Hey friends! I’m part of another blog tour with the Fantastic Flying Book Club! This book was so fun, and I’m so excited to be part of this tour. So buckle up, enjoy the review, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom!
In Have a Little Faith in Me, CeCe Wells decides to attend Camp ThreeSixTeen in the hopes of winning back her boyfriend, Ethan. Ethan is a born-again virgin who dumped CeCe days after they had sex for the first time, telling her that she’s a temptation to him and he can’t be with her anymore. So she follows him to bible camp without any knowledge of the bible, relying heavily on her best friend and former devout Christian, Paul. But right from the very beginning, Camp ThreeSixTeen isn’t what CeCe hoped for. Ethan has a new girlfriend! Who… isn’t so new after all. She and Paul pretend that they’re dating to make Ethan jealous! Which… makes CeCe feel things she wasn’t expecting. And she actually likes the girls in her cabin! As she comes to terms with her relationship and breakup with Ethan, she starts to realize that maybe he wasn’t the perfect boyfriend she thought he was all along, and she finds pieces of herself in the process.
3 Things I Loved
- Paul. Everyone needs a ride-or-die friend like Paul in high school. CeCe is super lucky to have him, because she’s kind of an idiot a lot of the time. I don’t blame her at all, and I’ll get into that. But Paul. Oh man, high school dreamboat. He’s nerdy, he’s super respectful of others, especially the girls he dates, and he is there for CeCe no matter what. And he HATED Ethan from the very beginning, which I suspect was for multiple reasons, but he turns out to be right about him being a jackass.
- C O N S E N T. Something that is explored heavily in this book is the concept of consent. CeCe thought she understood what it meant, but as she goes forth and grows in this book, she starts to see that she didn’t understand it at all. And that means that she wasn’t giving it freely, like she thought she was. It’s heavy, but it’s important, and it’s framed in a way that works with the rest of the book.
- CeCe. She’s last on this list for a reason, but I had to include her. CeCe is annoying a lot of the time. Her logic in going to camp was super flawed. I have no idea what she sees in Ethan in the first place. But what I loved was that she grew. She went forth into this alien environment and found part of herself and became a better person for it. So in the end, she’s not so bad.
So, I have two disclaimers, for those of you who feel like you might want to read this book. It’s good, and I encourage you to read it, but I want everyone to be safe. So first – there’s some questionable consent in this book that borders on rape or assault. I think it’s important for the plot, and CeCe is telling the story, so we get to watch her grow and realize it. It’s not great, but it was done pretty well. Second, this is a book that takes place at a very conservative Evangelical Christian Bible camp. And there are opinions expressed by some of the side characters in the book that are a bit troubling. Having CeCe as a narrator helps because she has a more liberal, agnostic take on things. But it’s there and it could be triggering for some people.
But what I really want to talk about here is Ethan.
Ethan is the boy you don’t expect to be the subject of questionable consent, truly. He’s a quiet, conservative, nerdy Christian boy with terrible fashion sense. But he’s also the type of boy, to paraphrase a part of the book, who “keeps asking until you say yes.” So are you really giving consent if you’re being worn down? I take a lot of issue with groups of uber-conservative Christians who don’t teach their sons that women are equal to them. I take issue with sex ed not being taught in schools. I take issue with the pockets of America that are left to their own devices and devolve until they become borderline Puritanical. So I didn’t love Ethan. At all. But I’m glad he exists, because people need to see antagonists who seem like nice guys. Not all the bad characters leer after girls as they’re walking by. Some blush and look away. But that doesn’t give you the whole story if you don’t see them behind closed doors. That’s all I’m saying.
A reminder of the rating scale:
- Red = DNF, I hated everything
- Orange = Ugh, no thank you
- Yellow = I mean, I’ve read worse, but there were problems
- Green = This was good!
- Blue = Oh my gosh, I loved this book!
- Purple = This is the unicorn of books and I will be rereading it until the binding falls apart and EVERYONE should be reading it!
This book was good! It was important, and it was well-done, and it had the perfect dash of serious mixed in with the humor. I really enjoyed reading it, and the blurb that says it’s Saved (one of my favorite movies of all time) meets To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is pretty spot on. So I’m giving Have a Little Faith in Me a BLUE rating. It’s important, and I hope those who need to read it find what they’re looking for inside it.
Thank you to the publisher (who sent me a hard copy!) and Fantastic Flying Book Club tours for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This was a super fun read!
As promised! Here’s where you can win a finished copy of Have a Little Faith in Me! Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!