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really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  33,152 ratings  ·  4,312 reviews
Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt.

What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survi
Hardcover, 258 pages
Published November 1st 2016 by Simon Schuster
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Gretchen I agree Robin. This book is screaming to be made into a Lifetime movie.
Gretchen But it is not romance like a romance novel. I didn't think that romance was the main point of the book.
But it is not romance like a romance novel. I didn't think that romance was the main point of the book.

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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  33,152 ratings  ·  4,312 reviews

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Angela M
Oct 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Alice Hoffman is a prolific writer, having written at least thirty novels . I have read just three of them and it is apparent to me what a great story teller she is . Whether its historical fiction or a contemporary story like this one, her characters are real and relatable and I admire her ability to write across genres. While this felt YA at first , it became clear that what happened to Shelby and Helene could happen to anyone and how Shelby deals with it or didn't actually , could happen to a ...more
Never underestimate the power of rescued dogs, anonymous postcards or lots and lots of Chinese food.

Wow . . . talk about a punch to the gut! An emotional journey, from the first few pages to the final few words, it was kind of draining, but in the best way possible. If that even makes sense. Sometimes a sad and poignant read just hits the spot. And much like life, everything is an ebb and flow. The tough times make the good times, or in this case, the ending, that much sweeter.

It’s so easy for a
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I can hardly believe that I have never read a novel by ALICE HOFFMAN before..........
What was I thinking and where have I been? Obviously not in the right section of the bookstore!

FAITHFUL by ALICE HOFFMAN was a spellbinding and beautifully told coming-of-age story that I devoured in two sittings which rarely happens for me as I normally don't get that much time to read in a sitting!

Although I do find the embossed floral blue COVER of this book very attractive and pretty it isn't the reason I ch

Last century (!) I read Hoffman’s Turtle Moon and loved it. The next thing I knew, Hoffman started writing woo woo stuff, like Practical Magic, and I ran the other way.

I might have made up the term “woo woo”—sounds like something I’d do—so let me explain. By woo woo I mean all things magic, psychic, ghosty, New Age-y, paranormal, and supernatural. Angels, devils, miracles—all woo woo. Woo woo and I don’t get along very well (with one notable exception, the book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond
May 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing

4.5 Stars

In High School, Helene was a shining star, Shelby her faithful sidekick. But it was Helene that all the other girls wanted to be, or be like, and it was Helene who all the boys wanted. But that was part of the life before, never to be the same again.

Before she ever left the hospital, she received a postcard with a sketch on one side, and on the other the words: “Say something.” It’s two years before she receives a second card, this with a picture of her house, a shadow of
Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Received from the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Say Something
Want Something

These are tidbits of advice that Shelby receives from her "Angel" after surviving a car crash that resulted in her friend being in a Coma. Shelby is pulled out of the wreckage by her Angel but suffers from survivor’s quilt and depression. She cannot find the way to forgive herself for the accident that injured her friend so badly. She can't accept that she got to walk away while h
May 19, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ng, fr, ya-na, dnf
DNF 40%

There is no way I want to follow this character any more. Seriously, if you know someone like this, they need a mental health intervention. I am disappointed that this was categorized as Women's Fiction. This reads more like Young Adult or New Adult at best.

The main character is late teens when we first meet and psychologically devastated by events her senior year of high school. With the loss of her best friend she withers. This first part has intense Judeo-Christian ideology and symboli
Diane S ☔
Sep 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 There are two different Shelbys. The before Shelby, seventeen, fun loving, popular in school, a good student and there is the after Shelby. After the accident where Shelby was the driver and made it but her best friend would live paralyzed and in a comma. How does one forgive herself after something like this? Go on and live a life knowing the other person can't? Survivor guilt. This is her story and parts of it are not pretty.

A different read from the Hoffman of the last few years but her u
Larry H
Oct 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I'd rate this 4.5 stars, maybe even 4.75.

"Shelby knows what's wrong with her. She is paying her penance. She is stopping her life, matching her breathing so that it has become a counterpart of the slow intake of air of a girl in a coma."

Shelby and Helene were inseparable best friends from the moment they met in childhood. Helene was always known to be the prettier one, and Shelby was fine with that—she was just happy to be part of Helene's orbit. But as often happens with childhood friendships,
Will Byrnes
Jul 20, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, romance
The doctors and her parents can call her condition whatever they wish; Shelby knows what’s wrong with her. She is paying her penance. She is stopping her life, matching her breathing so that it has become a counterpart of the slow intake of air of a girl in a coma. She looks at her postcard every night to remind herself of what they’ll do to her if she allows people to know how damaged she is and takes to silence again. They’ll lock her up and then she’ll disappear for good.
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: all-time-fav
4.5 stars!! What a great coming-of-age type book!! It had everything tragedy, friendship, & romance. I will be reading more of Alice Hoffman's books. One more great book like this one and I might just have another favorite author. ...more
Jan 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Akin to myriad other victory-over-adversity novels featuring a feminine soul (I am thinking way back to W. Lamb's "She's come undone"; I'm EVEN thinking Bridget Jones, Jemima J., even, heck, Precious from 'Push' by Sapphire)... it's got a lot going for it. Effective beach-side worthy prose. Great symbols to highlight, elements that get repeated: At the end of the day, it's a tale about a chick who has survivor's guilt, gets a tattoo, has the audacity to quit steady gigs in New York City, & keeps ...more
Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 stars. Faithfull was hard to read. It wasn’t hard to read because it’s bad or is written in a challenging style, but because it’s sad and for a long time it feels relentlessly sad. When she was 17 years old, Shelby was in a car accident with her best friend Helene. The accident left Helene brain damaged, and it caused Shelby to go into a tail spin of guilt and depression. Shelby can’t find the way to forgiving herself, so she pushes people away and makes her life as narrow and bleak as possi ...more
Irena BookDustMagic
Oct 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Faithful is the book you can't help but notice. It's beautiful cover is what draw my attention immediately, but after I read it's synopsis I just had a feeling this book might be something I'd like.
I'm not even sure how to describe it, I just had a feeling this book will be right for me.
I am so thankful I was right.

This book was beautiful. There is no other way to describe it.


And hopeful, because when I finished it, it left me in hope that life can get better, people can make something out of th
Sep 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads
I'm of two minds on Faithful, the first book I've read by Alice Hoffman. Focused on one young woman, Shelby Richmond, the novel has the feel of a coming of age tale, but is probably more accurately about how Shelby comes to terms with her guilt, her anger, and her self-pity that follow her through life after a car accident in which her friend is rendered brain dead. There's a lot in here, a short novel that is packed with ideas and symbolism and major plot points, and while Hoffman is a beautifu ...more
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was skeptical when I picked this up, but was rewarded in the end. Magical realism isn't my thing so when Shelby started receiving anonymous letters I was thinking, 'oh no, letters from beyond?' I was too hooked by that point to care. Shelby is dealing with a death of a friend that she feels responsible for and withdraws form everyone. Enter a friend, a few dogs, and endless Chinese food. The healing power of dogs really can soften a character so full of angst and guilt. I enjoyed this coming o ...more
May 23, 2017 rated it liked it

3.5 stars

Shelby Richmond is a high school senior preparing to attend NYU with her best friend, Helene Boyd, when an automobile accident intervenes. The car Shelby is driving skids on a patch of ice, leaving Helene in a perpetual coma and Shelby with only minor injuries.

Unable to get past the guilt, Shelby has a nervous breakdown and is institutionalized for several months.

Afterwards, Shelby holes up in her parents basement, eats little, cuts herself, smokes pot, and sleeps as much as she can.

Alice Hoffman’s “Faithful” is a novel about Shelly Richmond, a young woman, who has her whole life ahead of her. It’s about fate and prevailing when all seems lost.

Shelby Richmond is a High School Senior when tragedy strikes and she and her best friend Helene Boyd get into an accident. She walks away, her life completely intact. Afterwards, Shelby loses her mind, her friends and loved ones and her sense of self. She finds love in animals who need rescuing and a new friend, Maravelle, whose famil
Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
I love stories like Faithful that explore characters who are flawed and scarred and that draw me into the their lives as they find their way in life. This makes for a powerful and interesting read for me.

The story is told by Shelby who was once an ordinary, happy girl. After an accident she suffers from survival guilt, feelings of worthlessness and depression. She punishes herself by hiding from the world and believing the world is better off without her. We follow her story as she discovers sh
Iris P


I received an ARC from Simon & Schuster via NetGalley in exchange from an honest review, thank you!
Dear fellow reader, be aware that my review contains some spoilers.


Before reading this novel the only other book I'd read by Alice Hoffman was the extraordinary The Marriage of Opposites. That novel was the highlight of my 2015 reading year and although Faithful didn’t quite bring that level of ut
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
My experiences so far with Alice Hoffman's books have been varied but this was one of the good ones!

Poor Shelby right at the start of the book has survived a car crash which has left her best friend in a coma. At seventeen years of age she does not cope with the trauma at all and her life spins pretty much out of control. However there are people around her who love her and, despite all the walls she throws up, life does win in the end.

Hoffman does an excellent job of making the reader like Shel
Oct 26, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars. A beautifully written coming-of-age tale about transformation, redemption, and learning to let go. When Shelby was seventeen, she was the driver in a car accident that put her best friend Helene in an irreversible coma. Helene is trapped inside herself and subjected to an endless stream of visitors convinced that she produces miracles. Shelby blames herself for Helene's misfortune and has dedicated her life to paying her penance. "She is stopping her life, matching her breathing so th ...more
Apr 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book had everything in it that I love: dogs, books, and broken characters.

I have to say that I love Alice Hoffman's writing- this one didn't quite have many magical elements in it like some of her past works, but I enjoyed it immensely. Shelby Richmond gets in a terrible accident on an icy road in high school and survives. She struggles to understand why she should've been the one to walk away when her best friend Helene- did not. What follows is Shelby's quick path to destruction, random i
Jun 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley

I was a huge fan of The Marriage of Opposites, so I was excited when Netgalley provided me with an advance copy of this book. Where TMOO is a story of perseverance, this is a story that starts with weakness. Shelby was the driver in a car accident that left her best friend in a coma. And as her friend is unable to live a normal life, Shelby has also stopped living hers. “Shelby is now nineteen, but she might as well be ninety. What happened to being young, to having her whole life ahead of her?”

TW's: Suicide Attempt, Rape, Self-cutting, Substance Abuse, Depression, Cancer...
You know what, the more I think about it, the more I think this deserves two stars...
I am afraid that if I don't write this review asap it will end up with one star...
More than two months later...

Arc Provided by Simon & Schuster through Netgalley

Release Date: November 1rt

Here's the thing, I am starting to realize that Alice Hoffman's writing is like a drug to me: I am addicted to it ( why? Idk. Fault
Truly amazing. This book is about love and loss, misplaced guilt, regrets and redemption. When teenaged Shelby loses control of her car one cold winter night, her friend, Helene, is critically injured. Instead of letting their daughter go, Helene's parents keep her alive for years at home. Shelby blames herself and endures her own personal hell in a mental institution and at home always blaming herself for the tragedy.

In her life, Shelby knows love and loss, makes wonderful friends, has relatio
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in

Leonard Cohen

I've come to realise that most novels I enjoy grab me from the very beginning. It was the case with Faithful as well.

This was my second Alice Hoffman novel, the other one was The Marriage of Opposites, which I enjoyed a great deal. Faithful couldn't be more different.
Some could call this young adult novel , it does have a young adult feel about it, but don't let t
Bam cooks the books ;-)
*3.5 stars. Shelby Richmond is a normal suburban teenager, growing up on Long Island, enjoying high school days with her best friend, Helene, and busy planning for college, until the cold winter night Helene talks her into driving to a party. On the way there, the car hits a patch of ice and spins out of control. Shelby comes to and finds herself stretched out on the pavement with what she thinks is an angel hovering over her. Next thing she knows she is on her way to the hospital in an ambulanc ...more
Jul 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
About 15 minutes into this audio book, I stopped the narration and double-checked that I had downloaded the correct book. "Faithful" was nothing at all like my last experience with Alice Hoffman -- The Marriage of Opposites, with its complexity and lyrical language. I thought for sure I had mistakenly clicked on the latest YA release. My screen confirmed that, indeed, this was Hoffman and that "Faithful" was a very different book than "Opposites."

Once I let go of my expectations for what this b
Cathrine ☯️
Jun 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: net-galley
Life can be beautiful but it’s complicated. Following a tragic automobile accident Shelby believes she is nothing, an aftershock. She spirals into depression, breakdown, and self-destructive behavior. Feeling worthless, she needs to be reminded that her life is not over. She is about to discover that while it’s not possible to save others, she can perhaps save herself with the love and support of some very special people in her world.

For me this read like vintage Alice Hoffman although I wou
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Play Book Tag: Faithful by Alice Hoffman - 4 stars 4 14 Sep 19, 2022 06:02PM  
Play Book Tag: Faithful by Alice Hoffman, 4 stars 3 9 May 15, 2022 08:40AM  
Play Book Tag: Faithful - Alice Hoffman - 3.5 Stars 3 13 May 10, 2022 03:46PM  
Play Book Tag: Faithful - 3 stars 7 11 Dec 23, 2021 11:34PM  
Play Book Tag: Faithful - Alice Hoffman - 5 stars 3 13 Nov 28, 2021 05:04PM  
Reader's Choice B...: November - Faithful 3 12 Nov 15, 2019 04:29PM  

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Alice Hoffman is the author of more than thirty works of fiction, including The World That We Knew; The Marriage of Opposites; The Red Garden; The Museum of Extraordinary Things; The Dovekeepers; Here on Earth, an Oprah’s Book Club selection; and the Practical Magic series, including Practical
Magic; Magic Lessons; The Rules of Magic, a selection of Reese’s Book Club; and The Book of Magic. She liv

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