Saturday, August 2, 2014

What We Lost

Title: What We Lost
Author: Sara Zarr
Genre: Young Adult
Published: 2013
Rating: 7.5/10

Review: Sam is a teenager living in a small town of Pineview and her life is defined by the fact that she is the daughter of the local pastor, Charlie. It's a hot summer and Sam's life is complicated by her alcoholic mother heading into a rehab and her father being too busy to connect with her. A 13-year old girl, Jody, goes missing and Charlie is in the midst of police and media frenzy as he helps the grieving family and becomes their spokesperson.

It's interesting to see the book take a tragedy like a kidnapped girl and make it part of the scene, but not really focus on it. The focus stays on Sam's inner life, even though she takes part in trying to recover Jody, support Jody's family -- especially her older brother Nick with whom she feels a connection.

At first, Sam's inner narration feels overly dramatic. Her emphasis on how she is treated differently by being a pastor's kid seems blown out of proportion. But, eventually, I started to emphasize with her and and her problems start to feel much more real. The book is very character driven, rather than plot driven. The plot is mostly there to give insight into everyone, this is by no means a mystery type book.

I liked watching Sam figure out how to deal with her conflicts and get her life back on track. I thought the ending was much more positive than would be expected, but not so positive that it felt unrealistic. This is a nice, easy novel to read with some interesting character development, but not much plot. I enjoyed it.


  1. I've read enough of you're reviews to read between the lines :) I'l do better in the future I swear!

    1. I really did enjoy it. But not wildly joyously with abandon. More quietly smiling satisfied type thing.