Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Review: The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Lovely and the LostTitle: The Lovely and the Lost
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: May 7th, 2019
Pages: 328
Audio Length: 8 Hours and 29 Minutes
Genre: YA Mystery 
TW: Mention of abuse
Series: Standalone
Source: Audio
 

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 perfectly. Adopted into the Bennett family, Kira still struggles with human interaction years later, but she excels at the family business: search-and-rescue. Along 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.
What made me pick this book up:
Jenn told me to.

What did I like about the cover:
What a gorgeous cover. The colors are beautiful and I love the trees/mountains/clouds.

What made me read this book:
Every month Jenn and I are going to challenge each other to read certain books. This was what she challenged me to read this book.


What did I like the most:

Okay so let me just say that I was totally like "I don't think I like Jennifer Lynn Barnes, wah wah blah blah". So Jenn was like well just try it.
So I did.
And I texted her about 3/4 of the way through and said "You were right, I was wrong". Because I FELL IN LOVE with this book y'all. I did NOT want to stop reading it. I wanted to curl up in this book and let it read it to me ALL NIGHT LONG.

Okay, deep breaths. 

What did I like about? The dogs! I loved reading about the relationships with the dogs and their handlers. I loved seeing what they can do, and how their training was being used. I feel like JLB did a lot of research on not only dog training, but also search and rescue. 

Which brings me into another thing I loved. This book was written so well. I felt like it correctly portrayed PTSD and anxiety. I feel like it did well in the fact that it would help others *like myself* who have severe PTSD in showing that we aren't alone. That she understands that it's real and it sucks and we can live with it and learn to cope and get better. 
This book had an amazing pace. It was never slow and boring, but it wasn't always BAM BAM BAM GO GO GO so that I was feeling like I was in a whirlwind like I've felt with some other books. It was just perfectly paced. 
I definitely felt like it was realistic and not so far fetched that it felt like fiction.

I loved all of the characters. Kira had something traumatic happen to her, but she doesn't allow that to keep her from living her life or from helping others. She uses what she went through to give her strength.
And her brother, Jude. Oh my lord, Jude. I was in love. He was sweet and goofy and funny and sweet and I need him in my life. 
I loved Cady. I loved Bales. I loved everyone.

The mystery was amazing. The tension was legit. It was all so good. 

This book gave me so many emotions. So. Many. Emotions. Guys. Guys. Seriously. 

What didn't I like:
There wasn't really anything I didn't like. I do wish we got to see more of her childhood and her living out in the wild, and I wish it kind of went more into what she went through and how she was found. 

I also cried. And I hate crying. And I cried A LOT in this book. 

Would I read the rest of the series/more from this author?

YES

Jenn was right, I was wrong. I needed this book in my life.








“I understand now. The three of you share a single iota of common sense. I'm just a little unclear on which one of you has custody of it now.”
― Jennifer Lynn Barnes, The Lovely and the Lost


The Lonely DeadSummer HowlThe Starlight ClaimDay Zero (Day Zero Duology, #1)


Jennifer Lynn Barnes (who mostly goes by Jen) was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has been, in turn, a competitive cheerleader, a volleyball player, a dancer, a debutante, a primate cognition researcher, a teen model, a comic book geek, and a lemur aficionado. She's been writing for as long as she can remember, finished her first full book (which she now refers to as a "practice book" and which none of you will ever see) when she was still in high school, and then wrote Golden the summer after her freshman year in college, when she was nineteen.

Jen graduated high school in 2002, and from Yale University with a degree in cognitive science (the study of the brain and thought) in May of 2006. She'll be spending the 2006-2007 school year abroad, doing autism research at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.


 
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