Friday, April 1, 2011

Favorite by Karen McQuestion

Article first published as Book Review: Favorite by Karen McQuestion on Blogcritics.

Angie Favorite is kidnapped as she stops by the dry cleaner to pick up the laundry. The man is someone she knew from around town by the name of Scott Bittner. He kept dragging her even as she pleaded to be let go. “No, you need to see something” was the only reply each time. As she swung her arm at him and screamed, he seemed startled and let her go. As she took off running, he finally reached up to her in a wooded area on the outskirts of the area where she had left her car. Tripping over a tree root and smashing her head, the last thing she recalled was the giant coming to where she lay and lifting a cradling her head. Then she knew no more until she woke up in the hospital.

Her grandmother whom she lived with was concerned and they had not been able to reach her father. Her mother had disappeared five years previous. She had headed to work and never been heard from again. Because her father was a struggling musician, she stayed with her grandmother while he was on the road. Scott Bittner, the man who had kidnapped and hurt her was captured. He committed suicide before he could give an explanation.

Now the man’s mother Mrs. Bittner wanted to meet and beg forgiveness for her son’s actions. When Angie agrees to meet her trying to find answers, she is almost overcome with fear as she reaches the massive estate. Mrs. Bittner wants Angie and her brother to stop by for dinner to talk about how she can help take care of them monetarily.

With her Grandmother off on a cruise, her father is there to stay with them. When he is called away unexpectedly for an interview, they decide stop by and follow up on the offer. Life has just changed and yet Angie is not yet aware of just how wrong things can be. Soon –very soon– she will find the answers. Will she be able to save those she cares about?

Angie and her brother have gone though some rough patches. They are still young and yet have had to grow up rather quickly. Losing their mother and with no answer forthcoming to the mystery, they have lived with the uneasy wonder of it all. Their father is absent frequently and their Grandmother is their primary care giver. She has never cared for their father so it is an uneasy alliance. They feel twisted between the two, but handle it well. Angie has never given up on the idea that somehow–someway–her mother will be found. She will never lose hope.

Mrs. Bittner is a lonely woman whose daughter died quite young. Her son, while not quite normal is by all accounts a rather nice man. She cannot understand what went wrong and why he tried to hurt Angie. However, she has secrets she does not want anyone to know. She lost her own family and now wants to give Angie and her brother a start in life, and yet she seems a bit needy, maybe even just a little creepy.

In Favorite, Karen McQuestion has put together a story of sadness and despair. We find the lengths that people will go to in an effort to hold on to what they may have lost. The story is strangely compelling and twists into some strange and chilling venues. Angie is a complicated character, and her father is physically detached although whenever there, very emotionally available. It is a strange combination and gives the ending a bit of a surreal quality.
This is a very interesting young adult novel. I would recommend it for the parents that are trying to get their child more interested in reading, but need something that is just a little more distorted with a slightly dark side. Something, that while it does have a bit of a dark side is instilled with suspense and mystery. It is an unexpected story set with great characters. An enjoyable read.

Rating 4/5

This book was recieved from the author. All opinions are my own based off my reading and understanding of the material.

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