Book Review | Favorite Sons
Title: Favorite Sons: A Novel
Author: Robin Yocum
About the Book:
Hutch Van Buren and his three friends are at the wrong place at the wrong time when they run into Petey Sanchez, the neighborhood bully and a mentally challenged eighteen year old with a violent streak. In an unfortunate serious of events, Petey winds up dead and the band of friends make a life altering decision to hide the fact that one of them delivered the fateful blow to Petey.
Thirty-three years later, Hutch is faced with the ramifications of the decisions he made as a fifteen year old boy and now he must decide if it’s time to finally fess up and ruin the life he has made for himself, or continue to hide behind the lie that endangers young boys everywhere.
This was a fascinating read, and forced me to ask myself what I would do in the same situation as Hutch and his friends. Petey Sanchez was mean and vicious, setting fire to his own house when he was mad at his family. When he attacks the boys, it was self defense that ended in his death, but the boys were still too scared to go to the police for fear of being sent to juvenile hall. They didn’t have a very good understanding of the law and were afraid they would be in trouble. I watch the crime and murder investigation shows on tv, and I always wonder why people are so stupid. Why don’t they just go to the police in the first place? But this book is so believable. When Petey dies, Yocum does a great job at capturing the fear and confusion that the boys feel and you understand their need to keep it a secret. I’d like to think that I would have gone to the police, even if it meant turning my friends on me, but I honestly don’t know and I hope I never have to find out.
I particularly enjoyed the time jump, switching to Hutch as an adult. It’s fascinating to see who he has become as a character, since it is written in first person, and to see what happens to the rest of the boys. There is a bit of a mystery that develops as Hutch gets in contact with his old friends after so many years and I have to say, I didn’t see the end coming. There were times where I thought I knew where it was going, but then something else would come to light and I’d realize I had been wrong. I love books that keep me on my toes.
I have a love hate relationship with this ending. I wanted to know more out of pure fascination, but I felt satisfied with the final decisions that were made. I think this is a great book about how important it is to always do what you feel is right and not second guess yourself. The littlest things we do now can have a huge impact on our futures. I will definitely be reading anything else that Yocum puts out. This was a great read.
*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*