Sunday, December 14, 2014

HarperTeen ARC Review: The Distance Between Lost and Found (Kathryn Holmes)

The Distance Between Lost and FoundHardback Edition, 320 pages
Expected publication: February 17th 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Author: Kathryn Holmes

Ever since the night of the incident with Luke Willis, the preacher’s son, sophomore Hallelujah Calhoun has been silent. When the rumors swirled around school, she was silent. When her parents grounded her, she was silent. When her friends abandoned her … silent.
Now, six months later, on a youth group retreat in the Smoky Mountains, Hallie still can’t find a voice to answer the taunting. Shame and embarrassment haunt her, while Luke keeps coming up with new ways to humiliate her. Not even meeting Rachel, an outgoing newcomer who isn’t aware of her past, can pull Hallie out of her shell. Being on the defensive for so long has left her raw, and she doesn’t know who to trust.
On a group hike, the incessant bullying pushes Hallie to her limit. When Hallie, Rachel, and Hallie’s former friend Jonah get separated from the rest of the group, the situation quickly turns dire. Stranded in the wilderness, the three have no choice but to band together.
With past betrayals and harrowing obstacles in their way, Hallie fears they’ll never reach safety. Could speaking up about the night that changed everything close the distance between being lost and found? Or has she traveled too far to come back? 

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Kathryn  Holmes
Kathryn Holmes grew up in Maryville, Tennessee, where she was an avid reader and an aspiring writer from an early age. She now lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and piles upon piles of books. A graduate of The New School's MFA in Creative Writing program, Kathryn works as a freelance dance journalist, among other writing gigs. The Distance Between Lost and Found is her debut novel.

"But she's also talking to God. Because she's alone and lost and tired, and now would be a great time to feel like there's someone watching over her, like everything's going to be okay. But she doesn't. It's like there's nothing there."

What a beautiful, emotionally gripping story of a young girl who overcomes being bullied and proves to everyone how strong she really is. 

When reading the synopsis of this book I knew that I was about to enter a story full of emotion and heartbreak but I also knew I was going to find a beautiful story of survival as well. Just by reading the title "The Distance Between Lost and Found"...I knew that this book would take me on this young girl's journey of losing and re-discovering herself. 

The main character of the book is named Hallelujah. I had some issues following the character at first because the name was so odd and unusual but then people begin to call her by a shorter name, Hallie, and this helped tremendously. 

The story begins with Hallie experiencing first hand...bullying. Hallie was involved in an "altercation" about a year ago with a young boy named Luke. Throughout the first half of the book we do not know what exactly happened between Luke and Hallie that produced horrible rumors that reflected bad on Hallie. The rumors and lies that were told made Hallie look as though she was the "bad guy" and that Luke was innocent in the matter. Because of all the issues that Hallie was facing...her parents decided to send her to a youth group summer camp to try and help her face and overcome her issues. 

"She feels uneven and bristly. All the time. 
She thinks about being somewhere else, anywhere else. Anywhere Luke isn't. Anywhere she doesn't have to keep reliving what happened."

When the story begins Hallie is already being bullied by the people that caused her hurt to begin with and I found it a little bit odd that Hallie ended up at an youth summer camp with these same people. But because she is at this youth summer camp with these people then she is given the opportunity to face her "demons" and bring out the truth about what really happened instead of the lies that were told.  

Hallie meets a new girl at the camp named Rachel. Rachel is visiting the camp for the first time so she has no idea of the rumors about what happened between Luke and Hallie. Rachel is Hallie's first chance in a long time at a true friendship. I loved how Rachel continued to try and be-friend Hallie even after Hallie turns her away several times to be alone. This showed Rachel's true character and that she was the perfect friend for Hallie. Hallie needed someone strong and persistent to help her recover from her issues. 

The relationship between Jonah and Hallie was also a beautiful reminder of forgiveness. Both Hallie and Jonah made bad choices when it came to their friendship/relationship and to watch them work on their issues and learn to forgive each other throughout the book was a beautiful example of true friendship. 

"And now, Jonah, who looks hopeful despite everything, but not hopeful for the things they all need--not hopeful for rescue, or food, or warmth. Hopeful for her."

I really enjoyed this book and the powerful message that it brings. Bullying is inexcusable and people who are involved in this type of offensive behavior should be made to face the consequences. Bullying is not only an emotional attack but it is a physical attack as well and should not be taken lightly. I also loved the survival aspect of this book. Hallie is faced with so many obstacles in such a short amount of time and because of these situations she learns more about herself. She learns how to forgive not only the people who have offended her but also she learns to forgive herself. This was truly a great book and I would recommend it to anyone who has ever had to deal with bullying or had to face a difficult situation. The Distance Between Lost and Found is a gripping, powerful story about facing your demons and learning to find yourself among the wreckage. 

**The quotes from this book have been taken from an Advanced Reading Copy and are subject to change when the final book is printed. Please refer to the final, finished copy for exact quotes!**

**I want to say Thank You to Harper Teen for the opportunity to review this book!!**

1 comment:

  1. I think I would like to read this book! The cover looks amazing and I am all for good books about a character who develops and an emotional read. Bullying is an important subject that needs to be read about and stopped from happening because it can wreck so many lives.Thanks for the great review.