Title: Having Faith Vol. 1
Author: Midnight x Cross
Publisher: Midnight x Cross
Genre: Slice of Life, Drama, Romance
Publication Date: October 23, 2023
Having Faith centers around a girl named Willow Evans. After a tragedy struck her, she was orphaned. To cope with the pain, she developed an imaginary friend named Faith. She convinced herself that Faith was all she needed in her life; however, this decision caused her to become an outcast. Everyone else at the orphanage thought she was weird and, therefore, didn’t want to become friends with her.
One day, luck struck her, and she was adopted; however, things didn’t become any easier. As she attended middle school, her classmates bullied her. One day, they threw a drawing of Faith out the window, and “Faith” retaliated which caused Willow to get in trouble. A boy named Jack ended up getting in trouble as well when he climbed out the window to retrieve her drawing.
Over time, Jack and Willow become friends and it causes Faith to get pushed away; however, Faith refuses to disappear. Now, the one she trusted to get her through her loneliest days has become the one she fears the most!
Willow is a complicated girl but also easily explained. Something happened in her life that left her all alone. Ever since she woke up in the hospital, her mind coped with it by creating her imaginary friend, Faith. Faith was her crutch to deal with the loneliness and since everything happened at such a young age, Faith became almost too real for her. Kids are impressionable and if they truly believe in something, it becomes very real to them and that’s what happened here. Over time, Willow’s nightmares of what happened transitioned from demons and monsters chasing her to Faith haunting her dreams all because “Faith” didn’t want to let go of their friendship when she met Jack.
Until then, Faith was only strengthened due to being outcasted for always talking to her and doing things together with her. The more she relied on Faith, the harder it was for her mind to deal with the fact that she wasn’t real. This makes Willow a very relatable character as a lot of kids go through a phase like this; however, in Willow’s case, it becomes extreme. All of it is symbolic of the incident that happened that sparked and created Faith in the first place. It represents a darker psyche and even Willow semi-realized it when she questioned who Faith was. This added a lot of layers to her as a character and made her interesting. It even makes you question whether or not Faith is real and even by the end of this first book, I’m still unsure which is a testament to how well it was handled and written.
The only other major character here is introduced a little past the halfway mark, and that is Jack. He saw Willow getting bullied and went to retrieve her drawing, thus getting in trouble with her. Since that day, the two slowly became friends. Willow expressed herself with her drawing which Jack expressed himself through song. They complimented each other and, for whatever reason, Jack developed a romantic infatuation with Willow, although, like most boys his age, he couldn’t come out with his feelings.
Because of Jack, Willow was introduced to a new world where others accepted her. She made friends because of him, making Jack the catalyst for Faith’s slow disappearance. It was always said that all Willow needed was to make a friend and without knowing anything about her, Jack became the proof of that theory. Because everything was so organic, Jack’s friendship became a powerful experience for Willow. After a life of being resented and bullied, someone finally came along, reached out with their hand, and accepted her.
You often wondered if there would be an ulterior motive with Jack; however, that motive never came because it simply didn’t exist. He truly opened himself up and made the effort to become her friend. Through his actions, you can tell that his feelings were completely genuine. In that sense, he became the new crutch for Willow to lean on and a solid crutch, indeed.
The rest of the cast were simply there to play their parts to help drive Willow forward as a character. Whether they were the kids at the orphanage, her new classmates in middle school, etc., they existed to bully Willow and drive her deeper into relying on Faith, setting up for the proverbial beacon of light when Jack was introduced.
Having Faith is a great story of how some people cope with traumatic situations and loneliness. It can even show what can happen if someone relies on their imagination a little too much and how it can quickly spiral out of control. In that sense, Willow is a fantastic character who shows many different sides, all of which help tell her journey.
The same could be said about Faith. As I mentioned earlier, with the way she was written, you often question whether or not Faith is truly real or if Willow fell so deep within her mind that it’s a situation where no matter how hard she tries, she can never truly let go of the imaginary person that was there for her for so many years.
It was refreshing to see Willow make actual friends and attempt to move her life in a new direction and Jack was the perfect pairing for her to do so. I did notice that there were a few key moments that did set the stage for the second volume and could cause Willow to relapse, though. I do have some theories but I’ll sum them up by saying that they are all based on the common thread that after high school ends, people end up drifting apart. The percentage of people who remain in contact after high school is very low and while some of Willow’s new friends have all but confirmed to be going that route, Jack is uncertain at this point.
Perhaps something will happen where he’s forced away from her and it will cause Faith to fully resurface or, perhaps, Faith comes back on her own and drives him away? Maybe Faith resurfaces and Jack is the one to stand by Willow’s side and help her disappear for good. There are a lot of directions the series could head in but one thing is for certain… all of them are interesting and I’m interested in finding out what happens next!
Great first volume!
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This item was purchased for review.