Rachel fell asleep stressed about school, a typical night
for her. But this time, she wakes up to find herself in a
ditch and with no memory of the last year. Her entire look
has changed, and she can suddenly fight...something she
never even thought of before. It turns out she is the only
missing girl in her area to come back. As she tries to
figure out what happened to her, and where the other girls
might be, she must also decide who she is now and who she
wants to be.
LOST GIRLS has one of the most interesting concepts of girl
gone missing I've read. I'm always intrigued by premises
involving amnesia or temporary amnesia, but I never expected
what happened in the memories Rachel was missing. This is a
fresh take that engages your curiosity and demands you keep
turning the page. The building suspense works well with
quick chapters and puzzles pieces that slowly start to make
My favorite part of Merrie Destefano's novel is Rachel's
characterization. Navigating her present character arc while
doing a sort of reverse character arc through uncovering
Rachel's memories is no small feat. Destefano masterfully
explores just how much someone can change in a year and how
multilayered those big changes are. I love Rachel's journey
in discovering a new (or new to her) side of herself that
initially scares her but ultimately makes her reconsider
herself in a new, more balanced light. Accompanying this is
a delicious, hot romance that has just the right amount of
angst and a healthy dose of realism.
YA mystery lovers will devour Merrie Destefano's LOST GIRLS
which carefully juggles a unique premise, tough topics, a
sexy romance, and the winding road of discovering who you
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…
His Harley was parked at the curb, in a pocket of shadow,
blocked from the streetlight and behind one of the flowering
trees Dad had planted earlier this year. Dylan started to
hand me a helmet, but stopped, as if there was something
else more important.
"There's something I have to do," he said.
I thought maybe he needed to give me a few pointers on how
to ride a motorcycle, that I should lean into the curves,
that I should hold onto him, that I shouldn't be afraid
because he was a great driver.
I was wrong.
He slipped one arm around my waist and pulled me close, so
close that I couldn't have gotten away if I wanted to, while
his other hand cupped my jaw, thumb just below my mouth,
long fingers brushing against my ear. "I've wanted to do
this since you got back," he said, his voice a low, hoarse
I wanted to say, me, too, but I didn't get a chance.
His lips found mine in the darkness where we could barely
see each other, where the heat of his body melted into mine.
There were two short, gentle kisses as if he didn't believe
I would be here very long, that I might disappear at any
moment, and then after that came the third kiss—
The third kiss stole my heart.
And my soul.
I didn't remember our first date or what we had in common or
who was his favorite band, but I remembered this. I
remembered a thousand kisses, a hundred nights, a million
stars glittering overhead. We leaned into each other, as if
we were each drawing an electric charge from the other, as
if we'd been unplugged and powerless but now we were
stronger, invincible, immortal. The world stopped spinning
and we were all that existed; there were no other people, no
cities, no countries; there was only this.
His lips pressed against mine, his scent filling the air,
his hands touching me.
And then at last, the kiss ended and we stared into each
other's eyes, me remembering, him knowing, both of us
"I almost lost you," he said, his words soft as if he
couldn't say them very loud because it would show how strong
the emotion was.
"I'm here, I'm safe."
He shook his head. "I'm not going to let anything happen to
you," he said. "I haven't always been"—he hesitated—"a very
good person. But I'm going to do everything I can to make
sure no one ever hurts you again."
He had a way of enchanting me with his words, maybe it was
the poet in him, maybe this was easy for him, but it didn't
matter. I knew he was telling the truth.