Article first published as Book Review: Life on Hold by Karen McQuestion on Blogcritics.
Kylie and Mason are the group she hangs with, but Blake and his friends are the, “cool Kids.” She is just not a part of that crowd. So when she is singled out by her principle to help a new student adjust she does not understand. She is still feeling her own way to belonging, but as usual, she goes with the flow. The new student Allison is quiet and standoffish. Rae struggles with finding a common ground. When she finds out that Allison’s parents just recently died in a fire, she tries very hard to understand. Allison is Blake’s cousin, but he goes out of his way to treat her rudely and taunt her. When Allison meets Rae’s mother, Rae is unsure how she feels about the bonding that occurs.
What Rae does not realize is that Allison is hiding her wounds; she is not mentally capable of dealing with her parent’s death. The unkindness of her cousin Blake and her difficulty fitting in, just pile more stones upon an already fragile ego. When Allison disappears, no one understands what has happened. Searching her heart, Rae believes she understands where Allison may have gone. Will she find her before it is too late?
In Life on Hold, Karen McQuestion has taken the horrifying events that occasionally happen in life and used it to build a lesson of understanding. The characters are very much like teenagers everywhere. Life happens all around them, but they only plug into what shows on the surface. There are often deep waters lurking in the shadows of their minds that are unplumbed. As with most kids, making fun and scoring off someone else often gets you laughs, but those laughs are often painful to the person on the other end.
Rae is a young woman with a heart, growing up without her father, but with a mother’s undivided attention has given her a different view of life. Trying to put herself in Allison’s place, she tries to be kinder to her. However, Allison herself makes it difficult. Can Rae reach deep within herself to find the solution to Allison’s disappearance. Will she be too late to save her?
I would recommend this book for the young adult reader. It is a harrowing look at what can happen when a teenager’s pain goes unnoticed. It is an eye opening look at challenges, which sometimes seem insurmountable. I believe it would be a great book to open dialog and create discussion. McQuestion puts together a realistic and fast-paced look at life.
Life on Hold
This book was received free from the author. All opinions are my own based off me reading and understanding of the material.