Valerie's Reviews > Once Was Lost

Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr
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Dec 01, 09

bookshelves: realistic-fiction
Recommended to Valerie by: Cara
Read in November, 2009

This isn't one of those books that just slaps you in the face with happy feelings at the end and I usually go for those types of books. So I wasn't sure I'd like this book because I usually don't like depressing books. Don't judge me, okay! It wasn't depressing but I wouldn't say happy. However, I was surprised to find that I liked this book and even more that I in a way appreciated it. I'll admit that I was on the fence of give this book 4 stars but I decided not to for these reasons:

Sam has her world just breaking all around her and she has just shut down from everyone and everything. She doubts things that she had always believed and questions go whirling around when a girl disappears from her church. I know that maybe some people might not like her expressing her doubts but it really didn't bother me all that much. Sam conveys that her life is bad without sounding whiny, a definite plus. And even though she is down for much of the book I never felt hopeless, just more somber.

What made me want to give it 4 stars was the father. I HATE him. Even after a week since reading the book I still resent him. He's a horrible father and a selfish son-of-a...dog. Sam was mature enough to accept him for being human and making mistakes even though she doesn't excuse him for not being there when she needed it. And she also does the same for her mother. I doubt I'd be so mature. But that is what I really liked about the book. I could really see everyone as a real person and I therefore could feel the unfairness of everything and really feel angry; with the blood rushing, my hands clinched, and the desire the throw the book across the room because I needed to hit something in my frustration. And I could feel very sad too.

Another reason I could appreciate the book so much was I could really get the symbolism of things that I could usually only get if I had a teacher explained them to me. I could see the symbolism in the weather, the broken stuff in the house, the yard and so many other things. I liked it that I could recognize them without having to read into every little thing. There is so much truth in Zarr's story, almost every character says some true at one point of another.

The ending was good. I still hate the father but maybe I could learn to accept it -this is a big MAYBE.
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Reading Progress

11/22/2009 page 25
11.16% "Finally got some pages in."
11/24/2009 page 224
100.0% "Uhhhhhhh......not sure yet."

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