Monday, February 2, 2015

Review: The Distance Between Lost and Found





Title: The Distance Between Lost and Found
Author: Kathryn Holmes
Release Date: February 17, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: ARC
Pages: 320
Rating: 4 Cows 






Goodreads Description:

Ever since the night of the incident with Luke Willis, the preacher’s son, sophomore Hallelujah Calhoun has been silent. When the rumors swirled around school, she was silent. When her parents grounded her, she was silent. When her friends abandoned her … silent.

Now, six months later, on a youth group retreat in the Smoky Mountains, Hallie still can’t find a voice to answer the taunting. Shame and embarrassment haunt her, while Luke keeps coming up with new ways to humiliate her. Not even meeting Rachel, an outgoing newcomer who isn’t aware of her past, can pull Hallie out of her shell. Being on the defensive for so long has left her raw, and she doesn’t know who to trust.

On a group hike, the incessant bullying pushes Hallie to her limit. When Hallie, Rachel, and Hallie’s former friend Jonah get separated from the rest of the group, the situation quickly turns dire. Stranded in the wilderness, the three have no choice but to band together.

With past betrayals and harrowing obstacles in their way, Hallie fears they’ll never reach safety. Could speaking up about the night that changed everything close the distance between being lost and found? Or has she traveled too far to come back?


The Distance Between Lost and Found couldn’t have found its way into my life at a better time.  Growing up in a Christian household, I’ve always had what I consider a close relationship with God.  When I say that, what I mean to say is that I attend church regularly, went to Sunday school as a child, and was confirmed in high school.  That being said, my faith has always been an intrinsic part of my life.  I won’t lie though.  I, (like many other Christians I’m sure) go through periods of my life when I’m feeling far from God.  Most of the times this has occurred, it’s after a loss of a family member or someone I loved.  When tragedies happen, it’s easy to blame God or question the existence of God, and it can take some time to work through this.  This time though, I couldn’t pinpoint what was causing me to stray from my faith and question everything I’ve ever believed in.

Without even realizing it, I started to fall off the bandwagon with daily prayers and attending church.  It’s been about two months now, and although I don’t doubt God or my faith, I don’t feel the same type of closeness with him like I usually do.  Fast forward a few weeks.  I received this ARC of The Distance Between Lost and Found in the mail from Ashley, without knowing anything about it.  In fact, when I started reading it, I didn’t even bother to read the description of the book on the back first.  I just picked it up and began.

This book is about Hallelujah, who goes on a camping trip to the Smoky Mountains with her youth group from church.  Also in attendance is Luke Willis, who is the son of their church’s preacher.  Prior to this trip though, an incident occurs between the two of them, that leaves Hallelujah’s reputation ruined, and her relationship with her parents tarnished and rocky.  In the process, she also loses all her friends, who side with Luke after the incident.  Lonely and embarrassed, Hallelujah finds herself becoming shy and somewhat of an introvert.  She doesn’t go out anymore, and comes straight home from school everyday.  School is hard for her because she is being bullied, and it gets to be so bad that she eventually stops singing as well, which was her one true passion at the time. 

After the incident, Hallelujah goes through a period in her life when she’s so alone and hurt, that she begins to question God and his reasoning for what happened.  It isn’t until the trip to the Smoky Mountains though, that she finally voices this doubt in her faith to someone else.  Said person helps talk Hallelujah through her doubts and fears, and assures her she isn’t the only person to go through something like this.  What transpires from there is a story of survival and strength, and watching Hallelujah transform and get back her old self was one of my favorite parts of the book.  Kathryn Holmes story was inspiring to read, and I found myself rooting for Hallelujah from the start. 

The Distance Between Lost and Found is a beautifully written, and well thought out book about faith, friendship, and how you can repair your relationship with God.  Whether you’ve went through something similar like this before, or you just want a good read that discusses the topic of faith and courage, I can assure you The Distance Between Lost and Found won’t disappoint.  Kathryn Holmes turns an innocent trip to the Smokies into an addicting read about bravery and forgiveness, when Hallelujah and her friends find themselves lost in the forests of this vast and dangerous national park.  In the midst of scary situations and a fight for survival after being separated from her youth group, Hallelujah must learn to get by in the woods, and face some fears that have been haunting her for months now.  With the help of her two friends, she learns survival skills she never dreamed she would need, while confronting her doubts she has in her faith in God.  This story brought tears to my eyes, and helped me find that closeness with God again.  For that, I am eternally grateful for this book Kathryn Holmes!  Not only was it a thrilling read, but also extremely touching and though provoking.  If ever I find myself back in this situation again where I am feeling far from God, I plan on picking this book up and giving it another read! 

Emily

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