Happy Saturday and welcome to my stop on the Have a Little Faith in Me blog tour!! I’m so excited because today I have a guest post from Sonia Hartl to share with you! Read on to find out what inspired her to write this book, more about Sonia, and enter to win a print copy of Have a Little Faith in Me!!
Have a Little Faith in Me by Sonia Hartl
Published by Page Street Kids on September 3, 2019
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance
"Saved!" meets To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in this laugh-out-loud romantic comedy that takes a meaningful look at consent and what it means to give it.
When CeCe’s born-again ex-boyfriend dumps her after they have sex, she follows him to Jesus camp in order to win him back. Problem: She knows nothing about Jesus. But her best friend Paul does. He accompanies CeCe to camp, and the plan—God’s or CeCe’s—goes immediately awry when her ex shows up with a new girlfriend, a True Believer at that.
Scrambling to save face, CeCe ropes Paul into faking a relationship. But as deceptions stack up, she questions whether her ex is really the nice guy he seemed. And what about her strange new feelings for Paul—is this love, lust, or an illusion born of heartbreak? To figure it out, she’ll have to confront the reasons she chased her ex to camp in the first place, including the truth about the night she lost her virginity.
What Inspired You to Write Have a Little Faith In Me?
This is one of those questions that I have an impersonal and a personal answer for. Both are true, but I’m always debating how much of myself I should share when it comes to HAVE A LITTLE FAITH IN ME, because this book is the most deeply personal one I’ve ever written. And because it deals with deeply personal subject matters that will vary from person-to-person (specifically sex and religion), there is always a little bit of fear that comes with showing your hand to a world that isn’t always kind. Especially a world that isn’t kind to girls who embrace their sexuality and make choices that are right for them as individuals.
Short and impersonal version: I was inspired to do better by girls after spending a month with cake and Hallmark movies. Despite their tooth-aching sweetness, they revel in the ‘evil ex’ roadblock, the mean girl who stands in the way of the plot’s intended power couple, and girl-hate is a tired trope I’m 100% over.
Longer and more personal answer: Growing up, the burden of sexuality was, by society in general, mostly placed on the shoulders of girls. Movies, TV, music, books all made it perfectly clear that boys only thought about sex and it was a girl’s job to hold them back. Reality is quite a bit different, but after being bombarded with this alternate-truth for all of my childhood, I went into my teen years unaware and uninformed. I came of age in a time when condom-awareness was at an all-time high, and that is certainly important, but my sex education started and stopped with how to avoid pregnancy and diseases. No one cared to discuss how to avoid heartbreak, pressure, emptiness, embarrassment, awkwardness, or anything else associated with the emotional hardships that can happen when having sex before one is truly ready. Because emotions belonged to girls, and no one gave a shit about girls.
I wanted to write a book I needed as a teen. I wanted to show how multi-faceted sexual experiences can be, and open up a dialogue about sex that dug a little deeper than ‘wrap it up and be safe’. Honesty about consent, about wanting to have sex, about not wanting to have sex, about the kinds of conversations partners should have before and during sex, and all of the things that I should’ve known before I had sex myself. The thing that inspired me most was looking back at my teen years, and seeing how different they could’ve been if only I’d been able to talk about those things openly. If only sex hadn’t been treated as a taboo subject. If only we stopped telling girls sex makes them dirty. If only we stopped telling girls not having sex makes them emotionless. If only we empowered girls to make their own decisions, and supported them in their choices. If only…
Sonia Hartl is a YA author who calls Michigan home, even though she’s lived in several different states. Her debut novel, HAVE A LITTLE FAITH IN ME is forthcoming from Page Street Publishing. When she’s not writing or reading, she’s enjoying pub trivia, marathoning Disney movies, or taking a walk outside in the fall. She’s a member of SCBWI and the communications director for Pitch Wars. She has been published in The Writers Post Journal and Boston Literary Magazine. She lives in Grand Rapids with her husband and two daughters.
What are your favorite romance tropes? Are you a big fan of enemies to lovers, or do you prefer something else, like love triangles or soul mates? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!