Monday, June 5, 2017

Theme Spotlight: Faith in Young Adult

It's been a while since I have done a theme spotlight, and I was thinking about this topic the other day before deciding it would be perfect for a theme spotlight post. I have not come across that many YA books that tackle the theme of religious faith. These three books featured in this post tackled the theme in a really interesting way. Two of the novels deal with a blind but intense faith; the third with the questioning of a faith that has been handed down to you.

Previous Theme Spotlight Posts:
Unique Form
Self Discovery
Family Relationships
Faith and Spirituality in Classics
Gender in Young Adult
Fictional Novels Featuring Real People

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley 
I really want to reread this novel this summer. The faith in this novel is so interesting. I don't want to say too much because it's tied to spoilers, but there are different kinds of faith in the novel. One character deals with faith in a kinda-sorta religious kinda-sorta just plain faith way and another deals with a really intense and obsessive faith. This is one of my favorite YA contemporaries, but it doesn't seem to get talked about very much.  

The Serpent King by Jeff Zenter
This novel also deals with intense faith and the idea of 'small-town America.' The main character's father is the leader of the religious organization that he and much of the town are a part of. This novel questions blind faith as well as the role faith plays in the lives of many people. It is neither condemning or encouraging regarding religious faith, it just deals with the theme in an honest way. 

The Inexplicable Logic of my Life by Benjaimin Alire Saenz 
I've become a huge fan of Saenz this year, and I really loved this novel. This novel deals with many themes, but among them is the handing down of faith from parents to children. I really enjoyed this aspect of the novel and the questions that Sal asked himself. Again, the idea of religious faith felt natural in the novel and the lives of the characters.  

Leave me your recommendations for books with similar themes!  

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