Jessi's Reviews > Faking Faith

Faking Faith by Josie Bloss
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Jan 21, 12

Read in January, 2012

I was really looking forward to this book. I was a few pages in and became frustrated because I thought the writing was kind of contrived. Sentences were sloppily constructed and there were some really simple grammatical errors (like a then/than mixup) that any decent editor should have caught. I thought that some people might excuse things like this because the book is written from the viewpoint of a teenager, but if you look at the vocabulary the narrator uses, it's really unrealistic. Additionally, I was a bit disappointed by the portrayal of the young religious women in the book. It seems the author took stereotypical bits and pieces from various corners of the Christian faith, and mashed them all together. To me, this just comes across as a lack of understanding of one's characters. Yes, there are conservative teenage girls who blog. Sometimes, though, they came across as downright Amish. There were a lot of farm-girl depictions in the book. But really, do the majority of homeschoolers live on farms? I doubt it. Also, the tone could be condescending at times. Dylan, the narrator, talks about these girls who aspire to be good wives and mothers one day as if that is their sole goal in life. It's a "given" that these girls have no desire or are not allowed to ever attend college or have careers. The author portrays this as punishment, in my opinion. This is another stereotype, though. The Bible says nothing about keeping women away from education or the workplace, and therefore the vast majority of homeschooling families don't hold this opinion, either. Sure, some of them won't go to college. There are plenty that do, though.
I'm not a super-conservative dress-wearing Christian homeschooler, but I thought that the author should have put a little more effort into accurately portraying this community. In my line of work, I encounter these kinds of families a lot (I work at a public library)- the girls portrayed in the book come across as caricatures of preconceived notions people seem to have about this crowd.
Maybe the author does know girls like this. It is possible that she is writing from her own experience- I kind of doubt it, though. Between the stereotypes, the contrived ending ("Maybe I'll put my experiences into a novel!") and the editorial laziness, I was tremendously disappointed in the book. It took me less than two hours to read from cover to cover, so at least I didn't waste too much time on it.
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