The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This may be my favorite YA book this year. In fact, in a long time. It's a simple read about a Christian youth camp that Hallelujah didn't want to go to because the preacher's boy told some lies and ruined her reputation. But she goes and meets Rachel, the new girl, and ends up on a trail with Rachel and a former friend, Jonah. They get lost. It's a bad lost. For days. The author details the lostness and the hunger, the lack of shelter and warmth. It's quite well written.
Within this story of being lost, getting injured, trying to be found, another story is taking shape. The lost and found is both physical and metaphorical. Hallie was a victim of bullying which led to mobbing. During the time she is lost and experiencing the things she experiences, she finds a different perspective. Having gone through an experience of this sort, I found a lot of deep meaning and truths in this process. Hallie's story is one of any of us who has felt helpless in a situation and eventually identified with the role of helpless victim. She examines her part of the problem and how she has contributed. Even though it is mostly a Christian fiction, the author examines the process and the solution much more deeply than simply turn the other cheek and forgive. She examines the damaged relationships from gossip, rumor, and how those relationships may be changed forever, particularly if the victim plays the victim role.
The book was empowering to me as I reviewed my own situation and found the silver linings, examined my silence where I needed to fight, yell, and make a scene but feared the mindset was already set. Maybe it was but what if it wasn't?
There were metaphors in the scenes with Jonah and the fish, the injured bird, and so many others. What could have been a simplistic "love your neighbor" story, took it deeper by examining the wounds, looking at the irritants that kept it infected, resolving to do differently, and loving yourself.
Clean read. I'll pass it onto my children.