SMALL FAVORS, by Erin A. Craig, Delacorte Press, July 27, 2021, Hardcover, $18.99 (young adult)
Small Favors, a new young adult novel by Erin A. Craig, is a fresh take on the classic folk horror tale.
Ellerie Downing is waiting for something to happen. Life in isolated Amity Falls, surrounded by an impenetrable forest, has a predictable sameness. Her days are filled with tending to her family’s beehives, chasing after her sisters, and dreaming of bigger things while her twin, Samuel, is free to roam as he wishes.
Early town settlers fought off monstrous creatures in the woods, and whispers that the creatures still exist keep the Downings and their neighbors from venturing too far. When some townsfolk go missing on a trip to fetch supplies, a heavy unease settles over the Falls.
Strange activities begin to plague the town, and as the seasons change, it’s clear that something is terribly wrong. The creatures are real, and they’re offering to fulfill the residents’ deepest desires, however grand, for just a small favor. These seemingly trifling demands, however, hide sinister intentions. Soon Ellerie finds herself in a race against time to stop Amity Falls, her family, and the boy she loves from going up in flames. —Synopsis provided by Delacorte Press
Small Favors is one of those immersive novels that you don’t want to put down but need to every once and a while. Author Erin A. Craig (House of Salt and Sorrows) is excellent with the details. This Gothic read is full of atmosphere and mystery. From the opening pages right to the end, you feel as if you’re inside Amity Falls. The smells, sounds, and even textures envelope you.
Ellerie is the girl we all know. The girl who dreams of something more but is limited by her sex. She has to prove herself again and again, and yet she keeps going. Ellerie is a character you want to root for, and this book needs it.
Because Small Favors is dark. Like things keep going from bad to worse dark. And though the ending isn’t exactly happy, it is satisfying, which is much better.
Small Favors is a strong sophomore novel. While marketed to teens, it has a strong crossover appeal for new adults and adults, as well. I can’t wait to see what Craig comes up with next.