Masterful plot for realistic fiction, but felt like I wanted more narrative.
Genre: YA, Mystery
No. of pages: 174
Five years have passed since sixteen-year-old Angie Favorite’s mother disappeared without a trace. Since that day, Angie has managed to go through the motions of everyday life—until the summer morning when she’s abducted from a mall parking lot. Angie narrowly escapes, and her attacker is arrested, but he takes his life in jail before he can offer an explanation for his crime. When his mother contacts Angie, begging forgiveness on her son’s behalf, the girl agrees to meet with her in hopes of finding answers to the seemingly random attack. But when she arrives at the family’s massive estate, she is overcome by an unshakeable sense of foreboding…
This read more like a middle-grade novel. While I enjoyed it, the tension built expertly, I found the pacing really slow. Also the protagonist Angie (Angel) felt immature most of the time. While she was ingenious and had a never-say-die attitude that was admirable, I failed to connect with her.
You get a sense very early on in the novel that there is a twist coming. And maybe I wasn’t paying attention, but I did not guess the actual twist. I had many scenarios lolling around in my head, some close to the mark, but none with the exactness of how this book unfolds. Which was a pleasant surprise. I like being out-manoeuvred by a well written novel.
I was also wanting more complexity – the novel is very simple – in fact it felt a bit sparse… which considering its length is not a flattering attribute. But I can forgive that considering it was only Karen McQuestion’s second novel. I’ve really enjoyed her later releases and you can see how she had grown as an author. Persistence and practice really pay off.
I feel her writing style needed some embellishment – I wanted a richer painting of the surroundings, sights, smells, feelings. And I think that was why I did not connect with Angie and felt the pace was slow. With engaging prose, I would have whipped through this novel in a matter of hours.
The characters have single motivations and although you get a sense of how the past has shaped them, there was no growth from the events in the novel. It was great realistic fiction though.
I don’t think I would have purchased this other than filling in McQuestion’s back catalogue from becoming a fan after reading ‘From a Distant Star’ and adding The Edgewood collection to my Library and TBR list.
Some strong story-telling elements, but tone and pacing could be improved. A great effort for this wonderful little novel.
Overall feeling: Interesting but needed more engagement…
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