I read this in an afternoon. I was bored and had nothing better to do.
This girl named Dylan Mahoney ends up dating one of the most popular boys in school after her two friends tell her that he’s a player who will just use her. Turns out her friends were right. She spies him cheating on her and she gets revenge by smashing up his car. He retaliates by sending the topless pics she sent to him to everyone in school. From then on, she’s the school pariah – a crazy golf club wielding slut (she used his golf clubs to smash the windshield or whatever).
In her loneliness she finds the blogs of these Christian fundamentalist girls who honestly sound more like the Amish, but with computers and electricity. She and her family are far from religious (including a speech by her father about how he doens’t mind those crazies as long as they don’t push their sky god beliefs on him), and that makes these girl bloggers even more interesting to Dylan. She admires one girl in particular – Abigail Dean, the Queen Bee of the Christian bloggers. Dylan eventually sets up a fake blog and persona named Faith, and it is Faith and Abigail who become friends to the point that Dylan/Faith travels to rural Illinois to spend two weeks with the Dean family.
Throughout this, Dylan is the usual snarky atheist bitching about feminism and how horrible it is for these girls to think that the only calling a woman should have is being a mother and homemaker. Oh, the horror! Look, even I don’t want to just be a housewife, but I don’t have a problem with women who do, and even women who think that that’s all a woman should do. As long as her clitoris is intact, I don’t care. Interesting how Dylan is completely unaware that in Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, a woman can’t even DRIVE, let alone get a job outside the home or even wear what she wants to wear (Abigail’s mom drives her to the bus stop when she’s due to go home, by the way, which is far more than what a woman in a fundamentalist Muslim country can do). But a fundie family living on a farm somewhere is so oppressive because the women don’t go to college or get drunk on the weekends or take naked pictures of themselves for their boyfriends.
Yeah, she goes to visit Abigail under completely false pretenses, lying to the Dean family and lying to her own family, all so she can escape the Slut persona given to her by the kids at her school. That’s essentially what this whole exercise is – an escape from the fallout of her sexting thing.
It’s not really impressing me much because even though Dylan can see the positives of such a lifestyle, she seems to think that they don’t have problems of their own, and that they are needlessly strict. Dylan is just really condescending towards these people, their beliefs and their lifestyle and is only there to just escape her own crappy life, and not to actually learn anything. That bugs me. We Christians and Catholics are not here for your damn entertainment.
That being said, she does learn the importance of forgiveness, spending time with family and hard work. All of that is lost in the whole feminist message of “a man should not choose his family’s life for them” and whatnot.
The thing is, Abigail and Asher did have choices – they could do what their families expected of them, or they could do whatever they wanted and deal with the consequences of being ostracized from their families, but at the end of the day at least they’d be ALIVE. If a Muslim girl had been harassed by a guy like Beau (Abigail’s brother-in-law who is eventually her fiancee via an arranged courtship), not only would the blame had been placed on the girl (as Abigail had feared), she’d be mutilated and probably killed to preserve the family’s honor.
It really burns me up how these anti-Christian novels (oh, I’m going to get to Small Town Sinners eventually) keep creating these ridiculous caricatures of Christianity to scare teenagers into thinking that Christianity is evil, anti-woman and oppressive when it really isn’t. I’m surprised the author didn’t shove in a message about abortion.
And why do I keep bringing up Islam? Why do most conservatives keep harping on about Islam whenever some paranoid liberal atheist starts ranting about the patriarchy and whatnot? Because these same liberals keep going on and on about how all cultures are relative and even the most backward culture on earth (Islamic culture) has its place and it’s not our business to go into any country or culture and try to change it for the better, since all cultures are equal.
So why doesn’t this apply to these Christian fundamentalists? Does the author – and any liberal reader – not realize that Dylan acts EXACTLY how the white man acted when he landed upon these shores so many years ago? Oh, look at these savages! They have no shoes! No rifles! No last names! No brick houses! How primitive!
Same thing here – oh look at these psychos! These kids can’t ever leave their house! They never meet anyone else! They hate sex and even think KISSING is a grave sin! They can’t talk back! They can’t go to college if they’re girls (and please, I went to college and all I got was $50,000 in debt and an IT degree nobody cares about – I wish I had gone to a trade school instead)! They think a woman’s role is to be a helpmate to her husband! They think a man’s role is to provide for his family! And they think the dinosaurs lived in the Garden of Eden! What backwards hicks!
Look, Dylan, liberals, whoever – at least those little girls and their mother still had their clitorises. At least they GOT to be homeschooled – any kind of education whatsoever, even home-baesd education can get you a face full of ACID.
But we’re not supposed to be sooooo judgmental of those Muslims, since their culture is equal to ours, unless you’re talking about fundamentalist Christians. That’s the only culture worth eradicating, apparently.
So I guess you can tell I loathed this book. Despite the positive message regarding forgiveness, I did. I read these books to test my own convictions, political and otherwise. I want to know if they stand up to the test. They usually do.
You know what would be brave? Writing about some silly teenage girl infiltrating a fundamentalist Muslim family and somehow stopping a female circumcision and then convincing the father that it’s okay for his daughters to go to school and learn something. But no, beating the dead horse of Christianity is just soooo much more fun.
Another reason for bringing up Islam whenever Christianity is bashed – 9/11. I have yet to come across a Muslim who truly believes that what happened that day was completely evil and that there are NO excuses for it. Yet liberals keep harping on about what Christians did centuries ago, and that’s why they write ridiculous novels like Faking Faith.