His Favorites by Kate Walbert

His Favorites

From the highly acclaimed, bestselling National Book Award finalist and author of A Short History of Women, a searing and timely novel about a teenaged girl, a charismatic teacher, and a dark, open secret.They were on a lark, three teenaged girls speeding across the greens on a “borrowed” golf cart, at night, drunk. The cart crashes and one of the girls lands violently in the rough, killed instantly. The driver, Jo, flees the hometown that ha...

Details His Favorites

TitleHis Favorites
Release DateAug 14th, 2018
GenreFiction, Literary Fiction, Social Issues, Contemporary, Adult Fiction

Reviews His Favorites

  • Diane S ☔
    DEVASTATING BUT TIMELY. Three young girls, fifteen, drinking, decide on a lark, stealing a golf cart for a wild, nighly ride, that has a horrific end. Enough so a mother feels the urgent need to give her daughter a new start, sending her away to a boarding school. What she encounters there will haunt her for the rest of her life.The me too movement, the abuse scandals in the Catholic Church, people entrusted with power of one sort or another, ins...
  • Perry
    Pugilistic pack of punch, pop, pummel--at 160 pages--for this era of reckoning for men who've abused positions of power and trust to sexually assault, rape and/or sexually harass females. His Favorites sketches--in shades of charcoal looking back from today-- the type of mental devastation suffered by a woman who was violated as a 15-year-old at a private boarding school in the early 1980s, and the detritis, still, of dreams wrecked by a charming...
  • Jennifer Blankfein
    With sparse, lyrical language, author of His Favorites, Kate Walbert, shines a light on women’s rights as she tells us about Jo’s tragic and unsettling experiences. After being in a deadly accident at 15 years old with her best friends, Jo, a wild and now emotionally broken high school student is sent off to boarding school. Her life at home crumbled, her friendships broken, and the new beginning her life away at school had the potential of b...
  • Kate
    I thought this was going to a winner for me. I love the plot- a 15 year old girl accidentally kills her best friend, her parents marriage tanks, and she finds herself at a boarding school where an English teacher preys upon his favorites. But I found the writing style stiff and jumpy. So much is left unsaid, unexplained. For such a short book, it gets bogged down by long sentences and constant detours. It is a short read, so if you like Walberts ...
  • Martie Nees Record
    Rating: 3.5 StarsGenre: General Fiction Publisher: ScribnerPub. Date: Aug. 14, 2018"His Favorites” is a slice of life story about the wealthy with two different plotlines connected by the female protagonist, Jo. It is written by the acclaimed American author Kate Walbert. Similar to Curtis Sittenfeld’s debut novel, “Prep,” this tale is a powerful coming of age story that spotlights (no matter how rich you are) the vulnerability and powerl...
  • Karen Foster
    There are times when you just feel you are in the safe hands of a truly skilled writer.As an older Jo narrates her tragic tale, looking back to when she is 15, she wanders off course, as memories materialize vividly, relaying her heartbreaking account, often veering away from the chronology. It’s as though she cannot bear to tell us what happened to her. And this kept me so gripped, anxious to discover her story. The writing is sparse and exact...
  • Chelsea Humphrey
    I think it comes down to the fact that this one just wasn’t for me. I wanted more, and it wasn’t what I had expected from the blurb on the back. The writing is excellent though, and I would be interested in reading another plot from Walbert in the future.
  • Holly
    This was really excellent. I remember how Walbert's A Short History of Women left me kind of cold, but this short novel struck me. The final image is incredibly sad and very powerful. After reading this I am all the more infuriated by Betsy DeVos's proposed new "protections" for the accused in school sexual harassment/assault cases.
  • Alison Hardtmann
    His Favorites by Kate Walbert is a novel best read with as little knowledge about it as possible. The book begins with fifteen-year-old Jo hanging out with her two best friends one night, when they decide to steal a golf cart and go joy-riding around the course. His Favorites is a very short novel, that covers a lot of ground, but each paragraph and sentence is so well-crafted, and the book is so well put together that it has the impact of a much...
  • Diana
    I’m being generous with the three stars; this tale was a waste of time. Too many stories out there like it, but written much better, or simply true.
  • Marjorie
    There is so much packed into this small book. The author conveyed such emotion and fully drawn out characters with few words. But, nothing was missing and the story resonated so much personally and with what’s going on in the world today.
  • Chris Carithers
    "I should have smashed those spectacles to glass so fine he would never not remember how I ruined his vision - decisive, quick, imperative - and wrecked that world of his own making, its heroes, its scholars, it founding members, generals, politicians, row after row after row after row of men and not real and not true for me, for me, not how I was, or what I saw and thought. Not anything. I could have; I should have; I did not. But I was fifteen....
  • Danni
    Honestly if this weren't so short, I might have abandoned halfway through. Jo kills her friend when recklessly driving a golf cart late at night, and so she gets sent away to boarding school, where she is preyed upon by a teacher. This a plot that I would expect to like, but the characters are never properly developed and the issues not fully explored. The writing is lovely but meandering. Would not recommend.
  • Kristen
    Sparse and eloquent... just a really perfectly constructed book that almost reads like a short story. Really lovely.
  • Carol Eshaghy
    A little gem of a book, narrated by Jo. It’s about losing her best friend in a drunken golf cart accident and the aftermath. While it addresses the #MeToo movement it is more the story of a young, vulnerable 15 year old and the effect the tragedy has on her and her family’s life.
  • Danielle
    Spotty and filled with run-on sentences that empty the story. There are better novels that tackle similar issues.
  • SpookBooks
    Where is the follow through? What's with the time skipping? There's no indicators to time skips. There's not really any reasons for them either. The plot is so convoluted and backwards I just...
  • Ray
    In the 1980s, a 15-year old girl joy rides a golf cart on a golf course with two girlfriends. She wrecks it and one of the other girls sustains mortal injuries. The driver heads off to boarding school to avoid the hate visited on her and her family by an unforgiving community. For different reasons, her parents are simultaneously breaking up.Most of the story occurs at the boarding school where the girl experiences hurtful and vengeful cliques, l...
  • Emily Cullen
    In a drunken driving spree in a golf cart, Jo accidentally kills her best friend. Fleeing her hometown she enrolls at a prestigious boarding school where a professor who is aware of her vulnerability begins what I will just say is an inappropriate relationship with her. Told from Jo's perspective many years later, this is a short book that is a spot-on commentary for the "#metoo-ers" and those who are not.
  • Ablondebibliophile
    I regret reading this book. There's a huge set-up - a deep dark, premise that is intriguing - yet the actual plot is a complete let down. That being said, I felt like the actual story was true to real life. The author describes several instances of female characters being abused, violated, let down, etc. in many contexts. The result is sort of a "free association" or train-of-thought retelling of the author's experiences being abused by a teacher...
  • Barb
    A "me too" story of a young woman burned at every turn and a teacher who thought he was bringing her enlightenment. Very short, an essay almost. I liked the writing, I could have had more. As is, I felt cheated and thought the character was too. Probably the point, but so understated I guess I missed it.
  • MBP
    A young woman's coming of age story, set in the late 70s (around my time, so the period references and attitudes resonated with me). There's cruelty here, both by and against the narrator, and only a hint of hope and justice at the end. I didn't care for the style: it seems overly descriptive of the school and setting, but gives short shrift to the characters. It's also told as a series of memories of the narrator's that aren't sequential, so the...
  • Cristina Lebron
    3.5 maybe. Her writing was beautiful, the story was lacking.
  • Lis
    Heartbreaking. So so good and so so sad. I love the writing and the story. Some may say the plot wasn’t much but I think the vignettes were evocative of memory and the way it might work, of what to include in telling such a story. Loved it.
  • Mark O'brien
    This is a dark, remarkably well-written novel about a teenage girl who accidentally kills her best friend. As her parents' marriage deteriorates and the community shuns the girl, she is shipped off to a boarding school where "the cool teacher" preys on her. The sentences are rich with detail and move left and right, all part of a sadly compelling story.
  • Ben Vore
    “Understand the beauty of a declarative sentence,” Master Aikens tells Jo, his pupil, in this slim, devastating novel of seduction and reclamation. By the end, the adult Jo — a 15-year-old when the charismatic, predatory Master enters as her English teacher at an elite boarding school — has turned his advice against him, shaping a narrative of her life which restores her place in it after being the victim of sexual abuse. What would be ta...
  • Peggy
    This is when I hate choosing stars. "Liked it?" How can that apply to a terse, disturbing novel that in 148.5 pages takes on the consequences of a teenage tragedy, a broken family, being groomed for sexual abuse, cruel and ongoing negligence by adults and a challenging narrator? And written in a fairly minimalist, time-switching style? Reading this just days if not hours after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary...
  • Tammy
    I thought it was ok. I thought it was going to be different from what it was. Three friends are together at 15 and like to have fun and party more than they should. Once the tragedy happens the story is all about the one girl and how her life is changed and what happens to her afterwards though you find out more about what happened that night as you go along in the story. She is much older when she writes about this incident and her life in high ...
  • Anne
    I was torn between 3 or 4 stars. I wanted to give it more stars, because the writing is actually brilliant and the topic (a girl who is sexually abused by a professor at boarding school, but is shut down by the system when she tries to tell her story) is timely. It all feels very real. But it was also hard to read. Although not a long book, the narrative kept jumping all over and it was often hard to keep track of where in the timeline I'd events...