Review: Have a Little Faith in Me by Sonia Hartl

Title: Have a Little Faith in Me
Author: Sonia Hartl
Release Date: September 3, 2019
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Pages: 336

This post does contain affiliate links. I will receive a small amount from any purchases made through Book Depository at no extra cost to you.

“Saved!” meets To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in this laugh-out-loud romantic comedy that takes a meaningful look at consent and what it means to give it.

When CeCe’s born-again ex-boyfriend dumps her after they have sex, she follows him to Jesus camp in order to win him back. Problem: She knows nothing about Jesus. But her best friend Paul does. He accompanies CeCe to camp, and the plan—God’s or CeCe’s—goes immediately awry when her ex shows up with a new girlfriend, a True Believer at that.

Scrambling to save face, CeCe ropes Paul into faking a relationship. But as deceptions stack up, she questions whether her ex is really the nice guy he seemed. And what about her strange new feelings for Paul—is this love, lust, or an illusion born of heartbreak? To figure it out, she’ll have to confront the reasons she chased her ex to camp in the first place, including the truth about the night she lost her virginity.

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Never in my life have a read a more sex-positive, empowering, and fiercely funny story. Sonia Hartl has really done something special with her debut, Have a Little Faith in Me, and I so desperately wish this had been available to me in high school. Everything about this is remarkably important and what the young adult genre has been missing.

I know young adult isn’t actually a genre it’s more of an age range but I tried for ten minutes to come up with a different word and couldn’t so I’M SORRY.

I bet Jesus loves bees. Without them, we’d all starve.

have a little faith in me by sonia hartl

Something I loved about this was the plot started as one thing and morphed into several additional things. As CeCe evolved as a character and her desires and thoughts changed the story did, too. Everything felt connected and purposeful and I just really enjoyed how many layers there were to this novel.

I have encountered in real life every single character that Hartl created. Each of them was authentic and multi-faceted. They all showed growth and development throughout the book but I loved how none of them lost the essence of who they were to begin with. At the start, they are messy and real just like they are at the end because they’re teenagers and they’re human.

Consent is more than just saying yes once.

have a little faith in me by sonia hartl

I really can’t emphasize enough how amazing the sex positivity is. Young adults need this. Too often, female-presenting individuals are made to feel like garbage for simply existing while those that are male presenting get off scotch-free. Hartl has reinforced that both parties deserve respect, consent, and enjoyment out of everything a relationship has to offer.

Can’t wear a two-piece to Jesus camp, because I guess the sight of a girl’s stomach turns all the boys into horny werewolves. But guys can walk around shirtless with their nipples on full display.

have a little faith in me by sonia hartl

There wasn’t much queer representation in this, but we did see a brief moment where one of the characters mentioned liking both girls and boys while another gave off vibes of liking girls. I was so glad to see that Hartl included those of us that are queer into her narrative.

[Pride] is a stupid sin. Girls get enough crap. The least we can do is be proud of our own accomplishments. Lord knows the world won’t do it for us.

have a little faith in me by sonia hartl

Even as an adult, I finished Have a Little Faith in Me feeling better about myself than I did before I started it. Sonia Hartl has crafted the ultimate empowering feminist story that is going to make such a huge difference in how people view sex and themselves.

A digital ARC was provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Additionally, all quotes should be checked for changes against the final copy.

6 thoughts on “Review: Have a Little Faith in Me by Sonia Hartl”

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