A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Devil Springs by Faydra Stratton is one of those books that a lot of people can relate to: whether you’ve struggled with your faith, grew up in a small town that you dreamed of breaking out of, or even if you have had less-than-pleasant relatives. This book was a little bit outside of my normal purview, as I often avoid books that focus on religion. As somebody who identifies as agnostic, I usually can’t relate to books that focus on characters struggling with their faith. But, when the author reached out to me about this book I was immediately interested – I’ve been trying to branch out and read genres of books that I wouldn’t normally read. Plus I’ve been trying to read more indie authors.
The devil has come to Devil Springs. Except he hasn’t. Not at all. But try and tell that to Mesa Crane’s grandmother, Mayor Avis Kneller. This is not the senior year Mesa had pictured for herself. She’s used to her grandmother’s restrictive dress code and no boys rule, but thanks to some skinny-dipping cheerleaders making some questionable social media posts, Avis is ratcheting up her expectations and decreeing spiritual warfare. Mesa is sick of being bullied into fake piety, but defying her grandmother will mean losing the small freedoms she does have, including her spot on the cross country team. Most unfortunate, since she’s started training with the school’s best (and okay, admittedly hot) athlete, Cody Howard. But when Mesa won’t get baptized—as Grandma Avis mandates—her isolation begins. The actual devil may not have come to Devil Springs, but judgment sure has. Can Mesa endure until graduation? Or will she find the swell of faith she needs to stand up to her grandmother once and for all?