Title: The Distance Between Lost and Found
Author: Kathryn Holmes
Publication Date: Feb. 17, 2015
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
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?
My ****4.5 Star**** Review
This is one of those books that sucks you in with the first line. There’s a good bit of mystery as to Hallie’s story with Luke, the preacher’s son. You feel sorry for her, but then you’ll start questioning everything she does, everything that’s happened. But, the answers slowly start leaking out. Then when Hallie finds herself lost with Jonah and Rachel, everything will eventually come out.
While the kids are lost, there are some pretty scary moments. The drama is intense, but I would still have to say that this story is character driven. The main story always revolves around Hallie coming to terms with her past and a possible reconciliation with her former friend Jonah whose interests may be a bit stronger. Hallie’s new friend Rachel plays a key role in helping Hallie recognize her own faults and role in her current circumstances.
There are lots of discussions throughout the story about God and his existence and role in their lives. The next sentence may be spoilerish to some, but some parents may be concerned about the direction the story takes concerning God, so I’ll share. Ultimately, the author takes no definitive stand one way or another, so readers can draw their own conclusions. You could make plenty of arguments for or against His existence and role in their lives, and quite frankly I think this book can make for some awesome discussions between teens and their parents – not just concerning God, either. There are lots of issues and blurred lines in this story that can make for some great teaching and mentoring points. I highly recommend this book for teens and parents looking for books that inspire great discussions and debates.