Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Beautiful Lost by Luanne Rice - ESSENTIAL

Rice, Luanne The Beautiful Lost, 304pgs. Point Publishing, 2017. $10.79 Language: G; Mature Content: PG; Violence: G

When her mother leaves, Maia sinks in to a deep depression. The depression worsens when her father is going to get married again to Astrid. Maia’s depression gets so bad that she needs to be hospitalized for her own safety. Maia wants things to go back to the way they used to be; just her, her father and her mother. Maia dutifully takes her medication, but misses her mother. She dreams of finding her and together they will watch whales and listen for whale songs.
Maia has a secret crush on Billy, a boy that attends her school, but lives in a group home. Rumors swirl about his troubled past. Maia watches out her window every night for Billy in his window up on the hill.
Astrid thinks Maia needs to be hospitalized again for her own protection. Maia secretly sneaks out of the house and runs away. Surprisingly, Billy comes with her. Billy knows a lot about how to evade authorities and how to stay hidden. Together Maia and Billy go on a road trip full of surprises and personal discoveries.

This was an amazing story, and I was unable to put it down. First I thought I wouldn’t like it because of all the talk about depression, teen suicide and running away. However, the book was not like I first thought. I loved the way Maia and Billy’s friendship developed, how they came to trust each other and how they dealt with what happened when it wasn’t what they had imagined at all. This is a book about self discovery, standing up for what is right, believing in yourself and being strong even when things do not go right. There is always a better way and you will always come through the hard times. There are several really great passages in this book and they are so well expressed.

MS, HS – ESSENTIAL      Reviewer Ellen-Anita librarian

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