Finding Favor

Lana Long. CreateSpace, $10.99 paper (308p) ISBN 978-1-4903-6727-9
Long debuts with a coming-of-age melodrama inspired by Jane Austen's Mansfield Park. Seventeen-year-old Favor Miller has lived with the Browns ever since her father died, but the situation is anything but ideal. Save for the younger Brown son, Ethan, they've ignored, terrorized, or treated her like an unwanted guest. The final straw comes when the tyrannical Mr. Brown makes Favor sign a contract stipulating she'll stay away from Ethan, on whom she has a crush, in exchange for college tuition. Favor must choose between her education and her heart, even as Ethan falls for another girl. Sadly, the majority of the narrative is fueled by Favor's indecision and passivity, as she bounces emotionally between Ethan and his older brother, Tom, while caught up in the Brown family's various problems. Favor acts as a spectator in her own story, devoid of action or agency, putting up with mental and emotional abuse and neglect; even Favor's hobby of horticulture does little to redeem her. A shade of the original material, this overly dramatic story doesn't distinguish itself. Ages 12–18.
Reviewed on: 10/14/2013
Genre: Children's
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