Jonathan Stiles is a 14 year-old atheist who is coping with his first day at the fervently religious St. Soren’s Academy when his older brother Ryan is found dead at the bottom of a ravine behind the school. As his world begins to crumble, Jonathan meets an eccentric stranger who bears an uncanny resemblance to Jesus Christ (except for his white linen leisure suit and sparkling gold chains). Jesus Jackson, as he calls himself, claims to be a Spiritual Contractor (he builds gods for people: 100% faith guaranteed) and he offers to provide Jonathan with some faith of his own. When Jonathan declines, Jesus Jackson urges him to reconsider, and then hints that Ryan s death may not have been an accident after all.
Inspired by Jesus Jackson, Jonathan teams up with Henry, his new best friend at St. Soren s, to investigate Ryan s death. But when the boys find evidence pointing to Alistair St. Claire (the new captain of the football team and Ryan’s closest friend) the police refuse to listen, and Jonathan is forced to take matters into his own hands.
Jonathan goes on to battle sanctimonious school psychologists, overzealous administrators, and a cavalry of Christian classmates on his quest to discover the truth about Ryan’s death and about God, high school, and the meaning of life, while he’s at it. But he keeps getting distracted by Cassie St. Claire Alistair s quirky, beautiful, agnostic younger sister who holds the keys to the answers that Jonathan is searching for, but who also makes him wonder if he should be searching for them at all.
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