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Review: The Lost by Sarah Beth Durst


It was only meant to be a brief detour. But then Lauren finds herself trapped in a town called Lost on the edge of a desert, filled with things abandoned, broken and thrown away. And when she tries to escape, impassible dust storms and something unexplainable lead her back to Lost again and again. The residents she meets there tell her she’s going to have to figure out just what she’s missing and what she’s running from before she can leave. So now Lauren’s on a new search for a purpose and a destiny. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll be found.

My thoughts

My first book by Sarah Beth Durst and I’m a bit disappointed. She always has these unique ideas that make me want to buy all her books at once. I guess it is a good thing that I didn’t do that. I enjoyed reading The Lost enough to want to read more by her but I didn’t get what I expected. Her overall execution of the idea was good, but something was missing for me and I had troubles with the main character.

A great, unique idea

I already fell in love with the idea of a town called Lost that harbors all things and people that got lost when I read the summary of the book. Once I started reading it, I loved this town even more. I liked that on the one hand this town was what I expected. That I read about the things I predicted like keys, all kinds of balls and just things that seem to get lost all the time. On the other hand this town comes with some surprises, especially that “lost” is not only about misplaced items.
On top of that I loved the life people live in this town. It had a feel of a post-apocalyptic world to me, the way people go through life in Lost, how they gather the things they need. The difference between a post-apocalyptic world and Lost is that I could imagine living in Lost, even if it was missing some basics that are part of our everyday life, because it seemed so magical and had this small town feel to it with its lovely residents.

An annoying main character, but great secondary ones

Sadly I was constantly annoyed by Lauren. It started off with how she reacts when she arrives in Lost. I have to give her credit that she didn’t know what was going on (unlike us), but to me she seemed kind of childish and started to freak out rather than just think and talk to people. At least that got better after a while, but I still never really liked her and always questioned her doings.
At least there were two secondary characters that I loved to pieces. First of all there is Peter (who is called Peter Pan that one time or other for a very good reason), a very interesting character I wish we could have gotten a little more of. He is one of the reasons I want to continue with the series, because I hope we get to know more of his past. Secondly there is Claire, the cutest little knife-carrying girl I ever read about. It sometimes felt like she is the grown up instead of Lauren. I liked her right from the start and she was always fun to read about.

A predictable ending that left me with mixed feelings

Pretty much from the start I had an idea what this town might really be about, how Lauren got there and how she could get back home. And I had the right idea, kind of. I have mixed feelings about these things because those facts took away that magical feeling of Lost for me. After getting to a certain point of the story I was disappointed that Lost was suddenly reduced to something so simple. It was exactly what I thought would happen but I always hoped that I was wrong. I am also not quite sure how to feel about all this because the ending was weird. It kind of didn’t fit the nature of Lost anymore and I really don’t know if I want to read the second book or just forget about that ending. At least Lost suddenly got that magical feeling back and might get interesting again.


The Lost didn’t blew my mind, as amazing as the overall idea is, but at least it made me curious about Sarah Beth Durst’s other books. I’m still not sure if I want to continue with the series because of my mixed feelings about the whole getting in and out of town scenario. I could imagine the next book to get real interesting again though.

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May 12, 2014