An intensely romantic story of love, faith, betrayal and redemption
by Donna Freitas
HarperTeen, October 2018
Marlena Oliveira has been given an extraordinary gift. She has been given the power to heal. She can cure paralysis, mental illness, even a broken heart. People with all kinds of ailments come from around the world seeking an audience with her, believing her to be a saint. But it all comes at a price. Marlena must remain untainted by the influences of the secular world. She can’t have friends or go to school. She can’t date. She can’t even touch anyone. And the older she gets, the more trapped she feels. Marlena has never questioned her abilities until she meets Finn, a boy who makes her want to be the kind of girl who could fall in love. For the first time, she begins to doubt her gift, and herself. Is her gift real? And even if it is, is it worth it to sacrifice her chance at a happy life? And who would—or could—she be without it? All Marlena wants is to experience what it is to be normal. To swim in a bathing suit. To eat lunch in the diner in town. To be kissed. But if she gives up her gift, will she ever be able to get it back?
Donna Freitas is the author of several young adult and middle grade novels. She is also the author of adult nonfiction. She has written for national newspapers and magazines about religion, sex, hookup culture, and life on a college campus today, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and The Washington Post.