Author: Karen McQuestion
Published: November 2009 (Kindle ebook) and April 2011 by Amazon Encore
My Rating: 3 stars
Tags: YA | Suspense | Mystery
Includes: Brief Violence
First Lines: My dad claims to be psychic. He says things like, "I had a good feeling you'd ace that exam, Angie. I could have told you so."
Angel Favorite. Definitely not the most common of names, but then again, Angel or "Angie" doesn't live a very common life either. On her eleventh birthday, Angie's mother disappeared. Now five years later, Angie is still praying every night for her mother's safe return home. She and her brother Jason live with their grandmother since their dad is usually on tours with his band. After Angie is attacked and nearly kidnapped by a mysterious stranger one day, she wakes up in the hospital. She's told that her attacker was Scott Bittner but he killed himself before going to jail for his crime. After being released from the hospital, Angie is asked by Ms. Bittner, Scott's mother, for her to forgive Scott. She also asks Angie and her brother to come visit her home, the Bittner Castle. Angie agrees, for the sole purpose of hoping to find out why Scott attacked her and if it has anything to do with her mother's disappearance.
I thought the premise of the book was really intriguing and jumped at the opportunity to read this novel. Right from the start, Angie's character was a little dull and unmemorable. I kept hoping that the character development would improve, but unfortunately it didn't. Even after finishing the book, I can only think of a couple of generic words to describe Angie. For the first few chapters into the novel, her personality really annoyed me. For a sixteen year old, I would assume maturer thinking and actions. I can understand that if you were just attacked by a stranger and wound up in the hospital, you'd be pretty angry. However, I think it was just rude and selfish how she acted towards Ms. Bittner's apologies and to the news of Scott's death. Because of her shallow thinking, I was a little unsure of what the target audience of this book was.
I read this short book in just two days. It definitely held my attention and I was interested to find out how it would play out. My one wish is that it was longer. I think that if the climax wasn't rushed and there was more build up and suspense, it would have been better. It's like as soon as the author started to become comfortable with what she was writing, she quickly put an end to it. It had a satisfactory ending, but I just think it felt too rushed, making the suspense a disappointment. I'm not sure where the whole "psychic dad and daughter" roles played in the story either. It was an enjoyable read and not entirely predictable. It had a creative and interesting plot, but not enough character development. The author stood in the shallow end of the pool, when really she should have taken a running leap off of the diving board. If she had done that, I might have given this book five stars.
Cover Thoughts: It's definitely eye-catching and eerie. I think the editing of the picture is really interesting and I like the yellow glow at the top of the stairs - it's mysterious, like the book.