The Lost and the Found by Cat Clarke
Published in 2015 by Quercus Childrens
My copy: Library
When six-year-old Laurel Logan was abducted, the only witness was her younger sister. Faith’s childhood was dominated by Laurel’s disappearance – from her parents’ broken marriage and the constant media attention to dealing with so-called friends who only ever wanted to talk about her sister.
Thirteen years later, a young woman is found in the garden of the Logans’ old house, disorientated and clutching the teddy bear Laurel was last seen with. Laurel is home at last, safe and sound. Faith always dreamed of getting her sister back, without ever truly believing it would happen. But a disturbing series of events leaves Faith increasingly isolated and paranoid, and before long she begins to wonder if everything that’s lost can be found again…
I really enjoyed this young adult novel, which is narrated by Faith. The premise of the story is a pretty good one – Faith’s sister Logan was snatched when she was six. Her parents – particularly her mother – never gave up hope of finding her again. And then, 13 years later, Logan is found. The book takes us straight into the action and it is hard to put down once you get started. It is clear from the start that all is not entirely well, and it was fun trying to work out exactly what was going on.
I like the character of Faith. She had obviously been deeply affected by what happened to her family, and the subsequent way in which she felt her family had treated her after Logan’s disappearance. I also found Logan and her behaviour really interesting, such as the way she slept underneath a desk as she was used to living in a confined space.
This was a very readable novel and although the ending was a bit far-fetched, the author answered a lot of the questions I had and it tied up the loose ends pretty neatly. I liked the mix of thriller with everyday teenage stuff (and there is a small amount of drinking, swearing and sex in the novel, making it more suitable for older young adults – but also making it feel much more realistic). I also thought it was interesting that Faith’s father was bisexual and now living with a man (who was also a really good character and a good foil to Faith’s parents). I particularly liked the way the author didn’t make a massive deal of this – just introducing this as a fairly normal thing to happen which I found quite refreshing.
Overall I really liked this book and I think it’s a good young adult thriller. It’s gripping and interesting, and I liked the characters in the novel. There are enough twists to keep you guessing, and I would definitely look for more of Clarke’s novels. It is gritty enough to be suitable for teens and adults alike.