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Cover Reveal: SAY A LITTLE PRAYER by Jenna Voris

Cover reveal! Saved! meets Casey McQuiston in this wry, heartfelt tale of a teen who’s taking her church camp by storm—one deadly sin at a time. On shelves March 4, 2025!

Riley quietly left church a year ago when she realized there was no place for a bi girl in her congregation. But it wasn’t until the pastor shunned her older sister for getting an abortion that she really wanted to burn it all down.

It’s just her luck, then, that she’s sent to the principal’s office for slapping a girl talking smack about her sister—and in order to avoid suspension, she has to spend spring break at church camp. The only saving grace is that she’ll be there with her best friend, Julia. Even if Julia’s dad is the pastor. And he’s in charge of camp. But Riley won’t let a technicality like “repenting” get in the way of her true mission. Instead of spending the week embracing the seven heavenly virtues, she decides to commit all seven deadly sins. If she can show the other campers that sometimes being a little bad is for the greater good, she could start a righteous revolution! What could possibly go wrong? Aside from falling for the pastor’s daughter . . .

Scroll down to read a sneak peek, and preorder your copy here.

Cover Illustration: Louisa Cannell; Cover Design: Kristie Radwilowicz

Diligence, charity, temperance, patience, chastity, gratitude, humility.

This is what Pastor Young wants me to learn. This is what I’m supposed to write about, but the only thing I’ve learned so far is how smart I’d been to leave Pleasant Hills when I did. Hannah isn’t the first person Pastor Young drove out. I don’t think she’ll be the last either, and looking around the chapel now, I think this is how it starts. This is how he creates congregations who are willing to sit back and watch a girl get tossed onto the street without batting an eye. Because they’re all too afraid of accidentally committing some hypothetical, irredeemable sin to notice the ones happening in front of them.

There’s no such thing as a good sin.

But how does he know that? Did God descend from the heavens and tell him the only way to be truly holy is to shame teenage girls into repenting their imaginary sins? Why does Pastor Young get to decide who’s worthy—and why, in the entire time I’d attended church, did no one think to question his authority?

My fingers curl around the edge of the page, crinkling the paper and the list of sins printed at the top. Sloth greed, gluttony, wrath, lust, jealousy, pride.

Seven virtues. Seven sins. Seven days at camp.


Last week, I’d accidentally touched a live wire in science class, just grabbed it in my fist when I meant to pick up a battery instead. The shock lingered under my skin long after I pulled my hand away, and that’s how I feel now as an idea shoots its way down my spine.

Mr. Rider is expecting an essay on his desk next Monday, a clear, concise write-up of everything I’d learned at camp. He wants something humble. He wants an apologetic, reflective take on my past actions, and until right now, that’s what I intended to give him. But what if I learned something else? What if there was a way to prove Pastor Young isn’t as powerful as everyone believes him to be?

If I could find a way to commit each of these supposedly “deadly” sins, spin them into something positive and useful, it would completely negate his entire sermon. This week’s theme would cease to exist and everyone sitting in this chapel would realize what I’ve known for a year now—nothing Pastor Young says is true. He’s not our Salvation, he’s not the light holding the darkness at bay, and he’s definitely not the definitive voice of moral purity. In fact, he’s usually wrong.

And if he’s wrong about this, I think, watching him move from one side of the stage to the other, I could prove he’s wrong about everything else, too.

Like how he runs his congregation. Like how he treated Hannah.

I wouldn’t even have to stop at Mr. Rider. I could send my findings to the entire congregation, just file my name off the top and let everyone draw their own conclusions. I could slip it to the local paper, post it on every social media platform, or plaster Main Street with copies until it became impossible to ignore. People would notice. People would complain and the message at the core of every grievance would be the same—we’re better off without him.

Onstage, Pastor Young tips his face toward the ceiling. “Let us pray.”

The bleachers groan as everyone bows their heads, but I keep my gaze fixed on the open workbook in my lap.

“Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for bringing us together in this beautiful place, surrounded by your creation. As we embark on our journey this week, we ask for your guidance, your wisdom, and your presence to be with us. May we return from this retreat with a renewed sense of purpose and faith. In your name we pray. Amen.”

I grin down at the list of sins in my lap and bite back a vicious grin. “Amen.”

Penguin Teen