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Bloody Bookaholic's Commandment:

Thou Shall Read Till Thy Eyes Bleed

Saturday 3 October 2009

Review: Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr

Title: Once Was Lost
Book #: 1st and only.
Author: Sara Zarr
Pages: 217
Publisher: Little, Brown
Tags: Fiction
Rating: .7

"How do you continue, when nothing seems real?"

Samara Taylor used to believe in miracles. She used to believe in a lot of things. As a pastor's kid, it's hard not to buy in to the idea of the perfect family, a loving God, and amazing grace. But lately, Sam has a lot of reason to doubt. Her mother lands in rehab after a DUI and her father seems more interested in his congregation than his family.

When a young girl in her small town is kidnapped, the local tragedy overlaps with Sam's personal one, and the already-worn thread of faith holding her together begins to unravel. In her third novel, acclaimed author Sara Zarr examines the coexistence of affliction and hope, and what happens when everything you thought you believed---about God, about your family, about yourself---is transformed.


Her name is Sam. The is the pastor's only daughter. Her family had been the perfect family on the outside, until now. There is no mom in the picture anymore, it's just her and her father till her mom comes back. Sam is falling lower and lower until the dark hole, and nobody is even paying attention. Now Jody Shaw has gone missing and not strangers, but people Sam know are on the suspect list. Will this turn of events help Sam find back her faith? Or will it just bring her over the edge?

The story of a pastor's only kid. About how people aren't what you think they are. About appearances. About hope. About believing and having faith. But mostly about being human, depressed, and how someone goes through mortal hell and get's out with scratches, but still alive.

The main character, Sam, is a very believable girl. She is raw and true. The only thing I didn't like about her is how she didn't spoke up. She let things go by, and didn't do squat to change it. All the other characters are like background, something to create more tension or to drive the plot.

One of the issues of the story was that everything will work out in the end. I mean, good things have to happen to good people right? This story shows a different side to things. It isn't all depressing, but it shows us that not everything is the color of pink.

The end is ok, but it seemed too easy. The whole story evolved around Sam and her inner problems. But how everything turn out made it seem, too easy. The thing with her whole family. The book should have been longer, and I wish I would have gotten to see a real mother/father conversation.

This is a powerful read. So don't pick it up if you are looking for a light, easy ride. I really liked it. And I believe you will too.


  1. Thanks for your review. I haven't read any Sara Zarr yet, but I'll see her speak at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville next weekend and will probably buy one or two of her books then.

  2. very intersting. it seems like an intense read. I like those books though...makes you think.


  3. sounds good! great review! this one is on my tbr list!

  4. I have this book on my shelf. Haven't decided if I want to read it or not. Great review!

  5. I love the cover of this book and the story sounds really good. I hate it when a story is tied up in a neat little bow in the end. I always feel like it's a cop out, but I might pick this up anyway.

    I've been looking for a really powerful story to read and this sounds like it could fit the bill.

  6. sounds like this one packs a real punch!


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