Author: Ann Kelley
Publication Date: July 10th, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Historical Fiction / Survival / Realistic Fiction
Synopsis: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.
My Thoughts: >I'm honestly not sure how to categorize this book in genre. It has nothing to do with the book itself, it was actually a really, really good story and I really enjoyed reading it. But it's based in the 1970's, so that would make it historical fiction, right? Apparently it's also based off of true events and it is entirely possible that this could happen either way, so that would make it realistic ficton, right? Then it's a fight for survival, so it's pretty easy to label it as a survival book. I just have to come to the conclusion that it's all of these, besides, most books are a mixture of genres now anyways.
Ann Kelley has shown me a tropical world and how harsh it can be. I really felt sorry for Bonnie and the other girls in Lost Girls. They were all excited to go on a camping trip, but then there is a storm and they get swept far past their target campground and to a supposedly "forbidden" island. Then on their first night there, there is a storm that was probably a hurricane and they lose the first girl. It was even more disheartening when they discovered that the boatman crashed on the rocks and never made it back, so no one knows where they are. The entire story is a battle against the elements and dangers of the rain forest, and there are many. The girls have to think of a way to survive and find enough food, water and shelter. Their guide has given up hope and spends all of her time drinking and getting high. What can they do when the only adult isn't sober enough to help out?
I have to say that I really liked the writing style of this book. It's littered with journal entries from Bonnie's (the protagonists) journal. So we get to see exactly how she feels about the situation and others and her desperate wishes of rescue. I found it relatively fast-paced, although there were a few slower parts, I managed to get through this book in a day. Having read Lord of the Flies, I was making comparisons. It was hard not to. And while they are very similar books, they are both very different and have their own elements that keep you guessing about what will happen next. Lost Girls even referenced Lord of the Flies a couple of times. I did end up feeling a connection with Bonnie, so I was always hoping for rescue for her. So that was another thing about the writing I enjoyed, I like to be able to feel with the characters, and I definitely could in this one.
So is this a book you should read? I think so. It's a good read about survival, and based off of truth, so more bonus points there. I think if you've read and enjoyed Lord of the Flies, that you will probably enjoy this one as well. Or if you just like realistic fiction and stories about survival. So yes, this is a book that I recommend, you should read it. Have you ever read anything similar that you think I should read? I'm really enjoying these types of books at the moment.