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Lost Boy by Shelley Hrdlitschka
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I received this eARC from Orca Book Publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of this book in any way.

DNF at 22%

I just couldn't do it. This book is beyond mediocre, it's downright offensively bad. It's boring, the pacing is dismal, none of the characters are interesting or act remotely normal, the dialogue is wooden and childish, the writing is simple and awkward, the worldbuilding is awful, and it felt like a sequel, not a spin-off. I haven't read the other book that supposedly introduced Jon, the horny and passive MC, but this isn't a sequel, so I shouldn't have to read any outside material to understand this character, the world he lives in, or get any grasp on what is going on. I thought this was going to be a similar book to The Chosen One, a novel about a girl who lives in a polygamist compound and falls in love, but is assigned to marry her uncle, and has to make a perilous decision to abandon everything she's ever known for a world she knows nothing of or live a life where she can never be happy. Instead, I got backstory told through long exposition paragraphs, horny teenage boys ogling boobs, emotionless passages about characters that were never introduced, and soap opera drama ("She's in the hospital!" "She's getting married on Sunday!" "To your father!") Like, please. Are you kidding me? I don't have time for garbage. ( )
  Faith_Murri | Jan 5, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Jon, the Lost Boy of the title, is running away from his community, Unity, which is a polygamous community. He has been caught kissing a girl and decides to leave before he is banished. Unfortunately, he is not prepared for the 'real' world. Taken in by Abigail, who herself was from Unity, in her home in the nearest town where other lost boys have found a safe haven, Jon finds it increasingly difficult to fit in. Added to the difficulty is Abigail's rule that every lost boy must complete high school if he is to remain in her home.

Jon has only worked in construction since he left school in Unity. At school all he learned was mainly religious studies and anything that the Prophet deems appropriate, so high school is too much of a learning curve for him. His life spirals downward out of control, as he discovers drugs and alcohol, and he eventually finds himself homeless. At his rock bottom someone from his past comes back into his life and there is the potential for a change in his situation.

Anything else will be spoilers, so it has to be read to find out how it turns out for Jon.

It was a fairly easy read and most of the characters were well-written and fairly believable. What's hard to believe is that such communities, like Unity (which is a fictitious place), still exist in our society today. The author painted the picture of the community well, without overt criticism, allowing the reader to make up their own mind about how they feel in regard to such communities.

The book is a bit of an eye-opener at times and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a different kind of YA book from those that are out there. ( )
  wcs53 | Nov 11, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This was a quick read, that kept my attention. Over all, I did enjoy this book. I appreciated the characters, and was rooting for Jon. This was the 1st book that I have read by this author, and I look forward to reading more of her work. ( )
  megried30 | Oct 1, 2018 |
**I received an advanced copy of Lost Book complimentary of NetGalley***

Lost Boy provides a fictional insight into the life of Jon, a polygamist escapee. Once a rule follower, he faces the possibility of punishment or exile when he is caught with the love of his life. The choice to escape is a difficult one as he leaves behind everything he knew. Luckily, his ex-polygamist friends know of a place that takes in runaways. Everything appears to be leading to a successful fresh start. But can Jon truly run from his past when it’s been ingrained?

Throughout reading this book, I had the show Escaping Polygamy in mind. With that show, it is usually through a woman’s perspective. Lost Boy offered the perspective through a teenage boy’s point of view. That is what struck my interest. I felt a strong sense of sympathy for Jon when he began to encounter troubles. We get to see what issues may arise with those who escape from a polygamist community such as Unity. Challenges such as educational, social, and emotional are witnessed.

Jon begins his journey with a head full of optimism. That soon fades when he is thrown into school life. He starts to question if he made the right decision to leave Unity. A time gap does occur to display his struggles coping with the “gentile” lifestyle. Personally, I would have liked more of an explanation into his decline. I would have liked to have seen the reasons behind what made him choose his downfall, how his new family reacted, and the struggle of finding someplace to live besides the simple explanation given. The process to recovery is relatively short, that is another area where I would have liked an expanded description.

Overall, Lost Boy is a simple yet thought provoking book to read. Anyone who is particularly into theological aspects should pick this book up. The insight it gave, although brief, did provide a realistic view on what life is like for a polygamist teenage boy. It was refreshing to read about compared to other novels that deal with a woman’s perspective. ( )
  Violetskies | Sep 26, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is an allegory for Peter Pan, but set in the real world; one with consequences. Though it feels like your average coming of age story for Young Adults, something that can be well done and be an excellent book and then something like this in which you find the main character annoying and generally at times unlikeable. Honestly the only reason it got three stars was the pacing and the suspense at times, other than that my tolerance for whiny teenagers is low. ( )
  Galina98 | Sep 18, 2018 |
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