YA book review · Young Adult

Have a Little Faith in Me by Sonia Hartl

9781624147975_a52adOriginally published in School Library Journal, September 2019.

Gr. 9 & up: Francine “CeCe” Wells plans to spend three weeks in the summer before her senior year of high school at Camp Three SixTeen, a Christian camp for teens. As a nonChristian, CeCe is spending her parents budgeted funds to try to win back Ethan, after he talked her into having sex, then broke up with her to restore his virginity and virtue. On the positive side, at least she’ll be earning community service hours and won’t be alone. Her next door neighbor and best friend, Paul, who is not a fan of Ethan, tags along with CeCe, also claiming to be a Christian, despite hard feelings stemming from his ultra-religious pastor father leaving their family years ago. Upon arrival, CeCe finds that Ethan is already in a relationship with Mandy, one of the girls in her cabin. To try to make Ethan jealous and save face, she and Paul start a fake relationship. Camp Three SixTeen is no match for CeCe as she boldly resists the female body shaming and negativity surrounding sex. While CeCe and Paul test the rocky waters of their new relationship, CeCe forms strong friendship bonds with Mandy, Sarina, and Astrid, the girls of Cabin 8. Recommended for purchase for older teens, due to heavy themes of sex. VERDICT: Readers will enjoy this quick-paced, well-written friends to lovers romance taking place during an atypical summer camp experience, complete with pranks, hilarious banter, and teenage angst.

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