Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2022) Featured Review of Small Favors by Erin A. Craig

Small Favors Cover Art

Small Favors by Erin A. Craig
Penguin Random House / Delacorte Press
Publication Date: July 27, 2021
ISBN: 978-0593306741

The residents of Amity Falls live small, peaceful lives, toiling away on farms, helping their neighbors, and tending to the town. Ellerie Downing’s life is no different. She helps her father with the beekeeping, cooks and mends for her family, and takes care of her two younger sisters. But something wicked is stirring in the woods surrounding Amity Falls. The monsters of legend that stalked the area have returned and have cut off their peaceful little town from the rest of the world. 

As summer turns to fall and supplies start to run low, the residents turn to a tricky and magical creature who promises to give them their heart’s desire in return for a small favor. But when the town folk begin to turn on each other, Ellerie realizes that something even more sinister is at play in Amity Falls and she must race against time to save her town and her family.

Small Favors is a slow-building, atmospheric, almost claustrophobic horror novel. Craig does an excellent job of building tension and dragging readers along through 450 pages of spookiness, just in time for an explosive ending. Every character and interaction lends to the feeling that things just aren’t quite right in Amity Falls and readers will enjoy the mystery followed by the abrupt, yet satisfying, ending that’s characteristic of the horror genre.

Small Favors is perfect for fans of other atmospheric horror like Ghost Wood Song by Erica Waters, Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand, and The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman.

Shelbie Marks

Other Nominated Titles

  • White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson (September 14, 2021)

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination. 

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten. The previous years’ lists are available on The Hub.