Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr

Samara Taylor used to believe in miracles. She used to believe in a lot of things. As a pastor's kid, it's hard not to buy in to the idea of the perfect family, a loving God, and amazing grace. But lately, Sam has a lot of reason to doubt. Her mother lands in rehab after a DUI and her father seems more interested in his congregation than his family. When a young girl in her small town is kidnapped, the local tragedy overlaps with Sam's personal one, and the already-worn thread of faith holding her together begins to unravel. - Goodreads

Fun Quote:  It's hard to explain how it feels when Nick Shaw smiles at you. Not butterflies or blushing.  It just feels good.

My Thoughts:  This book started out a bit slow for me, but it was very worth pressing on.  It's YA and written in the first person point-of-view of Samara.   I don't always like Zarr's main characters, but I liked Samara a lot.  I identify with her in a lot of ways.  She is struggling with problems within her family that she doesn't want anyone to know about, and yet she wishes everyone did know about them so that she wouldn't have to pretend her life is perfect anymore.  Her struggles lead her to doubt her faith and everything she has been taught.  Zarr handles her struggles with amazing insight and delicacy.  Also appreciate Zarr for not putting in any language or sexual situations that would make me uncomfortable to recommend it to mature teens and adults.

A wonderful coming-of-age story that slowly unfolds to a lovely and satisfying end.

My review of Sara Zarr's other books can be found  here.


ali said...

Very nice review, thank you Mary!

And thanks for letting us know it's clean--so hard to find good YA that is anymore.

Diana Paz said...

Sounds like a good book, thank you :)

Bethany Wiggins said...


I wish I could jump into the scene on your blog-- it is beautiful.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Great review.
Lovely background!

Suzette Saxton said...

I love Sarah Zarr and was lucky enough to interview her for the QueryTracker blog. Thanks for this great review!