The Lost and the Found
Author: Cat Clarke
Publication: September 13th, 2016
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Format: e-ARC, 368 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller
Read: September 2016
I received an e-ARC of this book from Random House Children’s and Crown Books for Young Readers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
When six-year-old Laurel Logan was abducted, the only witness was her younger sister. Faith’s childhood was dominated by Laurel’s disappearance – from her parents’ broken marriage and the constant media attention to dealing with so-called friends who only ever wanted to talk about her sister.
Thirteen years later, a young woman is found in the garden of the Logans’ old house, disorientated and clutching the teddy bear Laurel was last seen with. Laurel is home at last, safe and sound. Faith always dreamed of getting her sister back, without ever truly believing it would happen. But a disturbing series of events leaves Faith increasingly isolated and paranoid, and before long she begins to wonder if everything that’s lost can be found again…
Plot – 3.5 out of 5 stars
This book was intense and powerful the entire way through. It’s so emotional and shocking and complicated. There was mystery and suspense. The whole story was complicated and you never really know where you stand with what’s happening. There were some things that were predictable, which I’ve had a tendency to do lately but the ending was mind blowing and unexpected. The only thing that really bothered me about the plot was that I felt like the romance was unnecessary.
Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I don’t know what it was about the writing style of this book but it was totally addicting. It’s fast paced and easy to read. It’s intense and powerful and every time I sat down to read, I was consumed by the story. I even stayed up to 2 am once. It was full of depth and it was captivating. But at the same time the narrative was jarring and sometimes it was hard to grasp my mind around what the main character was thinking and feeling.
Characters – 3.5 out of 5 stars
I am torn between my feelings on all the characters in this book. I liked some and did not like others. Faith, our main character, is interesting. I had a hard time connecting with her at first. The narrative is really hard to connect with in the beginning. But in general, Faith is really emotional considering everything that is happening in her life. She’s torn on what she’s feeling. She’s angry and vulnerable and annoyed. But at the same time, she’s happy and looking forward to getting to know her sister. She has a sarcastic kind of personality and voice and I liked her a lot more when she was annoyed and bothered by the actions of the people around her so it was frustrating when she was happy because it felt a little fake haha. I was torn with how I felt about the side characters. Some felt complex and interesting. They intrigued me and made me question what was happening in the story. But there were others that I felt were simple and not needed. One in particular I felt was only used for the movement of the plot instead of actually having a meaningful presence in the story. However the relationships between the characters were so intense and complex and I definitely didn’t see that ending coming, it affected everyone in different ways which blew my mind.
To be honest, I have warring feelings on this book. On one hand, it was easy to read but on the other, I never really had any desire to pick it up.
The plot is powerful. We follow Faith, a girl who has lived her whole life behind the shadow of her sister, who was kidnapped when they were kids. Thirteen years later, her sister Laurel is found and everyone has to adjust to this new presence and their new normal. The story was completely addicting and intense when I was reading. It was so fast paced and easy to get lost into that I would fly through it. My heart would beat so fast even when things were calm because I knew not everything was like it seemed. I knew to be suspicious, because it’s a thriller book so obviously don’t trust everything, but I was still caught up in the emotion and the suspense of it. Unfortunately, when I wasn’t reading, I had no desire to pick the book. Some plot points were predictable and I saw them coming a mile away which was really unfortunate because it made me want to skim and read quickly to get to the climax of the story. Some of the relationships between the characters were used only to move the plot along and to bring about the catalyst which pushed for the climax and that kind of bothered me. It felt like unnecessary drama and almost like lazy writing in my opinion. But that ending completely blew my mind. The twist was easy to figure out like I said, but the resolution afterward and the epilogue that almost felt like an open ending were intense. I did not expect that finale whatsoever and it left me grasping at straws and I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.
The romance in this book felt unnecessary and forced. I didn’t find anything compatible between the two characters and it was used more as a way to push the plot forward. That could’ve been done in a separate way that still felt genuine and didn’t make the relationship feel cheap.
Faith frustrated me most of the time. While I understand that she’s going through something so huge, after spending her whole life with this invisible presence being more important than she is, suddenly that presence is actually there and there’s a lot of conflicting emotions that come with that. Yet at the same time, I didn’t want her to be happy at all. I wanted her to be angry, to be frustrated, to yell and scream because she wasn’t taken that seriously. Yes, I know how unrealistic that sounds but that’s what I wanted. It obviously makes more sense for her to be conflicted between happiness and anger, and I still enjoyed seeing how she dealt with that though it annoyed me sometimes. Her narrative almost felt unreliable at times, but maybe that’s just the way it was written because she got suspicious real quick and she felt like she couldn’t really trust her instincts.
I wanted to talk a little about the parental units in the family because unlike most YA books, they are extremely prevalent in the novel. Faith and Laurel’s Mom annoyed me a lot. I felt like she was focused on things that didn’t necessarily matter and that she was more conscious of one daughter over the other. It made me angry and I’m still bitter that no one told her that to her face. Dad on the other hand tried his best to keep it civil but he still tended to be neglectful towards Faith. I can’t begin to pretend that I know what they were going through but if I was the kid left behind, I’d be resentful of the way my life was handed out. Michel is my favorite adult in this whole book. I don’t want to explain much of his involvement but he’s the only one who really takes into account how Faith could be feeling and is the only one to approach her to ask what she’s thinking. I loved their relationship.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The plot was fast paced, addicting, intense and powerful. Even though I had a hard time finding the desire to read this book, once I was into it, it was hard to pull me out. I was completely invested in the crazy story. I feel like all the characters could’ve been more developed and fleshed out in general, but I enjoyed Faith’s voice and the way she told her story and her personality. Honest to God, I’m still not over that ending. Serious mind fuck you guys.
So that’s it for this post! Let me know what you think of my thoughts. Let me know if you’re considering reading this book and I’d love to know if you give it a chance! Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you on my next post!