Five years have passed since Angie Favorite's mother, Laura, disappeared without a trace, and Angie still hasn't recovered. Sure, things look normal on the surface - she goes to school, works her summer job, and argues with her older brother Jason - but she can't shake the feeling her mother didn't leave by choice.
Angie's dad does the best he can, but his work as a musician keeps him on the road and away from home, where it's up to Angie's grandmother to keep an eye on the kids. She can't be with them all the time, though, and so Angie is alone when she's snatched from a strip mall parking lot by Scott Bittner. Angie narrowly escapes, and Bittner is arrested, but he takes his life in jail before he can offer an explanation for his crime.
When his mother makes contact, begging forgiveness on her son's behalf, Angie agrees to meet with her in hopes of finding answers to the seemingly random attack. But when she arrives at the massive Bittner estate, she is overcome by an unshakeable sense of foreboding... Part thriller, part coming-of-age tale, Favorite is an engrossing young adult novel in which nothing - and no one - is as it seems.
©2012 Karen McQuestion (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
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"Intriguing concept, simple execution."
Favourite was quick read more akin to short-fiction than a full novel. It wasted no time on set-up, extraneous sub-plot or relationship drama.
We jump straight into Angel Favourite’s near abduction which terrifyingly mirrors her mothers’ unexplained disappearance five years earlier. Angel reluctantly attends dinner with her attacker’s elderly mother and is sequestered for two nights at the family’s estate. Soon it becomes clear the similarities between her and her mother’s case are no coincidence.
The book progresses swiftly through the straightforward plot but manages to build a claustrophobic and foreboding atmosphere. The characters are utilitarian because the focus is story, not any personal arcs but they are serviceable if not totally compelling.
I personally had trouble connecting to the action thanks to the usual ‘clueless female heroine’ clichés – dropping their weapon halfway through the final chase, going to check out a noise by alone, injuries being acquired to prevent escape only to disappear when convenient etc.
Overall, Favourite wasn’t a bad read but it failed to fully engage me. I’m more of a character-driven reader which is why I don’t usually connect with short fiction. Favourite had an interesting enough premise to capture my attention but ran a little long without the characters and subplots to fill it out. Had Favourite been trimmed to a tight, short thriller I imagine I’d have quite enjoyed it.
I still recommend Favourite as a rare YA thriller/crime entry because that is an underappreciated genre that I wish there was more of.
"Meh. . ."
It was okay. Nothing new. The plot had a few holes. I did like that the main characters tried to go to parents for help. In so many books the kids are easily convinced that parents will not understand or believe.
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