Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publication date: February 17, 2015
Format: eARC, 320 pages
How I got it: Edelweiss
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Ever since the night of the incident with Luke Willis, the preacher’s son, sophomore Hallelujah Calhoun has been silent. When the rumors swirled around school, she was silent. When her parents grounded her, she was silent. When her friends abandoned her … silent.
Now, six months later, on a youth group retreat in the Smoky Mountains, Hallie still can’t find a voice to answer the taunting. Shame and embarrassment haunt her, while Luke keeps coming up with new ways to humiliate her. Not even meeting Rachel, an outgoing newcomer who isn’t aware of her past, can pull Hallie out of her shell. Being on the defensive for so long has left her raw, and she doesn’t know who to trust.
On a group hike, the incessant bullying pushes Hallie to her limit. When Hallie, Rachel, and Hallie’s former friend Jonah get separated from the rest of the group, the situation quickly turns dire. Stranded in the wilderness, the three have no choice but to band together.
With past betrayals and harrowing obstacles in their way, Hallie fears they’ll never reach safety. Could speaking up about the night that changed everything close the distance between being lost and found? Or has she traveled too far to come back?
If I’m being totally honest, I was a little hesitant to read this book just because I’m not one who enjoys a lot of religion in her books. Don’t get me wrong, I’m ok when a character has strong beliefs. I just don’t like to feel like there’s an agenda or like I’m being preached to. It’s a fine line for me. Since this book is set during a youth group retreat, I was nervous. But, in the end, I had nothing to worry about. That’s not to say there isn’t religion in this book. There is. It’s a centerpiece of the entire story. And I loved how it was woven into this book.
I’ve read a couple survivalist stories as of late and while they’re not something I want to read A LOT of, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed those I’ve read. I’m a big fan of contemporary stories and have enjoyed the addition of “something else” to the storylines. Something more than just relationship and family drama that tend to drive the plot in contemporary books. The Distance Between Lost and Found wasn’t simply a survivalist story, however. It was the story of a girl struggling to find her place in the world… at the time she was the most lost. Literally and figuratively. I loved how seamlessly the two paired together. That’s what made this book stand out most for me.
I found it easy to relate to Hallelujah, despite the obvious differences between us. When the book begins, we know Hallie is keeping a secret. It’s one that’s affected her life in a number of ways and left her an outcast among her peers. The secret isn’t revealed until quite awhile into the book and the bit of mystery surrounding it definitely added to the story. Hallie’s character growth throughout this book was wonderful. She started out the book fairly weak and more than a little conflicted, but her time spent lost in the woods served to bring out another side of her. By the end, I found her more confident and physically and mentally stronger. So much more sure of herself.
The secondary characters in this book were great, too. The ever-shifting dynamics between Hallie, Jonah and Rachel moved the story forward just as much as the things that happened to them while they were lost. I was unsure of Jonah in the beginning, but it didn’t take long for me to be singing his praises and wanting him and Hallie to move past the drama of their pasts and find something together. They were just too perfect together.
I really enjoyed this book. It started off a bit slow for me, but I was invested from the start. Once the action really started and the truth began pouring out, I couldn’t put the book down. Literally. I read it in one sitting, unwilling to leave my sofa long enough to even eat lunch. I never had the false sense of security where I believed everything would work out for this trio. I was kept on my toes, desperately needing a resolution. Excellent book. I look forward to more from Kathryn Holmes in the future.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.