Tuesday, July 12, 2011

REVIEW: Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr

Sara Zarr is an absolute genius. I've only read two of her novels so far, and already she's impressed me with her writing style and the beautifully written voices in her stories. There's so much that she packs into these slim little books that I can hardly believe it.

I bought Once Was Lost after I read and loved Sweethearts earlier in the year. I don't often seek out books that deal with religion or faith, but in the hand of Sara Zarr, I think anything can be possible. Once Was Lost is such an interesting story of faith. Faith that has been shaken on a personal level with the breakdown and dysfunction in one's family but also a shaken faith and belief in the goodness of people in a time of tragedy in a small community.

I really love Sam as the main character of this book. People seem to make a lot of assumptions about the perfection of Sam and her family because Sam's father is a pastor. And it just isn't true. Especially not now, when Sam's mother has been checked into a rehab centre after a DUI. And Sam's father's concentration is less on his family and more on his congregation. Sam feels a bit lost and begins questioning herself and also her faith, especially after her town is rocked by the kidnapping of a young girl.

I love that this story is told in a very gentle manner. And while dealing with some really difficult things, this story is mostly Sam's transformation. She begins as this misunderstood and rather lonely young girl and as the story progresses, she becomes to realise things about herself and her family and her community. It's really well done and I can heartily recommend this book to absolutely everyone.

Once Was Lost made me think and it made me feel. Sara Zarr is an incredible storyteller, don't miss out.


  1. I really want to read this. I love Sara Zarr's writing. Thank you for the wonderful review!

  2. Yet another name to add to my list of authors to check out :)

  3. I loved Story of a Girl but I wasn't too fond of Sweethearts so I've been hesitant to try anymore of her writing. You may be convincing me otherwise... :)

    1. I had a problem at school trying to find a book, and this one popped up, so I checked it out and started reading it. The beginning was a little slow, but it turned out SO good. Coming from a 14-year old girl who can never find anything, that should say something. I read Once was Lost by Sara Zarr and fell in LOVE with it! I look forward to reading others by her! She is such an amazing author; you will never want to put her books down!

  4. from all the brilliant reviews Ive read of Sara Zarr's books I think I really have to get around to buying myself some of her books soon!

  5. I have always kind of wanted to read her, but haven't made it that far yet. Glad it was worth the read though!

  6. Luisa - You're welcome!

    Jenni - Oh DO! I LOVE Sara Zarr.

    Sophie - I really want to read Story of A Girl now! But you should definitely pick up Once Was Lost!

    Raimy - Yes, DO!

    Kailana - It really is :)


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