Author: Sarah Beth Durst (@sarahbethdurst)
Published: May 2014
Series: The Lost #1
POV: 1st person
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Source: Publisher & later purchased
Rating: The Royal Library, Top Shelf
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.
I've always had a strange fascination with things that are lost. We all lose things – our keys, pens, wallets, socks, earrings, and so on. But where do they go? In Durst's first adult novel, she explores a city full of lost items, places, and people. Unsurprisingly, The Lost turned out to be as intriguing a story as I hoped to find. Lauren spends her day driving to get away from problems at home, only to find herself pulling into an odd town called Lost. She quickly finds that leaving will be a challenge when the Missing Man – the only person who can help her find what she's lost – takes one glance at her and leaves.
The town of Lost is a charming, quirky, and somewhat terrifying place. It is both familiar and bizarre, and inhabited by people from all walks of life. As a narrator, Lauren is a comforting, realistic presence who turns out to have more determination and resourcefulness than one might initially expect from her. With only a light touch of romance, Durst slowly builds the base for what will likely become an interesting relationship between Lauren and Peter. Even though this is an adult novel, older young adult literature fans will also find this story appealing. Peculiar, humorous, and evocative, The Lost is a standout story of the year.
Highlights: Characterization is wonderful, from the tough yet adorable Claire to the odd yet surprisingly well-read Peter / Finder. Instead of wallowing, Lauren utilizes her strengths, works on her weaknesses, and tries to figure out a way home. The world of the Lost is fascinating, strange, and perfectly described in order to convey it's charm, oddness, and dangers. The romance is very light, sweet, and realistic. Even better, Durst infuses plenty of emotion in with all the entertainment. As a person who knows what it's like to watch someone you love struggle medically to live, Lauren's relationship with her mother really resonated with me. The ending is very bittersweet, and I can't wait to see what happens next.
Lowlights: I want the sequel now?
Rating: The Royal Library, Top Shelf (5 out of 5). I love this book, so it is going on the top shelves in the royal library where everyone can see it. The Lost is exciting, imaginative, and simply a spectacular story filled with outstanding characters. I'd highly recommend this book, because it is an incredible story.