Monday, 5 September 2016

One Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards


  Series: N/A
Author: Natalie D. Richards
Page Count: 320
Published: October 4th, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
  4 Stars ★★★★ 

I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley. 

In this book, Sera and some of her classmates are going on a trip and camping in the woods. When the weather turns bad, the group is separated, and she wakes up the next morning to find that her supplies have been ruined and that there is a word written on her wrist. She and the others in her group are unsure of what to think and are suspicious of each other.

It becomes obvious that something sinister is going on as they discover that they all have words written on their wrists, and Sera's word is the only positive one. Now, they not only have to deal with their own personal problems, but the threat of being hunted. With no way to communicate with the outside world, they aren't sure if they will make it out alive. 

I was really excited to be approved for this book on NetGalley! I'm a big fan of mysteries and the idea of people facing danger in the woods sounds super interesting to me. I enjoyed most of this book and I was kept on the edge of my seat the whole time. I read most of it in a day. 

I like that this book starts off with the group in the woods. The plot began rolling very, very quickly and this got me hooked from the first few chapters. The relationships that the main characters had with each other were established pretty quickly, including some serious tensions and romantic histories. I feel like this foreshadowed the evolution of their relationships later in the book a little too obviously, because I knew right away who was going to end up with who. This irritated me a little bit, but I don't think it took away from the overall quality of the book.

However, I can't say the same about some of the events regarding the characters' relationships with each other that take place later on in the novel. There was too much focus on Sera's uncertainty regarding her attraction to one of the main male characters to be realistic in any way, considering their situation. If someone is fearing for their life, trapped in the woods, I don't think that they would be focusing on romance and such as much as Sera did. 

I feel like Sera was generally a likeable character, and each of the people in her group all seemed incredibly realistic and complex, like they were based off of actual living individuals. Sometimes they seemed a little over-dramatic, but overall I think that they really helped the story to move along quite well and made for an interesting cast of characters. 

Another thing that I enjoyed was the whole question of who the culprit was. I played a serious guessing game throughout this whole book, and while I was able to guess who was responsible and I ended up correct, there were many times when I doubted my suspicions and this made for a very suspenseful read. Unfortunately, I feel like the villain's motivation and reasoning behind all of their actions wasn't very believable. I have to admit that I was disappointed near the end of the book when all is revealed. 

If the romantic aspect had been handled better and the whole explanation behind the situation had been more believable, this definitely would have been a five star read. But besides those issues, I really enjoyed this book and I think it had a great creep factor with a ton of suspense! Using isolation, uncertainty and suspicion as a combination worked really well for this book, and I know that if the author writes another mystery or thriller I will definitely see if I can snag a copy. 

I recommend this book to YA readers who like mysteries. If you're interested in thrillers that take place in the woods this is a good pick for you.

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