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The Lost

Review

The Lost

One morning, instead of taking the left turn to head to work, Lauren Chase goes straight through the stoplight --- and doesn’t turn around. Somewhere in the California desert on Highway 10, she drives through a dust storm into the mysterious town of Lost. She can immediately tell that something isn’t quite right about Lost: the trash scattered everywhere consists of normal detritus like broken bottles and papers, but also includes an abundance of car keys, eyeglasses and wallets. Lost is no ordinary desert town: it is a supernatural place where all lost objects --- and people --- go. And once you’re in Lost, no matter how far or fast you try to run, you can’t get out.  

The setting of the novel is compelling and fully realized, but the novel’s most impressive aspects are Lauren and her relationships with other characters…[which] delicately illuminate her spunk and her vulnerability.

Lauren can’t stay in Lost. She has a job and bills to pay, and more importantly, her mother is seriously ill and needs Lauren by her side. But as Lauren learns, the only way to escape is to allow the inscrutable Missing Man to help you discover what you have lost — and Lauren has no idea where to start. To make matters worse, when the Missing Man learns Lauren’s name, he leaves town without further explanation. Suddenly, Lauren is faced with dozens of angry Lost residents, who blame her for the loss of their savior. Lauren’s only allies are Peter --- the Finder who brings people and things through the destructive dust storm into Lost --- and Claire, an abandoned six-year-old girl with an unusual talent for survival. In order for Lauren to escape Lost, she must piece together a network of lost people and things in the hope that the Missing Man will return. But can Lauren find what she lost before she loses her mother, too?

THE LOST begins a trilogy about developing the courage to face being lost --- and then found again --- in the face of heartbreaking challenges. The setting of the novel is compelling and fully realized, but the novel’s most impressive aspects are Lauren and her relationships with other characters. Lauren is believably flawed, but her resilience and tendency toward compassion make her resourceful and interesting. Even in a situation where an entire town has turned against her, Lauren uses the difficulties to come into her own personal power. Her strength is also evident in her slow and utterly believable romance and in her relationship with Claire. Together, these relationships delicately illuminate her spunk and her vulnerability. Best of all is her relationship with her mother, a poignant account of love that should ring true to readers who have watched loved ones struggle with illness.

Though THE LOST is written for adults, older teens will also appreciate Lauren’s struggle with being lost and unsure of how to move forward. This journey of lost and found stands alone, but future books have more than enough material to continue a compelling story. Ultimately, THE LOST asks whether it’s such a bad thing to be lost --- after all, getting lost is sometimes the only way to be found.

Reviewed by Quinn Colter on May 19, 2014

The Lost
by Sarah Beth Durst

  • Publication Date: May 27, 2014
  • Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
  • ISBN-10: 0778317110
  • ISBN-13: 9780778317111