Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr is a brilliant tale of a young teenage girl and her doubts in life, in God and in her own family.
Sam’s mother is in rehab, her father is struggling to keep ends meet, and as the daughter of the town minister Sam is feeling alone, excluded, and alienated from the rest of the town’s youth. Slowly but steadily her life has unraveled, and her family’s perfect facade is coming apart piece by piece, while it is witnessed by everyone in town.
As Sam is feeling overwhelmed with her own family’s problems, a tragedy hits her small town hard, when a young girl goes missing. Sam did not know her well, but she feels a strong connection to the girl, and in between the chaos of her own life, she tries hard to keep faith in life and participates in the local search mission.
Zarr has written a beautiful and realistic novel that exposes the weaknesses that lies within even the strongest person, and she succeeds in captivating the emotions of Sam in a way that makes the reader truly connect to Sam’s character.
It is rare that I come across a book, which I cannot put down, but Once Was Lost kept me reading. It gets five Story Time Stars from me, and I can highly recommend it to anyone, who loves getting lost in an exceptional novel.
Title: Once Was Lost
Author: Sara Zarr
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (January 4, 2011)
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr for the purpose of writing a book review. Versions of this review may have been posted on other websites or in printed publications.