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Review: Lost Girls by Ann Kelley

Thursday, August 9, 2012
Lost Girls
by Ann Kelley

Publication: July 10, 2012
Pages: 336
Author: Website  | Facebook
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Buy it: Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Book Depository
No parents. No rules. No way home.

Fourteen-year-old Bonnie MacDonald couldn't be more excited for a camping trip on an island off the coast of Thailand with her fellow Amelia Earhart Cadets-the daughters of the men and women stationed there during the Vietnam War. But when a strong current deposits the girls on what their boatman calls the "forbidden island," things take a turn for the worse: A powerful storm comes to destroy their campsite, the smallest of the junior cadets is found dead, and their boatman never returns. What once seemed like a vacation in paradise has become a battle against the elements.

Peppered with short, frantic entries from Bonnie's journal, Lost Girls is a page-turning, heart-pounding adventure story about a group of teen girls fighting for their lives.

Honestly, I wasn't sure if I was ready for a modernized version of Lord of the Flies, but the historical setting caught my eye--and Thailand? Yes, please! I enjoyed learning more about life as a kid following her parents to war, and Bonnie and her friends have many interesting stories and random facts to tell.

Bonnie is an amazingly resourceful and intelligent girl. She is a realist, someone who questions the workings of the world, and a natural engineer, as her talent for creating things suggests. When the one "adult" (she is far from a responsible one, and I'll never forgive her for the first tragedy to strike) Layla Campbell breaksdown, Bonnie takes charge of the camp. She isn't afraid of doing the dirty work or telling the others what to do. It doesn't make her a favorite with the more girly girls who just want to have fun, but she'll get things done. She is the most endearing of all the girls, the majority of which don't know what they're doing, though I do have a soft spot for Jody.

My favorite part of this book is the new knowledge I accumulated. Bonnie's father is part of the army, and he taught her survival tips. Bonnie has a list of facts on how to tell whether or not a plant is edible. She wrote it down in her journal to prove to her dad that she does pay attention to him, not knowing that she'd ever need to refer to it for survival. Her friends Jas and Hope also have useful information of their own from Jas's wealth of information on the wildlife to Hope's practical knowledge that helps them build a base and try to signal for help.

Reminiscent of Lord of the FliesLost Girls explores what would happen if adolescent girls were stranded on an island around Thailand in the midst of the Vietnam War. The worst in the girls comes out but also the best. While it is easy to get frustrated with their situation, the girls also grow more courageous and bond together in their shared misfortunes. They learn how to cope and how to make the best out of what little they have. This is a book that I'd recommend reading at least once.

Rating: Enjoyable read overall.

Come back Saturday for a chance to win a copy of Lost Girls!


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. No payment was received in return for a review. The receipt of the book had no influence on the opinions expressed in my review.
11 comments on "Review: Lost Girls by Ann Kelley"
  1. Thailand, that's cool :). I hope i can go to Thailand soon, especially for praying 4 faces Buddha :)

    nice review

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  2. Great review! I didn't know that this was a modern retelling of Lord of the Flies. That really interests me & makes me want to read it a bit more.

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  3. A book that takes place in Thailand? Yeah, that's pretty awesome. One of my friends is taking a year off of school to spend a few months in Thailand and I'm so jealous just because I want to travel somewhere new. I loved Lord of the Flies when I read it for the first time back in middle school, so I'm really looking forward to this book! Great review (:

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    1. That's so cool. I hope your friend enjoys her stay there!!

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  4. ** Giveaway will be held Saturday, not Friday, for those of you who read this before I made the correction **

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  5. Would you say there's a lot of Thailand culture in this book? I'm not sure if there's any other citizens on that island there, but a lot of survival books actually also teach me a lot about culture. Anyways, thanks for the review - even though I haven't read Lord of the Flies yet (I definitely plan to! My sophomore reading list includes it!), I'm psyched to get a copy! Thanks for the review!

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    1. There is a fair bit of Thailand culture. Bonnie has been living there for a while. Hope you enjoy LORD OF THE FLIES!! :)

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