17 March 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Life on Hold by Karen McQuestion – releases 4/1/11

I will admit to being a fan of McQuestion’s books. I can always count on her books to be easily read and very polished. She is absolutely brilliant. I picked this book to read from Amazon Vine before I realized it was written by her. It was the cover that called to me. I wanted to know about the girl leaning against the fence and why she looked so introspective. I had tossed it aside when the author emailed me through my blog and requested an honest review. I told her I already had a copy and it was on my list to read this month…

I absolutely loved the storyline. There was a lot going on, but we quickly learn that the daughter is probably the adult in this book. We also learn that Rae is really good at putting on a front and finds it hard to say no. It’s unusual that I like a main character as much as I really did like her. She was multi-faceted and I felt like I really knew her.

Where she lost me was pulling Allison into the story. It felt a little too contrived and I really didn’t get how the whole thing went down. I think I found it simply too far-fetched with too many twists in her stories. Her introduction felt forced, like the author was struggling to make it all fit together. I’m not sure the story ever truly recovers until we find out her secret; at that point it starts to flow back together again. That was the only incident that I kind of felt that way about, but just an example. The author always managed to pull it together, but parts of the plot just seemed to be stitched in there.

Overall, I’m not sure that any of this truly distracts from what I consider to be a really excellent storyline. I’m also not sure that her intended audience, teens, would really notice. I’d recommend this for teens and for adults that enjoy young adult.

Fifteen-year-old Rae Maddox’s mom, Gina, is a big fan of fresh starts. Gina thinks of them as an adventure, but for Rae, each move is just one more friend lost, one more chance to feel like an outsider. But when they arrive in Wisconsin, Gina promises to stay put until Rae graduates. Cautiously optimistic, she wades into the social whirl at Whitman High School, making a few friends and even earning a chance at love. But when the vice principal pairs her with fellow newbie Allison Daly, Rae’s tentative happiness is jeopardized. It seems Allison was orphaned after her parents died in a suspicious house fire, leaving their daughter to bounce between relatives’ homes. When a sleepover at Rae’s house goes terribly wrong, Rae sees a troubling side of Allison—and learns a few secrets about her own mother in the process. Suddenly Rae is at risk of losing everything and everyone she cares about—unless she steps up and takes charge of her life once and for all.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Book count for 2011: 18

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