Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Faith: Taking Flight by Julie Murphy

Faith: Taking Flight by Julie Murphy
Release Date - July 7, 2020
Publisher Website - Harper Collins Canada
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 304 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received for an honest review from the publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
From Julie Murphy, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dumplin’, comes the first in a two-book origin story of Faith, a groundbreaking, plus-sized superhero from the Valiant Entertainment comics.

Faith Herbert is a pretty regular teen. When she’s not hanging out with her two best friends, Matt and Ches, she’s volunteering at the local animal shelter or obsessing over the long-running teen drama The Grove.

So far, her senior year has been spent trying to sort out her feelings for her maybe-crush Johnny and making plans to stay close to Grandma Lou after graduation. Of course, there’s also that small matter of recently discovering she can fly….

When the fictional world of The Grove crashes into Faith’s reality as the show relocates to her town, she can’t believe it when TV heroine Dakota Ash takes a romantic interest in her.

But her fandom-fueled daydreams aren’t enough to distract Faith from the fact that first animals, then people, have begun to vanish from the town. Only Faith seems able to connect the dots to a new designer drug infiltrating her high school.

But when her investigation puts the people she loves in danger, she will have to confront her hidden past and use her newfound gifts—risking everything to save her friends and beloved town.
The moment I heard that Julie Murphy was writing a superhero story featuring a plus sized female superhero I knew I had to get my hands on it. Faith: Taking Flight is an origin story that hits all of the superhero genre tropes while making them fit the story being told in a way that feels fresh.

I had no clue that this book is based off a comic. I should not have been surprised as this is revealed in the synopsis. It means that this story comes with some expectations for those who have read the comics. I have no clue how close this sticks to those comics, but it is an origin story. This focuses on Faith getting and learning about her powers. It is her journey to embracing her power and I think that makes the story relatable for anyone wanting to pick it up.

This book's tone is lighter and more fun than I was expecting. It does get a little more serious but it never loses that tone of fun and wonder. Faith's personality reflects the tone of the novel in a lot of ways and I found they complicated each other well.

This book really is Faith's journey of getting to know herself and who she is. She is testing out her powers and learning what having them means for who she is and how she sees herself. She is also, however, just learning about who she is in general. It drives a lot of the book including the romance/possible love triangle. Faith is still figuring out her sexuality and what label feels right to her and that is reflected in the connections she is making.

The romance (one of them at least) is more complicated than it first appears and I love how it eventually ties things together. It made the inclusion of this story arc feel integral to both the story and the character development. Most of the angst comes from relationships (both romantic and otherwise) so it is very on brand as most superhero stories pull their emotional beats from the relationships within them.

Every superhero needs a good sidekick and Faith has two of them. Ches and Matt are her best friends. They are all (mostly) supportive of one another even though they do not know Faith's secret. I love that all of Faith's relationships were all important to her. Her family, friends, and potential love interests all mattered and influence who she is as a character.

This is a duology so expect the book to end in such a way that will propel the story into the next book. It is not a cliffhanger per say but something that will pique your interest in the follow up. It is just as fun and joyous as the rest of the book (mostly) is.

If you are looking for a fun superhero read with a character who is just trying to figure out who she is (while also learning to fly) I would recommend picking up Faith: Taking Flight.

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