Faking Faith

3.8 7
by Josie Bloss

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Dylan Mahoney is living one big unholy lie. Thanks to a humiliating and painfully public sexting incident, Dylan has become the social pariah at her suburban Chicago high school. She’s ignored by everyone—when she’s not being taunted—and estranged from her two best friends. So when Dylan discovers the blogs of homeschooled fundamentalist


Dylan Mahoney is living one big unholy lie. Thanks to a humiliating and painfully public sexting incident, Dylan has become the social pariah at her suburban Chicago high school. She’s ignored by everyone—when she’s not being taunted—and estranged from her two best friends. So when Dylan discovers the blogs of homeschooled fundamentalist Christian girls, she’s immediately drawn into their fascinating world of hope chests, chaperoned courtships, and wifely submission. Blogging as Faith, her devout and wholesome alter ego, Dylan befriends Abigail, the online group’s queen bee. After staying with Abigail and her family for a few days, Dylan begins to grow closer to Abigail (and her intriguingly complicated older brother). Soon, Dylan is forced to choose: keep living a lie . . . or come clean and face the consequences.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The novel illustrates how profoundly teenagers who seem to have nothing in common can connect and support each other, even as they choose very different paths." —Publishers Weekly

"Josie Bloss writes about obsession—characters who are obsessed with band or music, obsessed with a boy, obsessed with someone else's life. They're themes to which all young adults—popular or not—can relate." —Indianapolis Star

VOYA - Amanda MacGregor
Seventeen-year-old Dylan dates popular Blake for a few weeks and then discovers that he is cheating on her. She smashes his car with a golf club, and Blake swears retaliation. He e-mails out topless pictures of Dylan, humiliating her and turning her into a pariah. Grounded and spending a lot of time on the computer, Dylan discovers blogs of homeschooled Christian girls. Their world, free of gossip and boys, seems appealing, so Dylan sets up her own blog, calling herself Faith and pretending to be part of their community. Hiding out in this fake world seems easier than coping with real life, until Dylan goes to visit Abigail, the most popular of the bloggers. Here, Dylan discovers that this world has its problems too. Her visit provides a new perspective that helps mend broken relationships at home and leaves her hopeful for what life after her scandal may hold. The timely topic of sexting generates enough sympathy from the reader to understand why Dylan would decide to live a lie as blogger Faith, seeking refuge in a place the total opposite of her current reality. The resolutions with her family and friends after she returns home from Abigail's feel too neat but show that life moves on. More than anything, the unique look at homeschooled Christian girls, focused on becoming wives and mothers, is compelling enough to carry the story. Dylan and Abigail are two very different young women, but they forge a bond as they reveal pieces of their true selves. Reviewer: Amanda MacGregor
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Junior year has not been kind to Dylan. After a series of bad decisions-making out with a "bad boy" while drunk, some "private" emailed nude photos to him, a very public freak-out-she moves through the halls of her school with her head down, trying to ignore the taunts and insults of her classmates. Looking to escape the realities of her circumstances, Dylan follows a link that promises "[t]he most effed up people on the internets," and falls into the world of fundamentalist Christian homeschooled bloggers, girls whose lives are the polar opposite of Dylan's fast, privileged, and secular lifestyle. Dylan is fascinated by their view of the world and envies their seemingly worry-free existence. She even creates a persona, Faith, and begins to join in the conversation, quickly building an online friendship with popular blogger Abigail. When she invites Dylan to stay with her family over the summer, Dylan accepts but goes as Faith. Things start out well but get complicated when "Faith" meets Abigail's cute and conflicted older brother and learns about Abigail's impending marriage to a sleezy older man. Though this is Dylan's story, Bloss portrays all parties with a sympathetic eye, showing the strengths and weaknesses of both lifestyles and perspectives. At home Dylan is a social pariah, but in Abigail's world, as Faith, she is helpful, brave, and strong. This is a satisfying read for teens who dream of a context in which what they have to offer will seem important and valuable.—Jennifer Miskec, Longwood University, Farmville, VA
Kirkus Reviews
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)

Product Details

North Star Editions
Publication date:
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

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Meet the Author

Josie Bloss grew up in East Lansing, Michigan. She attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. When not mining her high school journals for material, Josie enjoys obsessing over various TV shows, karaoke and all things theater. She lives in Bloomington, Indiana.

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Faking Faith 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
DanceBree17 More than 1 year ago
This book begins with the main character of Dylan really getting over her head at the end of one school year, to the point she gets involved in sexting and with the typical tragic results. As punishment she's not only suspended and grounded, she has lost her friends she used to have and just really feels as low as a girl can get. But during the exile, she starts following these groups of girls who are from fundamentalist church groups around the country who talk of chaste living and arranged marriages and stuff. So Dylan makes up an alter ego, Faith and starts to make a fake blog, and soon the main girl of the group, Abigail, starts to follow her as well. Faith and Abigail trade messages and soon Faith/Dylan is so taken with how she talks and acts that she arranges to see her during her summer break. Once again Dylan lies to get to go there and lies every day she is at Abigail's family home. But along the way she learns a lot of lessons and she even falls for Abigail's older very studly brother. But even in learning who Dylan really is, Abigail never once looses her cool or publicly outs her like her friends back home would have. Abigail really cares for Dylan and even though it was wrong, Dylan learns so much that she forgives her friends and they reconcile and she can start the new school year with her friends having her back once again. It is not as sickly sweet as you might think...the sexting and the reaction is very brutal but expected, and the contrast between Dylan's home life and the life that Abigail lives is totally different from each other. But each girl learns a lot and they both come away from the encounter with their own benefits. I like how Dylan grows up in this book and how she really takes a chance and accepts responsibility and asks her friends to forgive her and they do.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the book, enough to keep it, not enough to re-read on a regular basis.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BookPortrait More than 1 year ago
I first saw this book on another blog's Waiting on Wednesday, and just from reading the synopsis I was very intrigued. Faking Faith tackles issues from friendships and relationships to religion, making for an interesting and compelling read. When I had to put this book down one night, I spent the next day wondering what else would happen, and when I could read it again I kept turning pages until the end. Dylan is an ordinary high school girl - she has her two close friends and secretly longs for the hottest guy in school. When he shows an interest in her, she quickly falls head over heels. Unfortunately, this leads to the loss of her two best friends and a sexting incident that lands her suspended from school. In her spare time, Dylan explores the internet and stumbles across the blogs of fundamentalist Christian homeschool girls. She finds herself drawn into this world, both because of how different they are from her and how strongly they hold these beliefs. Eventually Dylan creates her own blog under the name of Faith and begins growing closer to these girls. But when Dylan finally has the chance to meet Abigail (the girl behind one of the most popular blogs) and her family, Dylan finds more than she bargained for. Dylan is such a real character, and I really enjoyed reading about her. She made a few mistakes that ended up costing her so much, and even though these weren't the smartest decisions I couldn't help but feel sorry for how everything backfired. After everything that happened, I could see the appeal of her losing herself in another world. Like Dylan, I couldn't help but be intrigued by the things some of these girls wrote on their blogs...even if I do have very different opinions and beliefs. Reading about Abigail's family was like entering another world. They are not Amish, but the lifestyle seems very similar. There were aspects of their family life that I loved - their closeness and the way that everyone worked together - but there were also things that bothered me, particularly about their father. Then there was Asher. Asher, who had made mistakes (at least in the eyes of his family) that could parallel the ones that Dylan had made. I loved reading the interactions between these two. And let me tell you, if you think that a book so infused with religion can't have any kind of romance, think again. When I finished reading this book, I wished that there could be more - I would love to know how everything turns out for Dylan, Abigail, and Asher. Faking Faith explores a variety of issues and presents two very different pictures of all of them. I enjoyed reading this book, but it made me think as well. I will look forward to reading more from Josie in the future!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a good look at a different way of life and really makes you think about the situation you live in and compare it to what others live like. You really can appreciate what you have and also see where you maybe could improve.
TheMochaLatte More than 1 year ago
Faking Faith by Josie Bloss is a novel that instantly intrigued me. Faking Faith is a young adult contemporary novel that follows the life of Dylan Mohaney, the victim of a treacherous sexting scandal (among other things) that's led to incomprehensible harassment. With nowhere else to go Dylan zeroes in on an online community of Christian girls. There she decides to take on a new identity, ironicly dubbing herself as "Faith", and begins to befriend the girls, especially Abigail who she instantly shares a connection. A Deeply Moving and Inspiring Story You'll find yourself easily connecting with Dylan. Typically, I'm not much of a fan of reads that focus on religion, especially since past experiences have shown to me that they can be overly preachy beyond sustainability. With Faking Faith, however, I ignored it's religious roots and focused on Dylan's hardships and struggles. I'm always inspired by a character who pulls through and I'm always curious to see how they make it past trying moments. Dylan was a curious case on her own. Though I didn't quite approve of her taking on the online alias of "Faith" and befriending a community of girls she didn't even know, even as far to go as lying about her own identity, I could see how she needed a place to fit in. Dylan's relationship with Abigail, though, was far more inspiring then Dylan's triumphs. Here was Abigail, a girl of an outer faith that Dylan had never met before, trusting Dylan wholeheartedly and not once passing judgment on her. That, itself, was incredibly admirable. Faking Faith by Josie Bloss was deeply moving, inspiring and dramatic - a wonderful must read coming of age story that moved me beyond anything I had imagined.