Monday, March 7, 2011

Favorite

Favorite
Author: Karen McQuestion
Amazon Digital Services, 2009
170 pages

In addition to having one of the coolest author names ever, Karen McQuestion has made a name for herself as a successful self-published fiction writer. Favorite was released via the Kindle (for $2.99) before it was released as a book. The Kindle version has been a bestseller for several weeks now.

In a town two hours from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, sixteen year old Angel (“Angie”) Favorite is just trying to live her life and be a good person. Since her mother went missing five years ago, she and her brother Jason have lived quietly with their grandmother. Their Dad is a musician always on the brink of (but never quite achieving) his big break, so they live with Grandma for the purposes of stability. But now Grandma’s getting married, and things are changing. While our running errands, Angie is accosted by a strange man who tells her she must go with him, that there’s something she needs to see. This freaks her out, and she tries to run away, but the man pursues her. Next thing she knows, she’s waking up in the hospital . . . and her would-be attacker is dead.

This sets up the reader for all kinds of possibilities, and the author leads us down a meandering path with Angie and the would-be attacker’s mother. Mrs. Bittner is the matriarch of the town’s wealthiest family, and she lives in a mansion on the lake with her butler/driver and cook, the married couple Hank and Trudy. She’s drawn to Angie in particular. The more Angie resists, the harder Mrs. Bittner tries. When a series of events separates Angie and Jason from their Grandma and Dad, Mrs. Bittner insists that they stay with her. Things get creepy when the siblings move into the mansion. Think John Saul for younger readers.

Angie is the narrator of the story, so you know things will work out. But you might be surprised where the path leads, and how things wrap up. This may be a young adult novel (which I didn’t realize until I was already into it) but it’s full of psychological suspense. As a $2.99 Kindle download, I felt like I definitely got my money’s worth from this quick read. The paperback (priced more like a normal book) will be available on Amazon.com on 01 April 2011.