*FAITHFUL* by Alice Hoffman*5-Stars*

faithful

Faithful is a remarkably well-written, complex character-driven novel. Right from the start, the reader is brought intimately into the heart and mind of a troubled teen, suffering from survivor guilt.

Shelby and Helene were the best of friends. They were inseparable until one night when Shelby’s car spun out of control, and Helene ended up in a coma. After a brief psychiatric hospitalization, seventeen-year-old Shelby shaved her head, isolated in the basement, smoked pot, and basically, gave up on life.

Although Shelby did her best to keep people at arm’s length, she was amazed to find, that they were still, drawn to her. She hated herself and often came across as a tough street girl, someone not to be messed with. Shelby had a kind heart; however, and a soft spot for abused animals and homeless people. She would go out of her way to help them. Someone was placing artistic postcards with encouraging messages in her mailbox. She called this mysterious someone, her angel. Shelby does eventually find her way in the world, but not before she nearly destroys herself in the process.

Each page is filled, with raw emotion, realistic dialogue, and flawed characters. Although this book can be intensely depressing at times, I found it to be also inspirational. There is a lot of hope; unconditional love and touching moments sprinkled throughout the dark pages of this book. Faithful is a story about penance, redemption, and unconditional love. It is also unforgettable.

I received this ARC from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

~5 out of 5 stars~Review by Peg Glover

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