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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My Thoughts: The Favor by Megan Hart

Janelle Decker has happy childhood memories of her grandma's house, and even lived there through high school. Now she's back with her

twelve-year-old son to look after her ailing Nan, and hardly anything seems to have changed, not even the Tierney boys next door.

Gabriel Tierney, local bad-boy. The twins, Michael and Andrew.

After everything that happened between the four of them, Janelle is shocked that Gabe still lives in St. Mary's. And he isn't trying very hard to convince Janelle he's changed from the moody teenage boy she once knew. If anything, he seems bent on making sure she has no intentions of rekindling their past.

To this day, though there might've been a lot of speculation about her relationship with Gabe, nobody else knows she was there in the woods that day...the day a devastating accident tore the Tierney brothers apart and drove Janelle away. But there are things that even Janelle doesn't know, and as she and Gabe revisit their interrupted romance, she begins to uncover the truth denied to her when she ran away all those years ago.

**ARC received from Netgalley**

Some of you may know that I am a HUGE fan of Megan Hart and her writing. I have often raved about her books, which is interesting considering that she may be more known for her extreme adult content stuff. What I have loved about her way of writing erotic fiction is her ability to also tell a story (I hope that makes sense), what I mean is it's not all about the sex. In saying all of that, in recent years Hart has ventured into the world of mainstream fiction with titles that include Precious and Fragile Things (My Thoughts), All Fall Down (My Thoughts) and the newest one, The Favor. I was nervous about Precious and Fragile Things when I first got my hands on it, but I don't know why.The book was fantastic and it therefore solidified my faith that Megan Hart cannot write a bad book.

So it should come to no surprise to you that I really really enjoyed The Favor. I loved the writing, I loved the way the story was told and I loved the characters. What can I say- I loved it all.

The Favor begins with Janelle moving back to the town where her grandmother lives to take care of the woman in her last few months of life. Janelle faces this move with a moderate amount of anxiety as she hasn't been back in twenty years- she's also bringing her twelve year old son with her. Something made Janelle leave many years ago and has caused her to never return. As readers we have no idea what this is, and it really adds to the mystery if the novel. All we know is that it somehow involves the Tierney boys- specifically Gabe.

Some of my favourites stories to read are ones that go back and forth between past and present. Specifically when the past is slowly unveiling something that I (as a reader) am dying to know about. This is what Hart does with The Favor. She reveals parts the story using snap shots from both Janelle and Gabriel's memories. I really appreciated that we got to see how things unfolded from both perspectives. This allows us to not readily assume we know what's going on. We can make no assumptions in this story.

Janelle has a lot of issues. She is dealing with more than just issues with Gabe and his brothers. She also is dealing with a broken relationship with her father, her grandmother's poor health and the responsibility of being both mother and father to her growing son. She is a busy woman. I really liked her and I think that the way she would handle things was believable. She wasn't this perfect, has all her shit stuff together. She was flawed and I liked that. Gabe was also dealing with his own BS. Living with her father and younger brother and feeling like it was on him to keep everything together. Gabe was living with a lot of guilt and he was drowning in it.

The secondary characters in The Favor were also fantastic and complex. Andy, Gabe's brother, having survived a tragic accident that caused him to suffer some brain damage was a hoot. He was like a little kid but not. He and Janelle's son became fast friends. But Andy was also an adult and acted like one at the same time. I enjoyed the scenes where he was present the most. Nan (Janelle's grandmother) suffering from a cancer that was going to take her life, was wise and she would often give Janelle advice that would bring me to tears. There were also times (due to her illness) when she was not lucid and forget things or something that didn't make sense. Both of these characters really showed how vulnerable we are as humans.

Overall, I think Megan Hart did a fantastic job with The Favor. The story was interesting and the characters well developed. This was a quick read for me, which is saying something for a slow poke like me. I hope you go and pick this one up when it hits the shelves next week.

Happy Reading Everyone!

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