Hey everyone! Today, I’m reviewing The Other Side of Lost by Jessi Kirby, which was so kindly sent to me by Harper360YA. Thankfully, I liked this one much more than Damsel 😉
What the book is about…
“Every day is a chance to be better than you were the day before”Jessi Kirby, The Other Side of Lost
Girl Online meets Wild in this emotionally charged story of girl who takes to the wilderness to rediscover herself and escape the superficial persona she created on social media.
Mari Turner’s life is perfect. That is, at least to her thousands of followers who have helped her become an internet starlet. But when she breaks down and posts a video confessing she’s been living a lie—that she isn’t the happy, in-love, inspirational online personality she’s been trying so hard to portray—it goes viral and she receives major backlash. To get away from it all, she makes an impulsive decision: to hike the entire John Muir trail. Mari and her late cousin, Bri, were supposed to do it together, to celebrate their shared eighteenth birthday. But that was before Mari got so wrapped up in her online world that she shut anyone out who questioned its worth—like Bri.
With Bri’s boots and trail diary, a heart full of regret, and a group of strangers that she meets along the way, Mari tries to navigate the difficult terrain of the hike. But the true challenge lies within, as she searches for the way back to the girl she fears may be too lost to find: herself.
What I thought of it…
This was really quite lovely. I felt a real connection with the main character, Mari, who was trying to find her way in the world and stay true to herself while at the same time attempting to make genuine connections with people and distance herself from online negativity. The idea of presenting a certain persona to the world is one that I can relate to, thanks to my anxiety (though I like to think I still have my integrity in what I choose to show people, both on and offline). The whole thing just really spoke to me; I can’t quite find the words to explain how or why.
I thought the author gave a very sensitive and believable portrayal of teenage grief; it wasn’t over-the-top with angst, it felt REAL. The anger and disappointment of expecting things to be a certain way and it not working out like that – I found this so so relatable. There were some truly poignant moments.
Now, I do have to say that I found the concept of the book ever so slightly unbelievable. I could never imagine just going off on a whim and hiking 211 miles over the mountains, with no prior training or knowledge. Even for a non-anxious person, that would be super stressful and DANGEROUS. So in that respect, I did struggle to suspend my disbelief a tiny bit.
There was also a hint of insta-love here, which usually would irritate the heck out of me. Weirdly, it didn’t actually bother me too much in this case because it kind of made sense under the circumstances? The characters were in such a high intensity situation, it would have surprised me if a romance didn’t happen, to be honest. Thankfully, I found the story’s main focus to be much more of the found family aspect, which I completely loved.
Overall, this book contained some beautiful imagery and I really enjoyed. I would certainly recommend it for fans of contemporary YA.
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Have you read this one? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments! Also, is anyone else struggling with the new WordPress editor?! x