Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tempting Faith DiNapoli

At heart, Faith DiNapoli is a good Catholic girl. She's memorized all the prayers and hymns. She daydreams about her First Communion. She's pretty sure Jesus loves her. But she's angry. Angry with her father for leaving, her mother for never going anywhere, and her dysfunctional siblings -- just because they're around. And though she knows the Bible says the meek are blessed, Faith can't help but covet beautiful things and try to obtain them in any way possible. So Faith lies, cheats, and steals. In fact, she breaks almost every one of the Commandments, mostly by accident. At the same time, she grapples with the girl she thinks she should be, the family she's supposed to be a part of, and the imaginary life she may never live.

In Tempting Faith DiNapoli, Faith does more than grow from innocent eight to headstrong eighteen. Faith struggles with her new bad habits, fends off bad boys who want more than she should give, and contemplates a future that looks worse than her mother's past and present.

The DiNapolis are mismatched, broke, and dysfunctional, but they fight with and love one another with equal parts ferocity and devotion, laughter and tears. All the while, Faith prays for a happy ending. Or at least for something not too, too bad.

Wow! The DiNapoli's are quite the family! They had me smiling, laughing out loud, and crying too. They truly seem to be a "real" family. Because I was raised Catholic, I can identify with Faith, her curiosities, her doubts and her questions. It brought back a whole bunch of memories, some good and some bad. But reading this book was a wonderful experience.

If you want to revisit your teenage years, this may be the book for you. But be warned it also deals with serious stuff, it deals with drugs, alcohol, rape and violence. I mention this because a friend's daughter asked to read it, she's 12, and I don't think it's appropriate for a tween. It could be just me...

Tempting Faith DiNapoli by Lisa Gabriele (4/5) General Fiction; Published: Simon & Schuster (6/2002); Canadian Author; New Author; Canadian Book Challenge 3 (4); 2009 100 + Reading Challenge (120);

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