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Lost Girls

Lost Girls, January 2017
by Merrie Destefano

Entangled Teen
Featuring: Dylan McCarthy; Rachel Evans
360 pages
ISBN: 163375605X
EAN: 9781633756052
Kindle: B01GNZ9GH8
Paperback / e-Book
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"Thrilling and unique mystery with powerful romance"

Fresh Fiction Review

Lost Girls
Merrie Destefano

Reviewed by Samantha Randolph
Posted February 18, 2018

Young Adult Suspense | Young Adult

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 sense.

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 really are.

Learn more about Lost Girls

SUMMARY

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…

Excerpt

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 whisper.

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 breathless.

"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.

I just didn't know if I wanted to be safe.


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