Friday, July 21, 2017

Lost girls by Merrie Destefano

When Rachel wakes up in a ditch, half buried in leaves she has no memory of how she got there.  There is more than one day missing though - Rachel has an entire year of memories missing.  The last thing she remembers is falling asleep listening to music in her own bed, she has no memory of cutting and dying her hair, losing weight, or making the bold decision to have a completely black wardrobe.  She has no idea why she has changed so much, or why she has let go of so many of the things she used to love.  Her parents are trying to be understanding, but the strain of her being missing has taken a toll on everyone.  When she returns to school she is in for an even greater shock, because her bestfriend is now her former bestfriend, and her new friends as the popular kids.

Trying to deal with the memory loss is bad enough, but an FBI agent is also sniffing around, trying to get Rachel to tell him what happened - asking her about missing girls around her age, missing girls names and photos that stir some deeply buried memories.  When she discovers a box hidden in her wardrobe that implies she has gotten involved with the clubbing scene Rachel is even more confused, especially when her friends freak out when she tries to ask questions.  As Rachel tries to dig into her recent past she gets more and more confused, especially when she discovers that she can fight - really fight, and that some people seem afraid of her.  Rachel is running out of time to unravel the mystery of what happened to her, because she may have forgotten what happened, but the people who did it to her know exactly what happened and can make it happen again.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up Lost girls as the description was quite vague and it could have gone several different ways - from the weird to the gruesome, what it did was strike the perfect balance between thriller / crime / science fiction / coming of age genres to create a unique and intriguing read that is best enjoyed in one sitting.  Because of the way Lost girls unfolds it is challenging to review it without giving away some of the best secret plot points and twists that make this a truly unique and outstanding novel. 

There are a lot of elements here that make it perfect for high school reading assignments with themes of friendship, drug taking, social control, peer pressure, self discovery, and making mistakes.  Beyond the themes it is also a well written and absorbing work of fiction that is screaming out to be made into a movie or mini series as it would translate well to the screen.  While it is aimed at teenagers, it also makes a great read for adults.  Because of the themes in Lost girls this book is best suited to older teens or younger teens who can handle mature themes (or younger teens who have an older person they can talk to if the book raises any issues for them).  A great read from a new voice in young adult fiction.

If you like this book then try:
  • What waits in the woods by Kieran Scott
  • Killer instinct by S. E. Green
  • Bang by Barry Lyga
  • Holding smoke by Elle Cosimano
  • Nearly gone by Elle Cosimano
  • The stranger game by Cylin Busby
  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Burning blue by Paul Griffin
  • The Christopher killer by Alane Ferguson
  • I hunt killers by Barry Lyga
  •  by Laura WiessSuch a pretty girl
  • Hate list by Jennifer Brown
  • Dead to you by Lisa McMann
  • Living dead girl by Elizabeth Scott

Reviewed by Brilla

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