Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Once Was Lost

Once Was Lost Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr

Book 2 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge
Book 2 of 50 for the New Author Challenge
Book 1 of 25 for the Support Your Local Library Challenge
Book 1 of 50 for the YA Reading Challenge
Book 9 of 25 for the MG Reading Challenge

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sam Taylor is from a rural town in Northern California where her father is the pastor. She's always under the scrutiny of the town, and even more so now that her mother is in rehab. When a girl from her church suddenly disappears, Sam questions her faith and her relationships with others as never before.

This is my first Sara Zarr novel and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. I read it in one evening and was thoroughly entertained.  I found Sam to be a sympathetic character. At age 15, she wants her freedom and independence, but at the same time she still clamors for attention and love from her parents. It's an awkward situation and one that I think Zarr writes with honesty.

This is a young adult novel that I have no hesitation recommending for grades 7 and up. While there are heavier themes addressed in the novel including alcoholism, kidnapping and possible marital infidelity, I appreciated that the novel was very clean. I did find the ending to be very predictable (Zarr's inspiration was Elizabeth Smart) but that didn't detract from the journey for me. I'll definitely be looking at other books by Sara Zarr in the future.

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Source: Library


bermudaonion said...

Boy, does this sounds good. I know a lot of people who are fans of Zarr - I suspect she's an author I need to check out.

StephTheBookworm said...

Glad you liked it! I have this one out from the library.

Shweta said...

I have read her Story Of A Girl . It was amazing too. I hope to read this soon..

Stephanie said...

I really liked Story of a Girl, and this one is on my TBR list. Thanks for the review. Even with the predictable ending, it sounds like something I would enjoy.

Charley said...

I thought Sweethearts was alright. It's not a story that has stayed with me, but I enjoyed it while I was reading it.