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By That Sin Fell the Angels

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4.3  ·  Rating details ·  107 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
It begins with a 3:00 a.m. telephone call. On one end is Terry Bachelder, a closeted teacher. On the other, the suicidal teenage son of the local preacher. When Terry fails to prevent disaster, grief rips the small town of Crystal Falls apart.

At the epicenter of the tragedy, seventeen-year-old Jonah Riverside tries to make sense of it all. Finding Daniel’s body leaves him
...more
ebook, 1st Edition, 210 pages
Published August 29th 2012 by Dreamspinner Press (first published August 1st 2012)
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Michael Halfhill
Oct 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was an unusual book for me. Not because the topics of gay teens coming (or not coming), to terms with their sexuality, or self-loathing, or religious self-righteous bigotry, or mass hysteria and false labeling of gays as sexual predators, or teen suicide. All of these have been explored and dissected elsewhere in non-fiction and fiction. What struck me from the beginning was the sense of balance, the yin-yang, Jamie Fessenden strikes in "By That Sin Fell The Angels".
The setting is a small
...more
Lou Sylvre
Sep 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Jamie Fessenden’s By That Sin Fell the Angels is a literary novel that shines (five stars worth) by any standard. (I don't think there are spoilers here. If you disagree please let me know!)

Published under Dreamspinner Press’ new Itineris imprint, many will classify Fessenden’s latest offering as genre fiction, because the story explores themes relating to being gay. Don’t get me wrong, I read, write, love genre fiction. But this book is bigger, broader, than genre. It explores themes that are p
...more
Susan65
Apr 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Blogger Girls

This was such a difficult story to read, and I imagine it was just as difficult for the author to write, for no other reason than the sad truth that many LGBT youth and adults are still placed in such impossible to win situations. This didn’t read as fiction or a wild imagination, but more like the horrific reality of many of our gay friends and family when faced with extreme religious fanatics. To have one’s entire existence bashed, and their eternal soul condemned to hell on a
...more
Sammy Goode
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Normally I would begin a review with the synopsis of the plot, carefully detailing some succinct information but not so much as to reveal too much lest it give the story away. But not this time. By That Sin Fell The Angels by Jamie Fessenden deserves something more than a tepid synopsis and short critique. To say that this book (a second edition re-released by Dreamspinner Press) is timely is a vast understatement. With the SCOTUS decision making the right to marry legal for all, this author’s n ...more
Jaymie
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jaymie by: Macy
Shelves: m-m, gbq4-picked
Hmm...there is just so much to say yet I am not sure if I can really express it. This book was just a tad bit different than I had originally thought but I have to say I was definitely drawn to the story. I tried many times to put it down but I couldn't.

It is emotional and at times a little hard to read. I found myself feeling everything as I read it. Sadness, happiness, rage and disgust. There were parts that were funny and there were parts where I felt the tears building up.

A phone call at 3
...more
Max
Oct 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Having gone through some of the exact same situations in my youth, this was a very difficult book for me to read. I too was the boy who played the piano at church. I not only drank that kool-aid, I liked it! I some how survived, I was lucky, thousands of other gay teens are not. I'll never understand how someone can go to church and proclaim the love of God but can have so much hate in his heart for someone who has the gall to be different than he is.

Jamie Fessenden takes a hard look at bigotry
...more
Brandilyn
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mm, read-2014
I do not feel worthy of writing this review. I will give it my best shot.
I am not a religious person. I grew up in the church, but it was always a choice to attend. A choice I made each Sunday, consciously. As I grew up and learned more and more about religion and the bible, I turned from the church. I won’t get into my beliefs, or lack thereof. I only point this out to say don’t let your religious stance turn you off of this fabulous book. Whether you are a believer or not, the themes and chara
...more
Aurora
Dec 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-reviews
By That Sin Fell The Angels is a compelling read from the first to last page when tragedy strikes at the heart of a small town in America. As the locals come to terms with the trauma of a young boy's suicide, emotions run high as the wounded seek someone to blame and long buried secrets begin to rise to the surface.

Daniel, the son of the local preacher, takes his own life in his father's church and his body is discovered by another teenager, Jonah, who harboured a crush on Daniel. As the story
...more
Christopher Moss
Jul 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When a small town preacher’s son commits suicide in the sanctuary of their tiny church, posed as for The Passion of Christ, the community is out for the blood of the high school music teacher they insist corrupted him. Most intent on his removal is the preacher himself stunned not only by the death but by the revelation that his son was gay, and, as he discovers other local boys are likewise gay, he is certain that God wants him to root out the evil. Young Jonah is as shocked as anyone about the ...more
Lena Grey
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing



NOTE: 1st Edition published by Itineris Press, August 2012.

“I had ambition by which sin the angels fell; I climbed, and step by step, O Lord, ascended into Hell. Returning now to peace and quiet and made more wise, Let my descent and fall, O Lord, be into Paradise.” ~ W. H. Davies (Ambition)

When Terry Bachelder, of 'By That Sin Fell the Angels' by Jamie Fessenden, answers his phone at 3:00 a.m., he suspects it will be bad news but he wasn't expecting a call from Daniel, one of his students and t
...more
Aislinn
Sep 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was a tough read. From the opening scene, where a troubled teen calls a number he's held in his wallet for three years, just before killing himself, it felt like hurtling toward a massive train wreck and being unable to stop it. Daniel's call to that number turned out to be his music teacher, Terry, a closeted gay man in a rural Maine town. His death sets off a series of issues for not only Terry, but two other gay teens in his school, as well as his fundamentalist preacher father and the c ...more
⚣❣☙ Cocky™ Michaelle ❧❣⚣
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to ⚣❣☙ Cocky™ Michaelle ❧❣⚣ by: GRJoin
4 Stars

JFC I think the universe (or maybe my Super-Ego) is out to break me this week...I can't explain why I'm picking these books otherwise.

A heart-breaking and yet hopeful story of an ignorant religious town trying to come to grips with the suicide of what most would consider a Golden Child. Perfect in every way. Well, in every way they know. And that's the driving premise of the book.

I'll admit I skipped some of the sermon scenes (I heard them enough growing up and seems like it's only gettin
...more
John Sontag
Apr 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tragedy and hope emerge from this story of lost love. The author revisits the compelling connection between homosexuality, religion, and acceptance. I found the story of the suicide of a homophobic evangelist's son and its effect on a community to be very compelling. To be honest, it is a subject that has been covered before in quite a few LGBT books, but never quite like this. Definitely, a MUST-READ!
Jen
It was an interesting study of the struggle between religion and homosexuality. I don't typically buy stories with a strong religious aspect, but I think this one was handled well. What a mess of a situation that town was in. I liked the way the viewpoint changed from one person to the next. That helped increase the suspense of what would happen next.

I actually wished it was longer so that we could see everyone get their HEA, but it's probably best that it ended where it did, though.
Jendi
Nov 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of the best novels I've read in the "gay and Christian" genre. I enjoyed the realistic and funny characterization of the high school boys, and was deeply moved by the anti-gay minister's slow and painful journey toward belief in a God whose love is stronger than condemnation. This book would be appropriate for both YA and adult readers.
OkayKim
The only reason this is getting a 3 star is because of the religious parts in the story. It really upsets me how people twists their beliefs where it harms others.
I need to avoid these types of stories because it isn't fair to the author that I'm so bias.
Andrea
Aug 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is most terrifying yet hopeful book I've ever read. I'm not a religious person but this wasn't too preachy for me. Sometimes a story just can't be told without bringing religion into it and this story had to be told.
Pat
Oct 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow. What a wonderful book that explodes the "homosexuality is against the Bible" myth through a very believable and tragic story.
Amy
Aug 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-them
This was different from what I usually read but I really enjoyed it. It was an emotional story that I will think about for some time to come.
Jocasta
Jan 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love that Book. It made me cry not for the self-loathing or the closet cases or the undeniable psychological traumas, but by finding peace at the end & placing your feet on the right step.
Cathy Brockman
Terry Bachelder receives a call at 3 am. The call is for his gay men’s group but is a young person troubled. Sounds like a student Terry is a closeted teacher in a small very religious town. His Boyfriends Jack, A closeted lawyer tells him to hang up. Terry keeps talking realizing this young man seems suicidal but he doesn’t know what to do. He hasn’t a name or has no idea where this person is or even if it’s for real. Jack warns him not to get involved in any of the kids problems he could go to ...more
Charlayne
Aug 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: teens, parents, anyone who loves a gay person
Recommended to Charlayne by: author
Shelves: m-m
I just finished reading "By That Sin Fell the Angels."

I've only gotten out of bed one other time after reading a book to write the author. Both times, it's been because what I read effected me so much I had to get up and say something right then and there.

This is the second time it's happened. .

So much of the characters, the setting, and the emotions are ones I know people close to me have gone through. So much, on all sides, is what life has been like for people that I know, that I love. And
...more
Joyfully Jay
Aug 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sammy
A Joyfully Jay review.

5 stars


Jamie Fessenden’s novel opens wide the doors of bigotry and hate that currently hide in some (please note the word “some”) supposed Christian communities across this country. Through a changing point of view and a daily log of a town in turmoil, this author uses incredible skill at unfolding a story that rings with truth and sincerity. My heart wept for these characters and every page had me understanding more how incredibly suffocating religious hate is to men and
...more
angelofthursday
Aug 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a masterfully written story. The angst, the suspense, the story itself... breathtaking. These aren't just characters, but people lifted out of our lives and put onto pages. They have feelings, personalities, wants, and--what makes this story a pot of gold--struggles. Issac alone will make you want to throw this book several times, and he's just as horrible as some of the pastors we have to deal with today. But Jonah, Eric, Daniel, Terry, and Jack will make you want to hug it and maybe even ...more
Avephoenix
Aug 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
FASCINATING & INSPIRATIONAL! JAMIE FESSENDEN IS JUST BRILLIANT!

By That Sin Fell the Angels by Jamie Fessenden is a fascinating story. A lesson of life. The story is compelling and well written. The way we were allowed into the characters' minds, seeing the events through the lens of their beliefs and own experiences was just perfect. The story is filled with skillfully drawn characters that are at times profoundly moving, and a heartbreaking dialogue. An eye opener to the reader.

This story w
...more
Joan
Jun 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Not really my cup of tea. I am uncomfortable with overly religious stories in which the protagonistr seeks to overcome religious fanatics. I was going to give it 2 stars, but I liked Eric a lot, so I gave the extra for him!
Ingrid
Jul 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
As I like Jamie's writing style I picked this one up. And it did not disappoint.
A note of caution this is not a romance novel. It has a tentative HFN ending. People looking for steamy sex scenes should look elsewhere too. The book has none.
Elisa Rolle
Aug 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
2013 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention (5* from at least 1 judge)
Aimee
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Spectacular! I love Jamie Fessenden’s writing.
William
Aug 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Suicide and religion, didn't sound like a good mix being pro-life (in this case) and belief in "It Gets Better" but enjoyed the characters and thought it was handled with care.
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Jamie Fessenden set out to be a writer in junior high school. He published a couple short pieces in his high school's literary magazine and had another story place in the top 100 in a national contest, but it wasn't until he met his partner, Erich, almost twenty years later, that he began writing again in earnest. With Erich alternately inspiring and goading him, Jamie wrote several screenplays an ...more
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“I’ve known several men who believe women are only interested in relationships for money and comfort, and they aren’t capable of really loving. And I’ve known women who insist men only want sex and don’t know how to love. White people used to insist that blacks weren’t capable of ‘noble’ emotions, that they were little more than animals. The same was said about Jews, Native Americans, you name it. It’s an ancient argument. People keep dredging it up, trying to prove to themselves that people they don’t understand are alien and don’t warrant being treated well. And it is always—always—wrong. Despite our differences, all people are basically built from the same template. We are all equally admirable and equally flawed.” 3 likes
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