The Lost & Found by Katrina Leno
Published by HarperTeen
Published on July 5th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
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Sometimes you have to get lost before you can be found.
Lost: Frannie and Louis met in an online support group for trauma survivors when they were both little and have been pen pals ever since. They have never met face-to-face. They don’t even know each other’s real names. All they know is that they understand each other better than anyone else. And they both have a tendency to lose things. Well, not lose them, exactly. Things just seem to…disappear.
Found: In Louis’s mailbox is a letter, offering him a tennis scholarship—farther from home than he’s ever allowed himself to think of going.
In Frannie’s mailbox is a letter, informing her of her mother’s death—and one last wish.
Setting off from opposite coasts, Frannie and Louis each embark on a road trip to Austin, Texas, looking for answers—and each other. Along the way, each one begins to find important things the other has lost. And by the time they finally meet in person, they realize that the things you lose might be things you weren’t meant to have at all, and that you never know what you might find if you just take a chance.
This book is super cute. Two people who meet online and bond over shared trauma in their lives as well as the inexplicable aspect of losing things. Living on opposite sides of the country both receiving news that will put them both in the same place, a midway point between them and a chance to finally meet face to face after all this time.
First, as someone who loves the internet and has made tons of amazing friends online over the years, I adore this. I have met some of my friends from online overtime and I would love to meet everyone if only travel were cheaper, lol. That and the whole pen pal idea caught my eye and hooked me.
Frannie has had an interesting life to say the least. Her trauma is….wow. I can understand needing a support group for that and what she continues to deal with. She is a pretty strong character in that respect because even when things are overwhelming, while she may have moments of weakness, she still manages to keep her head up and keep moving forward. Plus, her relationship with Arrow was precious. Arrow also reminded me a bit of me and a couple of my friends, only with the OCD germs/cleaning aspect. For sure not the running aspect.
Louis didn’t suffer a horrible thing himself, he was there to witness it and live with the aftermath as his twin suffered and rebuilt. Traumatizing for sure, in a different way. Still finding help and support online. I loved how close he and Willa are. I also got a pretty strong picture of her though him and I loved her struggles throughout as well, it all seemed very down to earth and relatable. Never being separated from his twin and considering the possibility of living so far away is scary under normal circumstances. Leaving home always is.
The Lost and Found is a contemporary story through and through with just a touch of magical realism. Things magically going missing without rhyme or reason and then inconceivably being found in the most insane places. It’s crazy and really interesting. I loved the idea of it and where it could go but also how the results of it lead to some amazing depth in our Frannie and Louis. When things randomly go missing from you it’s hard not to at some point take it personally. How some things are never really lost, or finding things you thought lost makes them all the more precious.
This story really handles a lot of different issues very well. It covers everything from fun and happy to dark and depressing. Trauma, mental illness, diversity, and family dynamics are portrayed realistically around an overall rather fun idea of a road trip. I still want to take a long road trip with a friend and just kind of make things up as we go along, and I got to live vicariously though Frannie and Arrow for some of those aspects.
I really enjoyed this one and think it will appeal to anyone who enjoys contemporary at all as there is something for all. I’d love to know what you think in the comments below.
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