Skip to main content

Once Was Lost


Once Was Lost is a new YA literary fiction release by acclaimed author Sara Zarr.

Sam's mother is in rehab after a DUI that brought her longtime problem to light in a small town where news travels fast. Her father, a local pastor, doesn't seem as invested in Sam as he is in his congregation. Sam struggles with the hypocrisy and her sudden lack of faith in the belief system she has held since infancy. She misses her mother terribly - because even though she had to sometimes help her put on her lipstick when her hands shook too badly, living alone with her dad is like living with a stranger she knows too well.

But then a thirteen-year-old soloist in the church choir goes missing, and Sam's faith falters even more. Sam joins in the search, but nothing seems to keep her from feeling as though she is sinking into nothingness...

Once Was Lost has a deeply somber, realistically depressed tone about it. At first it is hard to grasp Sam's character as she is almost invisible within the heavy fog of hurt and doubt, but her pain is sympathetic. And the cloud of hypocrisy lingers over each side of the line, slowly peeling away the judgment and instead acknowledging human weakness. It is written exquisitely by Sara Zarr, and is fantastic for fans of Sarah Dessen. Of which I most definitely am one.

When Jody, the thirteen-year-old girl who goes missing, disappears, the portrayal is unglamorous and stark. It feels unsettlingly real. The cameras, the fear, the suspicion, the dreading the worst, the mobs of people you've never met crying at the public vigil - Zarr presents it all without gloss.

As someone who knows God exists, the doubting and questioning of God that Sam's character does was sometimes a bit much for me. However, Sam's character kept me invested and I didn't feel as if Sara was laying out a view or an opinion, but rather relaying a journey of Sam's tired soul.

There is a lyrical, truly sad prose about Once Was Lost that makes it both hard to put down and hard to read. It is haunting and believable - and I was honestly scared to find out what happened to Jody, and who it was in the town that abducted her.

By the end, I was convinced with this lovely novel that ends in a way that I will in no way spoil - but left me the urge to cry. I encourage all you perfectly insane bibliophiles to read Once Was Lost and find out for yourself how it all ends up.

*I received a review copy of Once Was Lost from Hatchette Book Group. Their generosity in no way influenced, nor sought to influence, my opinion of the novel.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Real Live Boyfriends

Real Live Boyfriends is a YA contemporary novel by E. Lockhart, and the fourth novel in the Ruby Oliver quartet.

Here we are on the last day of “Ruby Oliver Week” and if you aren’t already reading these books – well, why not?

But I’m more than sure most of you are – and hopefully you’re all caught up, and therefore not at risk of being spoiled by my review of Real Live Boyfriends. You’ve been warned!

Ruby Oliver is beginning her senior year of high school with a real live boyfriend: Noel.

At least she thought she was.

After having spent the rest of junior year and the beginning of summer being fully in love (okay, they never actually said the word, but the vibes were strongly in that direction), Ruby is now confused.

Again.

When Noel went to visit his brother in New York for a while, almost every day they talked on the phone and exchanged funny emails. She never once felt insecure.

Until all of a sudden – communication stopped. Ruby would call and he wouldn’t answer. She’d leave a voice mai…

Interview with Joanna Philbin!

Today we have an extra special guest! Joanna Philbin, author of The Daughters series, is here to tell us about the fourth and (*sniff*) final book in the series - The Daughters Join the Party - as well as answer some other questions!

Welcome to the Bibliophile Support Group, Joanna! We're happy to have you!

So, for anybody who hasn't read the first three books in The Daughters series (read my reviews here: The Daughters, The Daughters Break the Rules, The Daughters Take the Stage) can you give everybody a general idea of what they're about?

Lizzie, Carina, and Hudson are best friends who are normal fourteen year-old girls in almost every way. Except for one: each girl has a parent who is incredibly famous. And her parent’s fame complicates her life in a big way. Lizzie’s mom is a supermodel, but Lizzie isn’t what most people would call “beautiful” – in fact, she’s what most people might call “unusual-looking.” How do you deal with having a supermodel mother when you don’t …

#YAStandsFor Daily Social Challenge... Day 5!

In my final day of participating in the I Read YA Week celebration (you can keep partying, it goes on through Monday!), I found myself presented with a new challenge of: Create a graphic showcasing an inspirational YA quote.

I'm not super tech savvy and I've never created a graphic before. But with just a little Google searching and a download of an app, I was able to create this:


Thanks for joining me this week! I hope you all enjoyed it! Please follow or subscribe for notifications of new posts and reviews upcoming on the Bibliophile Support Group!

#YAStandsFor
@IReadYA