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The Compulsive Reader: Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr (What We Lost)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr (What We Lost)


*This book has been re-released under the title What We Lost*

As a pastor's kid, Samara Taylor is supposed to have a good relationship with God and an unshakable faith. But a lot of things in her life have made Sam a doubter. With her alcoholic mom in rehab after a DUI and her father more concerned with his congregation and appearances, Sam can't help but feel as if God doesn't exist. And that feeling is only compounded when a local girl is kidnapped, turning her whole community upside down.

Once Was Lost is a blunt novel of faith and what happens when everything you believed in is changed irrevocably. Sam is a very convincing and relatable character that readers will be able to connect with on any level, especially as her doubt about her beliefs is something that nearly ever person has confronted at least once in their lifetime. She brings up issues that some people may not think about, like not being included with friends because of her beliefs and who her father is. Zarr also does an excellent job at portraying the tense setting as the whole town deals with the kidnapping and fear begins to control others and accusations are slung left and right.

The best thing about Once Was Lost though is that it doesn't concentrate on the all of the things that go wrong, like the kidnapping, Sam’s mother's DUI, or inappropriate relationships, but rather examines its affect on Sam and her faith. Once Was Lost isn't a hugely dramatic novel full of twists and turns, but it is a gripping, sometimes heartbreaking look at how ordinary people learn to deal with a less than perfect world. Zarr’s latest book is an excellent, non-preachy look at faith and religion that any reader, believer or not, can enjoy.

Cover Comments: I like this cover a lot, I think it's very pretty and it strikes the perfect balance between being pretty and serious, which fits the mood of the book well. It's simple, yet it conveys what it needs to. Kudos to Little, Brown!

Once Was Lost will be released in October.

10 comments:

Megan said...

This sounds like one I'm definitely going to have to put on my wish list. Love the title, how fitting! Thanks for the excellent review.

...MY NAME IS ELENI AND I AM A BOOKAHOLIC... said...

This books sounds good, I like drama lol so I think I'll like it!

celi.a said...

I was slightly less than impressed with the first Zarr book I read, Sweethearts, but I have hopes that this one will change my mind. Great review!

The Compulsive Reader said...

After reading Once Was Lost, I really want to read more by Sara Zarr!

Tabitha said...

I really liked this book, too. I got an ARC not too long ago, and ended up reading this in one sitting because I didn't want to put it down. :)

I've read Zarr's other books, and I really liked STORY OF A GIRL, but wasn't very taken with SWEETHEARTS. She's still a great writer, though.

Jessica Kennedy said...

I have this and need to read it. Great review.

AnimeGirl said...

It sounds like a great book, I read her first two books and they were good but not great for me, but this one sounds awesome.

Janssen said...

I cannot WAIT to read this. I love Sara Zarr.

Morgan said...

I agree about the cover comment. When i first saw it--i instantly wanted to know what it was about. I'm really excited for it to come out. And i will be buying the book.

Readingjunky said...

Always love Sara Zarr'a stuff. Can't wait to read this one.

RJ