Book Review: Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr

As a pastor’s kid, it’s hard not to buy into the idea of the perfect family, a loving God, and amazing grace. But lately, Sam has a lot of reasons to doubt. Her mother lands in rehab after a DUI, and her father seems more interested in his congregation than his family. When a young girl in her small town goes missing, the local tragedy overlaps with Sam’s personal one, and the already worn thread of faith holding her together begins to unravel.

In her third novel, acclaimed author Sara Zarr examines the coexistence of affliction and hope, and what happens when everything you thought you believed—about God, your family, and yourself—is transformed.

I started this book this morning – it sucked me in and I had to stay up to finish it.  Once Was Lost is a young adult book about a pastor’s daughter.  Although religion plays an integral part of this book it was not at all preachy.  Much more the story of a young girl questioning her faith, family and friends as she faces the trials in her life.

Sam’s “perfect life” begins to crumble – her mother is in rehab, an acquaintance has gone missing, her father is too busy to be there for her, there is never enough money… Not knowing when her mother will return home or who is responsible for the disappearance of the missing girl creates a story that held my attention from start to finish.

Once Was Lost dealt with real life problems in a way that felt very realistic.  Despite the subject matter this book had a hopeful, satisfying feel to it. I felt connected to the characters and cared about what happened to them.

Content: Mostly clean (2 swear words that I remember) but deals with more mature subject matter (kidnapping, financial & marital problems, alcoholism).

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Source: Overdrive Download