Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What We Lost in the Dark - YA Book Review

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What We Lost in the Dark is a new YA novel by Jacquelyn Mitchard. Yes, THAT Jacquelyn Mitchard. Author of The Deep End of the Ocean. You know, that book that became the very first Oprah Book Club pick? I read that book a few years ago for a book club and gave it 5 stars. 5 stars, people.

I was excited to see how Mitchard transitioned into the world of YA, but once I started reading this book, the enthusiasm waned.

The story is about Allie Kim and her two best friends Rob and Juliet. All three of them have a fatal allergy to sunlight that prevents them from going to school and leading lives like "normal" kids. Compounding their unique lives is the fact that Juliet is dead - an apparent suicide - but Allie knows better. She knows that Garrett Tabor is behind Juliet's disappearance. She believes that Garrett Tabor murdered Juliet.

Allie's obsession with proving Garrett's involvement threatens her relationship with her mother and Rob. It could also mean threaten Allie's life.

I don't know if it was because the copy I was reading was an uncorrected advance copy, but I found this story hard to follow. There were so many times that I had to go back and re-read a passage to clarify things, and sometimes, even then, I still felt lost. The other problem could also be that I didn't read the prequel, What We Saw at Night. I would definitely say that before you read this book you should read the first book because the background information that you get from this sequel is not enough to help you understand who all the characters are and how the past evolves into the present.

Also, there is a part toward the end that gets kind of gruesomely descriptive. I don't have an age-grading for this book, but the characters are 17 and 18, so I'd definitely recommend that kids of those age and up read this book as long as they can handle some not-so-nice descriptions of what essentially is torture and murder. Yep.

What We Lost in the Dark is published by Soho Press and is available to purchase today. I received a free autographed advance review copy at Book Expo America with no obligation to review the book.

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