Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Lost Girls by Ann Kelley
No parents. No rules. No way home.
Fourteen-year-old Bonnie MacDonald couldn't be more excited for a camping trip on an island off the coast of Thailand with her fellow Amelia Earhart Cadets-the daughters of the men and women stationed there during the Vietnam War. But when a strong current deposits the girls on what their boatman calls the "forbidden island," things take a turn for the worse: A powerful storm comes to destroy their campsite, the smallest of the junior cadets is found dead, and their boatman never returns. What once seemed like a vacation in paradise has become a battle against the elements.
Peppered with short, frantic entries from Bonnie's journal, Lost Girls is a page-turning, heart-pounding adventure story about a group of teen girls fighting for their lives.
I saw this book's cover and read the synopsis in the publisher's catalog and immediately wanted to read it. The premise was similar to many books before it, but it was very well delivered on this time around. What caught my attention was the foreign setting and as well as the element of history within. Altogether, it was a winning formula.
Purple: my favorite color. I love how gritty the cover looks, it shows the massive amounts of rain the was received on the island the characters were stranded on. You couldn't quite see the cover model's face, not giving the reader any idea of what she might look like, leaving the reader to imagine what she looks like. You can also see that it was a tropical location by the palm trees in the back, they also showed the immensity of the storm's winds. The font brought the entire thing together by looking very military and old.
There was only one character I didn't like: Bonnie. You're probably thinking 'But she's the main character!'. I didn't overall hate her, but I just didn't like how indecisive she could be over very simple matters. Whether it was her feelings about another character or something even more trivial, she just couldn't seem to make her mind up on anything. I really enjoyed Mrs. Campbell because of how she was able to make me feel angry towards her due to how well written she was. Not many characters can illicit such strong feelings from me, but she was written just so, making her a character who was drowning in her own troubles and was suddenly expected to ensure the survival of a bunch of young girls.
Grittiness was a big feature in the writing of Lost Girls. Having that gritty feel in the writing was essential for the story because of it's setting on the island without any of the amenities of home (running water, bathrooms, electricity, etc.). The short journal entries were a good add in for the writing; not too long that they got boring, but not short to be pointless. I found the setting of the island to be fairly realistic (to the extent of my knowledge, at least) with the frequent tropical storms and lush jungles. It made for an entertaining setting, providing unforeseeable challenges for the girls stranded. The plot was well rounded and it didn't leave with a huge cliffhanger or leave many strings loose. It got to the point fairly quickly and demanded my attention the entire way.
The end was a good one, it rounded things off where there will not be a sequel. This was a novel with few flaws, I'd recommend it to people looking for something original or to fans of survival books. I give Lost Girls a 4/5.