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Life On Hold by Karen McQuestion

Life On Hold (edition 2011)

by Karen McQuestion

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445262,368 (3.4)1
Title:Life On Hold
Authors:Karen McQuestion
Info:AmazonEncore (2011), Paperback, 196 pages

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Life on Hold by Karen McQuestion



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McQuestion knows how to write a novel that captures your attention and keeps you interested from cover to cover. She is a versatile author since she writes both YA and adult fiction. In LIFE ON HOLD she writes from a 15 year old's perspective and takes you on a journey with Rae who is used to not staying put too long. When she gets to Wisconsin that all changes and Rae finally feels at home. In this quick novel you will become immersed in the story and enjoy seeing the characters grow and mature. McQuestion never disappoints and I would recommend this book to both teens and adults. 4 stars. ( )
  Mrsmommybooknerd | Jan 18, 2013 |
This book held my interest until the end, but I felt some parts were lacking. The mother being sometimes on top of the situation and other times really oblivious confused me. She was supposed to come off as irresponsible, and that she did, but she also just seemed inconsistent. The main character was okay, but it was really the supporting character, Allison, that made me keep reading.

Don’t get me wrong, I did like this book, but it wasn't amazing. I really did enjoy Allison’s story unfolding, how it didn’t really make sense and the reader was slowly let on to the situation (which makes sense because the MC didn’t really know what was going on either). The ending as well made me happy, it was a nice ending and wrapped up the story well.

Overall, some good, some blah, this book was kind of in the middle for me. If you the kinds of contemporaries with struggling, somewhat dysfunctional, lower class families (not to mush such a big category into one), give this one a try. ( )
  ilikethesebooks | Dec 9, 2011 |
Fun writing and wonderful characterization. Not much there in the way of plot, but I almost didn't miss it! ( )
  Emlyn_Chand | Sep 18, 2011 |
Article first published as Book Review: Life on Hold by Karen McQuestion on Blogcritics.

Life if sometimes really messed up when you are a teenager. Your parents don’t understand what you are going through. You can’t argue and win because they have all the answers. What Rae Maddox had a problem with, was moving. Every time she would just get settled in a new school, it was time to move on. Her mom was pretty cool but it was definitely something that created an issue for her. Because she handled it all with aplomb, her mom never really understood. At her current school, she has a couple of people that she hangs out with. She does not call them friends because then she will be moving and lose more people that are close to her. The pain is too much, and she will just have to start again.

Kylie and Mason are the group she hangs with, but Blake and his friends are the, “cool Kids.” She is just not a part of that crowd. So when she is singled out by her principle to help a new student adjust she does not understand. She is still feeling her own way to belonging, but as usual, she goes with the flow. The new student Allison is quiet and standoffish. Rae struggles with finding a common ground. When she finds out that Allison’s parents just recently died in a fire, she tries very hard to understand. Allison is Blake’s cousin, but he goes out of his way to treat her rudely and taunt her. When Allison meets Rae’s mother, Rae is unsure how she feels about the bonding that occurs.
What Rae does not realize is that Allison is hiding her wounds; she is not mentally capable of dealing with her parent’s death. The unkindness of her cousin Blake and her difficulty fitting in, just pile more stones upon an already fragile ego. When Allison disappears, no one understands what has happened. Searching her heart, Rae believes she understands where Allison may have gone. Will she find her before it is too late?

In Life on Hold, Karen McQuestion has taken the horrifying events that occasionally happen in life and used it to build a lesson of understanding. The characters are very much like teenagers everywhere. Life happens all around them, but they only plug into what shows on the surface. There are often deep waters lurking in the shadows of their minds that are unplumbed. As with most kids, making fun and scoring off someone else often gets you laughs, but those laughs are often painful to the person on the other end.

Rae is a young woman with a heart, growing up without her father, but with a mother’s undivided attention has given her a different view of life. Trying to put herself in Allison’s place, she tries to be kinder to her. However, Allison herself makes it difficult. Can Rae reach deep within herself to find the solution to Allison’s disappearance. Will she be too late to save her?

I would recommend this book for the young adult reader. It is a harrowing look at what can happen when a teenager’s pain goes unnoticed. It is an eye opening look at challenges, which sometimes seem insurmountable. I believe it would be a great book to open dialog and create discussion. McQuestion puts together a realistic and fast-paced look at life.

This book was received free from the author. All opinions are my own based off me reading and understanding of the material. ( )
  wrighton-time | Mar 26, 2011 |
Rae Maddox is just a typical high school girl, except that her mother, Gina, can't seem to stay in one place for more than a year or two (at most). This makes for a very frustrating existence. So she's waiting it out until she turns 18 and can strike out on her own. Live life as she wants to, where she wants to. However for now, she's simply existing. Not getting terribly close to anyone, for fear of just losing them after yet another move. Living a life on hold as it were. (Hmm ... guess where the title came from. :))

From the moment I met Rae, standing outside the fence of a children's mental health facility where she's rushed by a pack of crazies despite the warnings of an inmate she's come to think of as Paranoid Girl, I knew I liked her.

Rae does have two friends she comes to rely upon. She has to have someone, right? Her best friends, Kylie and Mason. To quote Rae: "Two people. That's really all I need. At some of my schools I didn't even have that." Do those words not perfectly sum up the pain and defensiveness of teen alienation?

The three of them stand in marked contrast to the so-called "cool" kids, so full of themselves. Rae has kind of a thing for one of the guys in that group, but that's not to be -- or is it?

Anyhow, Rae is enlisted to escort Allison, an even newer student, around the school. A girl who sticks out like a sore thumb. Dresses like a middle-aged frump. And seems to look down her nose at Rae. How weird is that?

This all being part of the, ahem, Rae Maddox Integration Program? Yeah, right.

Well, the truth about it comes out. And I actually didn't see it coming. And I'm usually GOOD at spotting that sort of thing.

Read the entire review at http://thebookgrrl.blogspot.com/2011/01/teen-angst-and-suspense-combine-well-in.... ( )
  infogirl2k | Jan 8, 2011 |
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"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"--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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