Once was Lost by Sara Zarr

This one seemed to have the same paternal character as the last one I read which was Claiming Georgia Tate. Pastors and their preaching! So many stories you could make out of them.


Samara Taylor, a 15-year-old girl is experiencing a summer that's quite disappointing. Her father Pastor Charlie is busy with church work and her alcoholic mother Laura, is in rehab for her 4-week-program.

Sam is left to fend for herself, with her needs being neglected at home, she deals with it alone. Her situation only worsened when 13-year-old Jody Shaw, a church choir soloist and Sam's friend, went missing. Her father being the pastor has no choice but to be there for the Shaw family every step of the way. He becomes their official spokesperson.

She is left to spend most of her time with best friends Vanessa and Daniel. Eventually, when Pastor Charlie's hectic job severed, she was sent to live with Vanessa's family for a while.

Sam who got more confused and depressed develops doubt to God who she's believed in her whole life.

Will she have her faith back? What is the real intention of Nick Shaw(Jody's bro) towards her? Why is Erin, the youth group leader, so close with her father? When is her mom coming back?


Judging on the cover, this book was really not what anyone will expect it to be. I thought it was some cutesy teenage love story with lots of kissing and whatnot. I liked this one better than the said misconception.

It's a nice story, is all I can say. There are a few unresolved situations that are very thought-provoking. Like Erin and Pastor Charlie. It makes you think about it, it's annoying how much thought one can have about whatever they were. They were indefinite, it's up to the readers and their morals.

Finished this in less than 8hours and a good book will never be a waste of time.


Jenny | August 14, 2012 at 2:20 PM

It really does look like a cutsie love story doesn't it? I'm glad it was more than that!

Loraine | August 14, 2012 at 2:40 PM

To Jenny: Yes! Thought it was the typical YA books out there. Thanks! =)

Lan | August 14, 2012 at 8:10 PM

The un resolved situations were one of the things that drove me crazy about this book. I really wanted to be told what had happened between the Pastor and Erin but it was all sort of hush, hush. Kinda frustrating but I still enjoyed this one.

melissa @ 1lbr | August 14, 2012 at 11:08 PM

I think I knew what the book was about before I started, so I didn't expect a cutesy story. Thanks for stopping by!

Loraine | August 15, 2012 at 7:44 PM

To Lan: very frustrating! I hated Sam's weakness of not choosing to know the real thing, and she knew even then. After everything. I believe she knew. I thought it was selfish of her but if you think about yourself in that situation, Sam's ending would have been the best option(for you or me or anybody) out of every possible outcome. Thanks for dropping by and the comment! =)

To Melissa: Thank you also, it was different for me though coz I was clueless. =D

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