Ages 12 and Up
June 27, 2017
In The Beautiful Lost, Luanne Rice deftly uses her experiences with depression to craft a lilting and surprising story about the vagaries of the human heart. Maia has struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts ever since her mother left to follow her passion of studying ocean life in the Canadian Maritime provinces. Maia is convinced everything will be fine if she can only reconnect with her mother, meaning she won’t have to take her pills, she will never need to be institutionalized again. When Maia runs away from home in search of her mom, she gets unexpected help and companionship from Billy, her crush from school. On the roads through New England, Maia and Billy learn truths about each other that are equal parts enthralling and distressing.
Books about depression are popping up more and more frequently as of late, and it’s honestly about time. Depression is something that a lot of teens and young adults have to deal with on a daily basis, that isn’t talked about nearly enough. When I was a teenager I dealt with it (and for most of my adult life, as well), and I would have loved books that really made me feel like I was able to relate to the characters in that aspect.
In this beautiful book, we are taken into the life of main character Maia, who is struggling with trying to deal with every day life while facing severe depression and thoughts of suicide. Her mother went away to study ocean life, and she feels so alone – and she is convinced that the only way she is going to feel any better is to have the chance to get out there and find her – and that once she does, there won’t be any more pills for her to take or institutions that she has to be locked up in.
So Maia runs away to find her mother, embarking on a road trip adventure with the hope for a happy ending for herself. When Billy, the boy she has a crush on from school, agrees to help her find her mother, the two of them enter into a blossoming relationship that brings out the beauty in the world for Maia.
This entire book is simply beautiful and was such a joy to get lost in – the characters, especially Maia, were incredibly believable and full of personality, really adding a lot to this story. The story itself is really inspiring, even if it is a bit depressing at times. Still, it deals with depressing aspects in a positive light that will change how you feel about a lot of things – especially those dark times.
Note: I received an ARC of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review – Thank you!
Luanne Rice is the New York Times bestselling author of over 30 novels for adults and the YA novel The Secret Language of Sisters. There are more than twenty-two million copies of her books in print across the world and five of her novels have been adapted into TV movies and miniseries. Luanne lives in coastal Connecticut with her family of cats.
10 finished copies of The Beautiful Lost; open to US residents only.