Review: The Lost (Sarah Beth Durst)

The Deets:
Audience: Adult
Pages: 350
Publisher: May 27th 2014 by Harlequin MIRA
ISBN: 9780778317111
Genre: mystery-ish
Source: ARC from author

The Lost
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.

What am I going to do about Sarah Beth Durst? She keeps writing amazing books, and I keep forgetting to clean my house so I can read them.The Lost is her first adult novel, and I loved every page of it.

I won't lie, it did take me a few chapters to get into. I think I had this block already set up in my mind before I started reading it. I knew it was an adult novel; therefore, I was fighting it. I tend to stick with YA and the occasional middle grades book. I do not do "big people books". Obviously I got over my funk-- this Sarah Beth Durst, after all-- and I finished loved it. Once I got going, I could not put The Lost down.

Two things I have come to expect from Ms. Durst's writing: 1) It's going to be a highly original story, and 2) It's going to be so detailed that I will feel like I've been swept away along with the character. The Lost did not disappoint.

The details of the town of Lost were so fantastic I felt like I was there with Lauren. I could see the mounds of broken, lost things in the middle of the town. I could feel the resentment and anger of the townspeople toward Lauren. I could definitely sense the mystery behind Peter, and I swear I could choke on the dust from the Void. Simply put, it was remarkable. You know it's a good book when you get so caught up in the world you are reading that it begins to feel like your own, or at least a place you could find.

The story itself is something quite unique and wonderful, too. The Lost is like nothing I've read before. Lauren is a tragically believable character. I think readers will be able to connect with her, because on some level we have all given up dreams for life's responsibilities. The most fascinating character for me, though, was Peter. He is an enigma. He speaks in riddles and quotes famous works of literature. He almost seems nonhuman (and I'm still wondering what he is exactly), but he also shows the most humanity of all the characters. He is a very complicated fellow, and I want more!

By the time I got close to the end I had decided that I wanted to know what's coming. The groundwork for this great mystery has been set. There will be questions, and maybe a few not-so-big surprises, but you're going to enjoy the journey.


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