Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Lost Girls ~ Ann Kelley (eARC) review

Lost Girls
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
July 10, 2012
336 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from TBD/or Amazon

It was just supposed to be three days on an island. The Amelia Earhart Cadets - the four juniors, girls nine to thirteen, and five seniors, girls fourteen to seventeen - were in for a camping trip off the coast of Thailand. All American (save for one British girl) they're living in Thailand, during the Vietnam war, daughters of men and women stationed there.

The camping trip promises to be fun - even more so with Mrs. Campbell, a young, widow the girls find intriguing as their only adult leader.

Things start to go wrong, though, almost immediately. A terrible storm keeps them from reaching their desired destination, instead forcing them to land at Forbidden Island.

When things on the island only get worse that first night - and no sign of a rescue looks imminent, the girls know they will have to figure out how to survive until when . . . and if help does arrive.

With not everyone reacting the way Bonnie, our narrator, expects them to - some much worse and some so much better they surprise her, island life will be a struggle they never anticipated.

I think I went into Lost Girls expecting it to be a bit more like The Lord of the Flies and that's my own fault. While it is about a group of children and young adults - with one adult - getting stranded on an island and what happens when they have to fend for themselves, it's not as much (as Flies was) about morality and what people will do without the rules of society.

In fact, I almost wish it was more about that.

Lost Girls is a very good book about girls working together - and dealing with those few that don't quite wish to contribute - to survive. It continued to stay very nice and agreeable, though. Sure, they were girls and sure it was the 1970s so maybe it all worked for the setting, I don't know, but there was enough (without being spoilery) that did happen maybe thanks to (a lack of) some character's actions/reactions that seemed to lack repercussions.

I'm not saying that the girls of Lost Girls needed to go all Lord of the Flies on anyone, but everyone was really forgiving and accepting really quickly it seemed.

Things didn't need to be black and white, no. But they were, perhaps, a little too gray for me.

I could see likely why the character was doing what she was doing, but that didn't quite make it just *snap'* and okay for me one she admitted it, forgiving everything that happened. Maybe the characters needed to do that, but . . . I don't know. It was too smooth and easy for me. (Too gray.)

The random things that would be thrown in by Bonnie, even just little things, that would usually be used later in the story but didn't always fit in where they were introduced made the story not flow that well.

It also read more like a middle grade novel, though some of the content was probably more YA.

Rating:  7/10

Other books you might also enjoy:  The Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, and Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

thank you to LBYR and NetGalley for my egalley of this title

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