thank you skg girl for this lovely review of THE BEAUTIFUL LOST!
reposting from SKG fun:
The Beautiful Lost: Depression and Road Trips with Cute Boys
The Secret Language of Sisters? I looked at the book my friend Julia Findley had sent me. Looks good.
Looks good was an understatement. Not a week later I was flipping the last page, my heart torn into three bajillion pieces, a warm feeling floating all over me.
At that moment, I promised myself I would never text and drive. EVER. (You’re gonna want to read this book too!)
Imagine how pleased I was when I discovered Luanne Rice, author of Secret Language of Sisters, has a book releasing in June of this year. But I never imagined she would actually send me an Advanced Readers Copy!! SO Y’ALL . . . I GOT MY FIRST ARC!
This book is called The Beautiful Lost, and we’re partnering with Ms. Rice in a few weeks to give ONE OF YOU the chance to read it.
But first!! Review time!!
A brilliant 4.296 stars.
-AN ENTERTAINING ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY-
A girl embarks on a road trip with her crush (who may just be as nutty as his murderous father) along with lots of snacks and together they start on a mission to find the girl’s marine-loving mother and put her life back together again but oops they might just fall in love. <3
-MORE ENTERTAINING SHORT SUMMARIES-
Whales. SO. MANY. CUTE. WHALES.
Billy who is just goalz with his freckles and green sparkly eyes.
Beat-up cars with super-cool stories yaaaaaass
THE FRENCH. Bonjour.
A scary lack of money (NO, BOB, WHATEVER SHALL WE DO??)
BREAKING ACROSS BOARDERS MUA HA HA!!
-SLIGHTLY LONGER SUMMARY-
It’s been three years since Maia’s mom ran away to devote her life to studying whales. 🐳 Ever since her father remarried, Maia has just felt life is wrong: I mean, her new stepmom Astrid wears cashmere sweaters and gold chain necklaces. She’s NOTHING like Maia’s nature-loving, daredevil REAL mom; Astrid doesn’t even know how to swim and hates the outdoors. So, Maia decides to go find her mom. In a lucky turn of events (very lucky indeed, what is in the milk she drinks in the morning I would like one please), her crush Billy ends up coming along. Soon, however, Maia realizes that there’s more to Billy than meets the eye. I mean, everyone knows he’s the son of a murderer . . . but he’s not like his dad—is he?
But that doesn’t matter. Because when Maia finds her mom, everything will be perfect again.
. . .
-WHAT I LIKED-
- Billy. I would like one to-go, please and thank you. *makes a mad dash* But no, seriously, Billy was just the sweetest. He had an openly brooding and distrusting personality but he was just a fluffy old man really. Lately I have been super annoyed with guys in books being super attractive so I take away a few micropoints because he was so deviously handsome BUT COME ON . . . HIS EYES AH BE STILL MY HEART OKAY I GIVE BACK THE POINTS.
- The whales. I mean, how can you not love whales?? THEY’RE ADORABLE. And so artistic. LIKE SOMEONE GIVE ME A POSTER OF THE TYPES OF WHALES STAT. *trills like Dory* PLUS I CAN SPEAK WHALE.
- Maia appreciates a good library. I mean . . . what more can I say.
- Billy and Maia were very moral. You know what I mean. These kids were alone for nine days and they only stole a few kisses (COME ON IT WAS OBVIOUS Y’ALL LIKED EACH OTHER WHY ISN’T IT THIS EASY IN REAL LIFE). Kudos to them.
- Different perspectives. This wasn’t the book’s doing, but the first time I read the book it was great and all but the second time I’d changed. I took a college-level psychology class and recognized many things we went over, and I’d also been through an actual bout of depression. I didn’t realize I had until I was reading Maia’s description of what she was going through and I was like . . . I hope I don’t need a shrink. (it’s okay tho, I’m recovered) The main thing I recognized was the term naïve idealism, which is a teen thinking that, for example, if their parents got back together again everything would be perfect. Maia believed a version of this. And I hate the word naïve.
-WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE-
- Objectionable elements, please. Maia and Billy met a few groups of people along the way. The first couple was lesbian. A person in the second couple used an Ouija board to communicate with the dead (although it wasn’t actually real). And the last group of people were openly hostile towards Christians for shoving Christianity down the Innu peoples’ throat. Now, I do not pretend that some American settlers did not infest the poor Native Americans with disease and take their land. I also do understand that some were a bit pushy regarding religion. Sometimes American history makes me a bit sick. But, nature worship is not right in any case. Nature is beautiful; but even more so is the God who carved it for us.
- The approach towards depression. Guys, depression is serious. Christians can struggle with it just as much as anyone else. I have been depressed before. The first time I read this book, I hadn’t but the second time I was so much more understanding. More on this below.
- The ending. This has to do with the approach towards depression. Maia is locked away in an institution for six weeks and drugged up. Guys, that’s just covering the problem. Maia needs real help, and it doesn’t come in the form of antidepressants, white walls, or Billy promising to attempt a long-distance relationship.
At the core of this book is the resonating message: DON’T GIVE UP. We’re all gonna face seemingly impossible trials. We’re all gonna have to cross an empty desert with nothing but our own tears to satiate our thirst; we’re all gonna have to scale mountains with nothing but the hands that we’ve wrung so hard they’ve turned red.
The problem is that this book says that what can relieve you of your trial is medication, institutions, or driving to Canada with a super cute guy. And while these things may cover up your festering wounds for a while, depression is nothing to be taken lightly. Depression is SERIOUS; it’s a heart wound, a head wound. No human can heal that; no matter how many abbreviations stand behind their name. Nothing can heal you except the blood of Christ. He will hold your hand through the valleys, carry you across the mountains, walk across the raging rivers to get you where you need to be.
This book was written masterfully.
The descriptions were deep, the symbolism was artistic, and the depression was really relatable. At its core, I’d say it was a good book. As Christians, we can read this and sympathize with victims of depression who don’t have anywhere to turn to. Of course the world would turn to a boy, or doctors, or medicine, or the hope that their no-show mother will welcome them back into her life.
Sometimes Christians can be really blinded. How could they be so foolish? We might ask ourselves stupidly. Why is it so hard for them to accept Christ’s cure?
The world has attempted to answer depression. The world has attempted to make suicide look heroic, even.
But you know what? YOU HAVE A CHOICE. Nothing is so hard that you should give up on yourself, ever. No matter how bad things look, you’ll always have at least one Person on your side.
Please don’t ever give up, and please don’t give into the lie that it’s better to die than to keep going on. The world pretends that suicide is an answer, but it never has and never will be.
Does this sound like a book you would like? Ever read The Secret Language of Sisters?