I really enjoyed reading Once Was Lost. I felt like I could relate really well to Sam, even though we're totally different people. In any normal circumstance, I would be bothered by Sam's antics. She is a actually an annoying character. Sam is the epitome of the "acting out" teenager and acts childish on many occasions. But I felt like she was a real person, and (this sounds cheesy) I felt like I connected with her.
Obviously, this is a book about religion, and since I'm not religious at all, I usually don't like these kind of books. But the religion in Once Was Lost was subtle, if that's even possible when it plays such a big part. A lot of books sound preach-y, like they're telling you how to act and what to believe in. But Sara Zarr did a good job with minimizing the narrative sermons and made it a book about Sam's faith, rather than trying to convert the reader.
One of the most interesting aspects of Once Was Lost was the kidnapping of a thirteen-year old girl who belongs to Sam's church. It added an element of mystery to the story and definitely made me want to keep reading. I had no idea how it would end and I liked the suspensefulness of the story. In addition to the kidnapping, I really liked the relationship between Sam and Nick, who is also the brother of the kidnapped girl. I liked how they could talk to each other and become closer during this tragedy. All in all, I thought Once Was Lost was a good book with an original plot, and I can't wait to read more of Sara Zarr's work. Plus I love the title and cover!
9 out of 10.
Release Date: Today!