4/5 / Reviews / YA

Book Review: The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Lovely and the LostKira Bennett’s earliest memories are of living alone and wild in the woods.

She has no idea how long she was on her own or what she had to do to survive, but she remembers the moment that Cady Bennett and one of her search-and-rescue dogs found her perfectly.

Adopted into the Bennett family, Kira still struggles with human interaction years later, but she excels at the family business: search-and-rescue.

Along with Cady’s son, Jude, and their neighbor, Free, Kira works alongside Cady to train the world’s most elite search-and-rescue dogs. Someday, all three teenagers hope to put their skills to use, finding the lost and bringing them home.

But when Cady’s estranged father, the enigmatic Bales Bennett, tracks his daughter down and asks for her help in locating a missing child – one of several visitors who has disappeared in the Sierra Glades National Park in the past twelve months – the teens find themselves on the frontlines sooner than they could have ever expected.

As the search through 750,000 acres of unbridled wilderness intensifies, Kira becomes obsessed with finding the missing child. She knows all too well what it’s like to be lost in the wilderness, fighting for survival, alone.

But this case isn’t simple. There is more afoot than a single, missing girl, and Kira’s memories threaten to overwhelm her at every turn.

As the danger mounts and long-held family secrets come to light, Kira is forced to question everything she thought she knew about her adopted family, her true nature, and her past. (Amazon)

Title:  The Lovely and the Lost
Author:  Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Release Date:  May 7, 2019
Publisher:  Freeform
Source:  NetGalley

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My Review:

The Lovely and the Lost is one of those books that grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let go!

Kira was a wild child, found in the woods by Cady and her rescue dog. No one knows how long Kira was lost, alone in the woods, but she’s never fully recovered.

Adopted by Cady, Kira is socially awkward but thrives when it comes to the family business of training search and rescue dogs. She has a connection with the dogs that goes beyond the ordinary trainer-dog relationship.

Then Cady’s father shows up, asking for their help in finding a missing child. Cady is reluctant at first due to some bad blood between them, but eventually agrees to help in the search.

But it’s not a straightforward search for a missing child, as there are mysteries afoot!

What caused the falling out between Cady and her father? What happened to all of the other missing tourists? What’s up with Bale’s young protege Gabriel and what is he hiding? And can they find the missing girl before it’s too late?

All of the characters in The Lovely and the Lost were incredibly interesting and practically jumped off the page at you. I loved Kira, her adopted brother Jude, and their neighbor Finn! What a great group of friends!

And the dogs!

Absolutely loved the dogs! From the dog who originally found Kira and treated her like one of her own pups to the damaged dog that Kira was currently partnered with, they were all wonderfully developed characters in their own right.

Barnes is a very talented writer who always comes up with great characters and interesting, well-paced plots.

Really enjoyed this one and while there are no plans for a sequel (that I can find), I’d love to revisit Kira and her friends down the road.

About the Author:

Jennifer Lynn Barnes (who mostly goes by Jen) was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has been, in turn, a competitive cheerleader, a volleyball player, a dancer, a debutante, a primate cognition researcher, a teen model, a comic book geek, and a lemur aficionado.

She’s been writing for as long as she can remember, finished her first full book (which she now refers to as a “practice book” and which none of you will ever see) when she was still in high school, and then wrote Golden the summer after her freshman year in college, when she was nineteen.

Where to find Jennifer:  Twitter | Website

 

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