Thursday, October 1, 2009

Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr

Growing up as the pastor's kid, Samara Taylor has been used to living the perfect life: a happy family, a community within their congregation, and a loving God. But when Sam's mother is arrested for a DUI and has to go into rehab, Sam starts doubting everything she once believed. With an absent father who has more time for church than his daughter, Sam's faith is hanging on by a thread. But when a local girl is kidnapped in their small town, all the emotions that Sam has been holding in start to emerge. During this tragedy, Sam must decide for herself if she believes in miracles, her family, and most importantly, herself.

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!


austenfan said...

Thanks for the review! I just bought Sweethearts by Sara Zarr so I hope I'd enjoy a book by this author as well. :)

hollyy___x said...

Sara Zarr is great, can't wait to read this one