Misfit McCabe by L K Gardner-Griffie

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Review first published at Front Street Reviews.

Stars: ****

Katie McCabe is a 14 year old girl who wants to be known for who she is and not by the McCabe family name. Katie lives with her dad, the sheriff of their town. Katie is a bit of a rebel. She is always getting into trouble with her friend Timmy but after they accidently set fire to a shed, Katie’s life just keeps going downhill.

At the beginning of the book is a Cast of Characters. This is unsual in a novel but if done right, can be helpful when a book has more than a few main characters. My only qualm with Gardner-Griffie’s Cast of Characters is that a little too much information is revealed. It doesn’t ruin the ending of the book, just tells a little about what’s going to happen.

I enjoyed reading Misfit McCabe. At first I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy it but I was wrong. The plot is well written and left open for a sequel although I’m sure the author would have done one by now if she intended to. I found myself emphasizing with Katie when she felt judged because of her name or when her family didn’t trust her but I also felt anger and frustration when she made poor choices. I think as a mother I imagined myself as her parent and how I would feel if Katie were my daughter.

There was one part that I felt a little unsure about. Katie expresses feelings for her male cousins. While I’m sure it’s common to feel attracted to cousins at first, her constant comments about it made me feel uneasy. I also found myself feeling angry at Katie’s father. I disagreed with some parts of his decision.

The author chose to include not only what Katie and the others were saying but also Katie’s thoughts. While in some books, personal thoughts are written in italics or in brackets or with the preface, “I was thinking…”, Gardner-Griffie chose to just put her thoughts in the text, right after what she says out loud. You might think that would be confusing but it’s not. What is said out loud is in quotations so unless you are speed reading, you will know the difference.

Since this book was self-published with the assistance of Lulu the front cover isn’t professionally done. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I will admit that the front cover did turn me off a bit. It’s not really poorly done, but it could have been better. Also I think the blurb on the back cover should have said more.The book did a good job of keeping me interested and in making me feel like the characters were real. The emotions I felt while reading prove that.

The only thing I can think of that would have made the story better was to elaborate more at the end. I find myself wanting to know more about how life was like for Katie at the end. However the ending is complete. It doesn’t leave you hanging or anything.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.