Title: The Lost
Author: Sarah Beth Durst
No. of Pages: 384
Origins: Harlequin MIRA
Release Date: 27 May 2014
Bottom Line: The possibilities of what-if make this a true page-turner
“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, impassible 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.”
Thoughts: Ms. Durst’s use of familiar plot devices, like the series format, a cliffhanger ending, and a major plot twist or two or three, may make The Lost feel a bit like a young adult novel. However, this story is definitely for adults with its tale of finding oneself and discovery of just how easy it is for one to lose something vital in a fast-moving world. Its themes of responsibility and self-sacrifice are unique to adults, as are Lauren’s own personal responsibilities. It is refreshing to get a novel that has all of the elements of various wildly successful YA series but is truly for adults.
Lauren is a great main character. She is vocal, capable, and observant. She is humorously honest but poignantly accepting of the responsibilities placed on her by the weird world that is the town of Lost, Ms. Durst uses Lauren to vocalize a reader’s doubts and confusion, growing interest, and eventual acceptance and does so in such a way that makes her not only sympathetic but empathetic as well. Her struggles in Lost and outside of it will strike a chord within any reader with elderly parents, just as her sacrifices will also remind readers of all the choices one has made in one’s life and the sacrifices they entailed.
The premise of The Lost is fascinating for everything a town filled with lost people and things implies. Ms. Durst draws readers in with this premise. Then, just when readers least expect it, she throws in a game-changer that has readers questioning everything heretofore accepted. Better yet, she never answers the questions raised by said game-changer, leaving readers frustratingly tantalized by the possibilities such questions hold. Lauren is a fantastic character, determined and vibrant with an every-man vibe about her that makes it easy for readers to empathize with her. In the end, The Lost is a great introduction to an exciting new series that makes one think and then think some more about the truly important things in life.