Favorite (ARC) by Karen McQuestion
Pub. Date: April 1st, 2011
Age Level: 12+
Source: For review.
Synopsis via Goodreads
Angie Favorite was just eleven years old when her mother disappeared, leaving Angie and her brother Jason to be raised by their grandmother while their rock-star father hit the road with his band. Since that day, Angie has gone through the motions of everyday life. She thinks she has everyone fooled — until the summer morning when she’s abducted from a mall parking lot. She narrowly escapes and her attacker, Scott Bittner, is arrested, but the weirdness has just begun. When Angie receives a letter from Scott’s mother, entreating her to meet so that she can apologize for her son’s actions, the girl reluctantly agrees. But it is soon obvious that Scott’s attack wasn’t random at all and that there is more to the strange Mrs. Bittner than meets the eye. In fact, she may hold the key to Angie’s mother’s disappearance. Part thriller, part coming-of-age tale, Favorite is an engrossing young-adult novel from a captivating author.
With a solid and enticing mystery, Favorite has shown me that Karen McQuestion is an author to watch.
In general, Angie was a likable, snarky, and realistic protagonist. However, I never felt that I connected with her and there were times where I felt like I didn't really know her as a character. It wasn't that I felt she was two-dimensional or under developed per say, more that there was more to her and I just didn't get to see all of it. And I'm sure that made no sense. Anyway, something that surprised me about Favorite was the quality of the supporting characters, especially considering the very brief length of the book. While I wasn't entirely surprised by Mrs. Bittner, she was a thoroughly crafted individual and probably one of the best characters, creeptastic ole hag that she was. Angie's brother, Jason, Mike, Hank, and even Scott Bittner were also characters that contributed beneficially to the story.
Favorite was a bit slow for me starting out, despite the quick pace of events. I'm not sure why but, despite what I would have thought, Favorite didn't read near as quickly as I expected it to. That being said, I was glad to see how well McQuestion managed to pack an entire mystery story into such a short novel. The plot never felt rushed and took it's time building up, painting on layer upon layer of suspense. Though sometimes predictable, Favorite had its twists as well. I, personally, love a good mystery story and McQuestion definitely satisfied my need for one. The eerie, old Bittner mansion also provided for a perfect setting.
As far as McQuestion's writing style goes, I was surprised how good it was as far as technicality. There weren't many errors that I came across, she was descriptive and consistent. However, I just didn't feel it. All the words for the emotions and everything were there but it was like something was happening before I fully absorbed them that stopped me from being pulled in like I like to be by writing. I honestly couldn't even tell you what exactly it was that I thought was missing. Which I hate because it always frustrates me when something about a book doesn't work for me and I can't totally explain why.
The way McQuestion drew everything to a close definitely gave me that sense of finality and completion. I felt really bad for Mike regarding a particular something but could understand Angie's side of it as well. I was left with a sense that everything would work itself out, though probably not easily. All the loose ends were pulled together and tied up and, overall, I think things were ended very suitably.
So, my main issue with Favorite was that I obviously had trouble connecting with the book as a whole. It could have just been me or maybe I'm not the only one, I really don't know. That aside though, Favorite was still an entertaining and well spent use of time. I think this would be great for anyone looking for a good, quick mystery. While I received my copy for review, I definitely feel this story is worth the $2.99 you'll pay for the kindle book, in case this seems like something you'd enjoy. As to whether or not I'll read it again, I'm not entirely sure but I would say it's a possibility.
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