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I Belong


Early Review: The Lost by Sarah Beth Durst

The LostTitle: The Lost

Author: Sarah Beth Durst

Genre: Fantasy/Mystery

Series: The Lost (Book #1)

Publication Date: May 20, 2014

Format: Paperback, 384 Pages

ISBN-10: 0373803591 (Harlequin)

ISBN-13: 978-0373803590 (Harlequin)

Reviewed by: Kristie

Synopsis:

Lost your way?

Your dreams?

Yourself?

Welcome to Lost.

It was supposed to be a small escape. A few hours driving before turning around and heading home. But once you arrive in Lost…well, it’s a place you really can’t leave. Not until you’re Found. Only the Missing Man can send you home. And he took one look at Lauren Chase and disappeared.

So Lauren is now trapped in the town where all lost things go-luggage, keys, dreams, lives-where nothing is permanent, where the locals go feral and where the only people who don’t want to kill her are a handsome wild man called the Finder and a knife-wielding six-year-old girl. The only road out of town is engulfed by an impassable dust storm, and escape is impossible….

Until Lauren decides nothing-and no one-is going to keep her here anymore.

Quick & Dirty: A dangerous and dark world where the lost and hopeless go to find “what they’ve lost” with wonderfully descriptive writing that will have you “lost” in this world.

Opening Sentence: For the first hundred miles, I see only the road and my knuckles, skin tight across the bones, like my mother’s hands, as I clutch the steering wheel.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Lauren Chase just wants to get away from the reality of her mother dying. Instead of going to work one morning, she turns in the opposite direction and just keeps driving. She has no real plan. She just needs to stay away long enough so she doesn’t have to hear the dreaded words her mom is going to say. Eventually, Lauren is lost in the desert and low on gas. As she looks for the nearest gas station, she gets lost in a dust storm. In the dust storm, she almost runs over a man, the most beautiful man she has ever seen. She just believes that this man is an illusion and continues driving until she makes it out of the dust storm. She sees a sign that says “Welcome to Lost”. She goes into the town, looking for a hotel and gas station. Her first impression is that this is one quiet and messy little town. She begins to see how strange it is when she starts meeting the townsfolk.

Lauren eventually learns that she can’t leave and why the town is called Lost. In order to find her way she must speak with the Missing Man but when she finally does he leaves her and the townspeople high and dry. When that happens, the people run her off and threaten to kill her since she just ruined everyone’s chances for leaving Lost. Lauren doesn’t know what to do but one little six-year old with a fetish for knives and teddy bears takes her in and helps her. Claire leads her to the Finder aka Peter, who just happens to be the man she thought she saw in the desert. Claire knows there is something different about Lauren and takes the chance to teach her all about Lost and it’s dangerous secrets. Lauren doesn’t want to learn the secrets she just wants to leave and go to her mother but leaving isn’t a simple task.

Sarah Beth Durst has a wonderful, descriptive writing style that really brings this world to life. This world has an Inception like quality that is always changing and it is easy to follow along with this crazy world. She also brings some amazing characters to life, really helping you to understand Lauren’s unease, terror, sadness and even the happiness that she feels while wondering around in Lost.

I really enjoyed Lauren. She just seemed like a normal woman with the aches and pains of life. She never thought she was special and didn’t really want the popularity that it gained. She just wants to go back home and take care of her ailing mother. Lauren wants to do what is right and help.

Peter is quite the mysterious character. He is quite beautiful and he likes to run around in his ankle-length trench coat with no shirt to show off his feather tattoos. He also likes to speak in riddles and rhymes, often confusing Lauren with what he really means.

The Lost is Sarah Beth Durst’s first adult novel but it could be read by all. The world is dark and there is murder and the threat of murder but it just shows how terrifying and bleak the world of Lost is. It feels as if there is no hope but in order to leave, the residents must learn what they’ve lost and gain hope in order to leave.

Overall, The Lost is one of my favorite books of the year. The ending left me tearful and sad but with an ounce of hope for what is to come for Lauren. I’m absolutely looking forward to The Missing and can’t wait until it comes out in November.

Notable Scene:

Standing, I tug down my shirt. The wrinkled white business shirt hits midthigh, thankfully, but I’m aware of his eyes on me as I glance out the window. I see houses that look as if they washed up o shore, jumbled together without streets. Debris is piled between them. I could have sworn this view was empty desert yesterday. “Ready to go home. And that’s not a whine. You want revenge on the Missing Man. What could mess with him more than sending home someone he didn’t want to send home?”

“Stayed up late thinking of that argument, didn’t you?”

“It’s a sound argument.”

“I told you, I’m the Finder. The Finder and the Missing Man, two sides of a coin, not the same. I bring them in, and he sends them on. I can’t send you home. But I can keep you alive.” He holds out his hand. “If you trust me.”

I don’t take his hand. “Did you sleep in my closet last night?”

He keeps his hand extended. “Do you trust me?”

It’s a line from a dozen romantic movies, and if I were the romantic sort, this is where I would swoon, take his hand, and pledge my devotion. I’m not romantic, but I’m also not stupid. So I take his hand and lie. “Yes.”

The Lost Series:

1. The Lost

2. The Missing (November 25, 2014)

3. The Found (2015)

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FTC Advisory: Harlequin/Mira provided me with a copy of The Lost. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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