Wednesday, May 1, 2019

YA ARC Review: The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Lovely and the Lost
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publication: Freeform (May 7, 2019)

Description: Kira Bennett's earliest memories are of living alone and wild in the woods. She has no idea how long she was on her own or what she had to do to survive, but she remembers the moment that Cady Bennett and one of her search-and-rescue dogs found her. Adopted into the Bennett family, Kira still struggles with human interaction years later, but she excels at the family business: search-and-rescue. Together with Cady's son, Jude, and their neighbor, Free, Kira works alongside Cady to train the world's most elite search-and-rescue dogs. Someday, all three teenagers hope to put their skills to use, finding the lost and bringing them home.

But when Cady's estranged father, the enigmatic Bales Bennett, tracks his daughter down and asks for her help in locating a missing child-one of several visitors who has disappeared in the Sierra Glades National Park in the past twelve months-the teens find themselves on the frontlines sooner than they could have ever expected. As the search through 750,000 acres of unbridled wilderness intensifies, Kira becomes obsessed with finding the missing child. She knows all too well what it's like to be lost in the wilderness, fighting for survival, alone.

But this case isn't simple. There is more afoot than a single, missing girl, and Kira's memories threaten to overwhelm her at every turn. As the danger mounts and long-held family secrets come to light, Kira is forced to question everything she thought she knew about her adopted family, her true nature, and her past.

My Thoughts: THE LOVELY AND THE LOST was an amazing and engaging story. Kira is the main character. She was lost in the woods for weeks until she was found by Cady Bennett and her search dog. Kira doesn't remember her time before the woods. After being adopted by Cady, she spent years learning how to be around humans, recognizing facial expressions, hating to be touched. It is only her relationship with her brother Jude, their friend Free, and the companionship of the dogs being trained for search and rescue that connect her to humans.

When Cady's estranged father Bales find them and begs for Cady's help in locating a young girl lost in the woods, Cady, Kira, Jude and Free along with their dogs go to help. The search is one thing but none of them expected to be surrounded by family secrets and town secrets too.

They meet Gabriel who is a teen living with Bales and who has secrets of his own. They also meet Mac who was a childhood friend of Cady's but who hasn't seen her for years. The kids learn that Cady, Mac, and Ash had had a close friendship like theirs but Ash was lost while they were on a mission in South America to rescue a kidnapped girl. Ash's disappearance still haunts all who knew him.

I loved Kira, Jude and Free. Each was a quirky, distinctly drawn character. The story is mostly told from Kira's point of view but Jude and Free still shine. I loved that they all had their problems and that they all found different ways to deal with them.

I couldn't put this one down and the characters will haunt my thoughts for quite a while.

Favorite Quote:
"Nothing's wrong with Kira," Jude said, cheerfully. "I mean, who among us doesn't have anger management issues and difficulty socializing in the human world, am I right?" He laid his hand on my shoulder, a warm and steady weight. Familiar. Home. And just like that, I was five years old again and six and seven, and Jude was the one person in this world that I trusted. Back then, I wouldn't have stared down the bullies. Back then, I would have attacked.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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