Fight Club meets Black Swan—Rachel wakes up in a ditch to find she doesn’t remember the last year of her life, and that everything—including herself—is vastly different than she remembers.
Yesterday, Rachel went to sleep listening to Taylor Swift, curled up in her grammy’s quilt, worrying about geometry. Today, she woke up in a ditch, bloodied, bruised, and missing a year of her life.
She doesn’t recognize the person she’s become: she’s popular. She wears nothing but black.
Black to cover the blood.
And she can fight.
Tell no one.
She’s not the only girl to go missing within the last year…but she’s the only girl to come back. She desperately wants to unravel what happened to her, to try and recover the rest of the Lost Girls.
But the more she discovers, the more her memories return. And as much as her new life scares her, it calls to her. Seductively. The good girl gone bad, sex, drugs, and raves, and something darker…something she still craves—the rush of the fight, the thrill of the win—something she can’t resist, that might still get her killed…
The only rule is: There are no rules.
Lost Girls by Merrie Destefano was a great read and one I had a very hard time putting down.
The premise of this book sucked me in and I was intrigued from the very first page. I loved how the author got stuck right into the story straight away and it captured and held my attention the entire time.
Rachel wakes up in a ditch, bloodied, bruised and worse for wear with no recollection of how she got there and memory issues which seem to have erased a year of her life, even though she was “only”missing for the previous two weeks. The story unfolds one layer at a time until Rachel starts to piece together all the hidden aspects of her life and her kidnapping.
I loved the setting for this book and I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by mentioning the underground fighting club because the book is being pitched as Black Swan meets Fight Club which is a very accurate comparison. I love YA that is a little darker, a little grittier, and this one ticked those boxes. Fair warning – don’t read this if you don’t like reading about the seedier side of growing up as a teen as there are drink, drugs, violence, and underage sex all either graphically depicted or subtly implied/mentioned. I have no issue with those things because it realistically describes part of modern teen culture. I know not every teenager engages in such activities but some do and it bugs me no end when reviewers criticize authors for accurately portraying such situations. This shit is real. Deal with it.
Rachel was a very well developed character – not always likeable, it has to be said, but she was very credible. I felt for her as she grappled to solve the puzzle pieces and it was difficult to know who to trust.
I adored Dylan and I know he was a bad boy in a lot of ways but he loved her so good and it was hard to fault him for his mistakes, especially when he seemed genuinely regretful.
The tension was cranked to the max in the last few chapters and it was edge-of-the seat reading.
The writing was excellent if a little overly descriptive at times for my taste, but there’s no denying this author’s talent.
There are two reasons this is a four-star rather than five-star read. 1) The romance was very thin on the ground and I wanted MORE Dylan, but that’s more of a personal choice so most readers probably won’t be put out by that. 2) The decision Rachel made at the end was so stupid I was actually hollering at my Kindle in utter frustration. She knew it was a bad idea, her instincts were screaming at her to avoid the place, and she’d had enough recollections at that stage to understand she might not come out of it alive, yet she still went into it completely ill-prepared. That irritated the heck out of me. It made no sense and it wasn’t realistic, and I just couldn’t suspend my disbelief.
I loved the note the author included at the back of the book and it really added authenticity to the story. Fair play for sharing that with your readers.
All in all though, this was a well-written, highly-addictive read that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to readers who enjoy intriguing mysteries set within an edgy world and a little bit of romance to spice things up.
Thanks to Entangled Teen for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
About the Author:
CURRENTLY A FULL-TIME NOVELIST and magazine editor, Merrie Destefano’s next novel, LOST GIRLS, releases on January 3, 2017. Her other novels include AFTERLIFE and FEAST, both published by HarperCollins, and FATHOM, which was self-published. The editor of Victorian Homes magazine, she has also been the editor of American Farmhouse Style, Vintage Gardens, and Zombies magazine, and was the founding editor of Cottages & Bungalows magazine.
With 20 years experience in publishing, she worked for a variety of publishing/broadcasting companies that include Focus on the Family, The Word For Today, and PJS Publications (now Primedia). Besides editing and writing, her background includes print buying, writing/producing radio promos, directing photo shoots, developing new products, writing jacket copy for books, creating sales media packets and organizing direct mail campaigns.
Born in the Midwest, she currently lives in Southern California with her husband, two German shepherds, a Siamese cat and the occasional wandering possum. Her favorite hobbies are reading speculative fiction and watching old Star Trek episodes, and her incurable addiction is writing. She loves to camp in the mountains, walk on the beach, watch old movies, listen to alternative music—although rarely all at the same time.
There’s a tour wide giveaway. Below is a list of prizes you can win, all prizes listed below will be given to one prize winner. Prizes listed are for a US winner only; if an International winner is chosen, the prize will be a $50 Amazon gift card.
• 1 – Kindle Fire Tablet, black: 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB, 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, with the Alexa cloud-based voice service—just press and ask.
• 1 – digital Kindle copy of LOST GIRLS
• 1 – Pack of 14 vintage-style Swan Lake postcards
• 1 – pr. Black Swan earrings, handmade by author
• 1 – “Always” temporary tattoo
For a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
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