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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Review: Lost Girls by Ann Kelley


Lost Girls by Ann Kelley
Publication Date: July 10th, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 336 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Lost Girls
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
No parents. No rules. No way home.
Fourteen-year-old Bonnie MacDonald couldn't be more excited for a camping trip on an island off the coast of Thailand with her fellow Amelia Earhart Cadets-the daughters of the men and women stationed there during the Vietnam War. But when a strong current deposits the girls on what their boatman calls the "forbidden island," things take a turn for the worse: A powerful storm comes to destroy their campsite, the smallest of the junior cadets is found dead, and their boatman never returns. What once seemed like a vacation in paradise has become a battle against the elements.
Peppered with short, frantic entries from Bonnie's journal, Lost Girls is a page-turning, heart-pounding adventure story about a group of teen girls fighting for their lives.
There were two things that drew me to this book. (1) I am a huge fan of Lost and (2) Lord of the Flies is one of my favorite stories from high school. However, Lost Girls in no way measures up to either of those amazing stories. Not only did the characters grate on my nerves, but the writing style and setting bored me to tears. I have to admit, I strongly disliked most of this book. The problem is, I didn't know why I wasn't enjoying it for quite some time. Sure, I had an issue with the writing but I figured I'd get used to it. I assumed the characters would grow on me and eventually become heroes of some sort. Also, I had to know how it was going to end. I had to know who else was going to die and whether or not they would all be saved. Regardless of what I had hoped would happen, I disliked Lost Girls even more by the time it was over.

Bonnie is, at best, a soldier's daughter with some great survival skills. At worst she's a brat without many leadership skills. I highly disliked Bonnie for most of the story. I found she was just really boring and I hated her attitude. It seemed like she was always trying to be the hero while putting everyone else down. On her trip, she's taken a book with her. Something about motorcycles. She continually references this book and the main character in order to solve all of her problems on the island. Really?? I was unaware that a fictional story about a guy and his motorcycle would provide any survival tips when stranded on an island. Eventually, Bonnie loses her mind and starts referring to her motorcycle guy as if he were a real person.

I just have to point this out: I wrote down the word boring four times in my notes. I guess I had to remind myself how boring this book was. Albeit, there were a few interesting moments, but most of the time I was just flipping pages waiting for something good to happen. For a survival story, there was not nearly enough blood, death, gore, death, bullying, death, or death. Did I mentioned I would have liked more death? Maybe not death. Maybe just some maiming. At least that would have livened up the story line. And the writing was such a mood killer. The story is written in first person present and I am pretty sure the narrator is a twelve year old. The sentence structures are choppy and redundant and the inclusion of journal entries is pointless since the entire book is basically a journal. Even the parts that should have had me cringing or screaming didn't. Everything was too sugarcoated.

Lost Girls had a lot of potential, but it just fell flat for me. I struggled to even finish it at all. The characters are all pretty bland and dislikable and the writing style is so distracting and simplistic that it was hard for me to concentrate on the story. I kept reading because I had to find out what was going to happen, but even the ending was a bit of a let down. When it comes to survival stories, the more realistic the better. If you're looking for a great story about young people in dire circumstances you're better off picking up Ashfall by Mike Mullin or Lord of the Flies. Overall, I'd recommend skipping this one.

20 comments:

  1. Bummer, the synopsis gave me goosebumps and sadly your review deflated them...LOL I loved Lost and The Lord of the Flies is one of my favorite classics..thanks for sharing your review and I hope your next read is an awesome one!

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    1. I know right?! What a disappointment! Hopefully I saved you from suffering it :)

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  2. I haven't heard of this book, but sorry to hear you didn't enjoy this book. :(

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    1. Haha perhaps you haven't heard of it for good reason?

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  3. ooh I keep on confusing this book with The Lost Girl & Gone Girl. So many girls! Ack that character sounds pretty annoying, I hate when characters are constantly putting others down. Haha, is that book she referencing to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance? Oh wait, you said it's fictional. Sorry you didn't like this book. It's a shame it fell in the realistic/gritty aspect. :(

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    1. The Lost Girl looks AWESOME! And Gone Girl is supposed to be awesome as well.. LOL! And yes! That is the book! Is that a real book? Is it not fictional?? Obviously I didn't care LOL!!!

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  4. What a bummer that you struggled to finish - it sounds like such a great idea. (Although now I have to admit I've never read Lord of the Flies, and I probably never will...) But, I love LOST! So I would definitely grab this too, but now? I'll rethink that...

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

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    1. READ LORD OF THE FLIES!!! IT IS AWESOME!!! AND SO MUCH DEATH!!! But anyways. Yeah, skip this one if you haven't already picked it up :)

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  5. Yeah, I wasn't a fan of this book either. I wanted to DNF, but also wanted to know how it ended. Nice review, Anna!

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    1. RIGHT?? I was like, "But... I need to know how it ends... *flips 10 pages ahead*"

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  6. Wonderful review!(: I've seen only positive and glowing reviews of this one, so I'm glad to see that it's not as "perfect" as everyone keeps saying it is. I do love the concept idea though, but execution is what really matters! Thanks for the helpful review! :D

    ~Keertana
    Ivy Book Bindings

    P.S. - Are you really reading Through the Ever Night? They have ARCs out already? O.O I am soo jealous! ;)

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    1. The "perfect" reviews make me wonder about my sanity. For reals. AND I AM! I have connections so I managed to get it SUPER early :D MUAHAH! It's awesome!

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  7. This one sounded so good, but I have been seeing a lot of not so great sounding reviews from bloggers that I tend to have similar tastes with. I will be skipping this book. I hate being bored when I'm reading. Fantastic review chick!!

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  8. This is a total bummer! I got this one recently and am super excited to give it a go but your review makes me a bit hesitant. There is nothing worse than characters that grate on your nerves throughout the whole novel. I'll probably still give this a go just to see for myself. Thanks for the great, honest review. I hope I don't write boring down in my review..

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  9. Darrrrn :P I've seen this one around and it's getting all over the place reviews, but yours DOES make a difference. I'm not sure if I'll ever pick this one up as I hate books that don't catch my attention ;) Great review hun! :D

    Shreya
    Chocolate Coated Reviews

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  10. It's a shame that lost girls fell flat for you because like you, I loved lord of the flies as well. But I agree with you, from you description of Bonnie it sounds like she would make me want to pull my hair out! And if I can't connect with the characters, then I can't get into the book. At all.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for the great review, Anna!

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  11. sad to hear is BORING. I love lord of the flies . gr8 review

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  12. oh no.. I was actually looking forward to Lost Girls. I've had my fair share of boring books the last couple of months so I'm going to pass on this one.
    thanks for your honest review!
    - juhina

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  13. Aw, I hate when that happens with a book. I was thinking of picking this up, but glad to know I can skip it!

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According to FTC guidelines I must point out that all of the books that I review on my blog were either purchased by me or were given to me by the author/publisher. All words and opinions expressed are my own and I do not receive any monetary goods for writing reviews. I will state in my review which books I have received for review and which books I have purchased/borrowed. All images and synopsis are taken from Goodreads.com unless otherwise stated.
 
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