Once Was Lost

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.

summary from book

My Rating: 4/5

Sara Zarr is one of my favourite YA authors. Her past novels have been nothing short of amazing and so I wasted no time delving into this one.

I love stories that focus largely on family. It's always been an element that I've greatly enjoyed reading about and Once Was Lost definitley touches upon this subject. I really enjoyed the contrast between Sam's parents and how differently they both went about dealing with their personal issues. Everything about this novel, especially the characters, were so realistic that they could have been anyone's family, anyone's parents. I sympathized greatly with these characters and by the time everything was said and done, cared a great deal about them which to me is always very important.

I liked how this novel touched upon religion. It was not preachy in any sense and focused on Sam as she questioned her faith, something she'd always accepted with little hesitation until her life started crumbling around her, giving her a reason to do so. I enjoyed reading about Sam's perspective on her faith as it evolved throughout Once Was Lost.

Romance lovers-there's a hint of romance in this novel although like is Sara's past two novels, it is not the major selling point of this story, more like a sub plot that shook things up and added an element of suspense as well as a positive outlet for Sam. It was very sweet and I felt added great contrast in relation to all of the difficult things that Sam was having to deal with in her life.

All in all, I loved this book and highly reccomend it. From my experience, you can't go wrong with any Sara Zarr novel.


  1. This sounds really good! I plan on reading this. :)

  2. This sounds great. It's in my TBR pile so I hope to get to it soon(:

  3. I've heard nothing but good about Sara Zarr. I just bought Sweathearts. Gotta read it!

  4. Nice review, I think I'll add this to my list!

  5. This sounds wonderful! Your review really intrigued me, especially your description of how the novel explored religion. This is such a compelling and complicated issue in adolescence, and it isn't often handled really well, in my opinion. I'm adding this to my TBR list.

  6. I've heard really good things about this one, I'll definitely have to add it to my list. Great review!




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