Today’s must-read is fast-paced – Lost and Found

Lost and Found

by Carolyn Parkhurst

Here’s a fast-paced novel featuring a reality TV show that is like The Amazing Race and Treasure Hunt combined. Contestants have personal secrets and have been chosen specifically because producers hope that they will spill their guts for ratings. The action focuses on four characters. Justin and Abby are a married couple, a lesbian and a gay man who have renounced their lifestyles and proudly carry the banner of their newfound faith while they both struggle to remain straight. Although described as young, these two seem much older than their years in their pursuit of a traditional marriage. Meanwhile, the mother-daughter team of Laura and Cassie deals with the fact that the girl gave birth without anyone even noticing that she was pregnant. When she is given the chance to choose a different teammate–and does–emotions and rivalry ratchet up exponentially. Teens may well relate to Cassie, who feels alienated from her mother and unable to communicate about the most basic parts of her personality (most notably, that she is attracted to women). Lauras reaction is that of love and guilt. Despite being rejected, she keeps trying to find a way to connect to her daughter. An over-the-top, dramatic ending leaves some loose ends, but there is satisfaction in the resolution for a couple of the characters. Older teens may find that this book presses just the right buttons.–Charlotte Bradshaw, San Mateo County Library, CA