Friday, May 28, 2010
Review: Faithful by Janet Fox
Author: Janet Fox
Release Date: 5.13.10
Genre: YA (Historical)
Keywords: Mothers & Daughters, Love, Family, Loss, Social status
Description (from GoodReads):
Sixteen-year-old Maggie Bennet’s life is in tatters. Her mother has disappeared, and is presumed dead. The next thing she knows, her father has dragged Maggie away from their elegant Newport home, off on some mad excursion to Yellowstone in Montana. Torn from the only life she’s ever known, away from her friends, from society, and verging on no prospects, Maggie is furious and devastated by her father’s betrayal. But when she arrives, she finds herself drawn to the frustratingly stubborn, handsome Tom Rowland, the son of a park geologist, and to the wild romantic beauty of Yellowstone itself. And as Tom and the promise of freedom capture Maggie’s heart, Maggie is forced to choose between who she is and who she wants to be.
I'm sorry to report that I didn't enjoy this book as much I had expected to. I still think that the cover is unbelievably gorgeous - I couldn't stop myself from picking it up and admiring it in the bookstore - but I found the pages within sadly lacking.
First off, I will say that Janet Fox appears to be a competent writer with a wonderful imagination - that was not my issue with the novel. My main two complaints stemmed from the main character and the pace of the novel.
Maggie is one of the whiniest characters I've ever read. I'll admit that her situation isn't desireable and I would be miserable as well, but after chapters upon chapters of her bemoaning her lot, I started to lose interest. I wanted her to take charge of her life and go after what she wanted, instead of merely talking about it! Part of her behavior (and lack of initiative) may be due the time period in which the novel takes place. If this is the case, I feel confident saying that my annoyance at this aspect of the novel may have been merely personal perference, rather than the fault of the character.
Usually, if a book has a strong plot and characters that I feel a connection to, I don't mind - and appreciate - a slower plot. Unfortunately, since I wasn't particularly attached to any character, the slow pace of Faithful made it difficult to for me to stay focused on the story. The only character that I truly enjoyed was Tom.
That said, I wasn't particularly impressed by Maggie and Tom's relationship. Maggie acted like a spoiled little girl most the time, so it was refreshing to see Tom confront her when she said particularly rude and narrow things. I really did like Tom's character, though he did come off as preachy in a couple passages.
Faithful did improve toward the end of the novel, so I will probably look into the next book, Forgiven. Readers who generally enjoy Historical YA should still take the time to read this novel, especially since it was released in paperback and can be obtained at a reasonable price.
I adore this cover! I've always wanted to go out west and this cover makes me daydream about Yellowstone! Plus, it totally made me pick up this book, even though it's something I might not usually read.