It was only meant to be a brief detour. But then Lauren finds herself trapped in a town called Lost on the edge of a desert, filled with things abandoned, broken and thrown away. And when she tries to escape, impassable dust storms and something unexplainable lead her back to Lost again and again. The residents she meets there tell her she’s going to have to figure out just what she’s missing–and what she’s running from–before she can leave. So now Lauren’s on a new search for a purpose and a destiny. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll be found…
Against the backdrop of this desolate and mystical town, Sarah Beth Durst writes an arresting, fantastical novel of one woman’s impossible journey…and her quest to find her fate.
THIS IS A SPOILER FREE REVIEW
I feel a certain affection for Sarah Beth Durst because I’ve read so many of her books, and I’m a huge fan of her sense of humor. The tricky bit about reading multiple books from the same author is that you start to build up an expectation, a standard of excellence, and every book of theirs should reach that standard. It’s hard not to compare their books against each other. But I’d have to say that The Lost comes with Sarah Beth Durst’s signature humor, but lacks the certain je ne sais quoi that I’ve come to expect from her other books.
What Worked for Me
Humor • • • You can’t pick up a book by Sarah Beth Durst and not expect to laugh at some point. This is the fourth book of Sarah Beth Durst’s that I’ve read, and The Lost definitely comes with Sarah Beth Durst’s signature humor and snark.
Characters • • • I wouldn’t go so far as to say they were all brilliant, all well-rounded and developed, but I think what Sarah Beth Durst’s humor allows for is a more easily forged connection between the reader and the characters. Lauren’s deadpan and sarcastic humor made me like her more, and made the banter between her and Peter spark off the page.
World building • • • It’s a very clever idea, and I love the details that Sarah Beth Durst packs into it. At its roots, it’s actually a very depressing idea, because we’re talking about people and things getting lost and forgotten and you can only leave if you can figure out (and then find) what you had lost. As a writer, I dig this, because it creates all manners of obstacles for the characters. As a reader, I was so frustrated on behalf of the characters because they have to fight for what they want.
Plot • • • Despite all the good things, even after 100 pages, I was a bit bored. There was just something…missing. I continued reading because I didn’t see a reason not to, but I didn’t feel that special spark, that tug that pulls me headfirst into a story. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the story, but I finished it with a sense of having fulfilled an obligation. Also, with the lingering question of how Sarah Beth Durst is going to turn this into a series, because it had a sense of finality at the end…
It’s not a book I would throw at you from across the room, but it’s a quick, fun read with an intriguing idea and interesting characters.
350 pages • Book 1 • Published May 2014 by Harlequin MIRA