currently reading: The Thief, by Megan Whalen Turner
want to read: Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins
Once Was Lost
written by Sara Zarr
I was really glad to see a religious YA book, but not at all religious in the traditional sense. There is nothing preachy about this novel. It's a beautiful story about a girl struggling to find her sense of place in her religious community, trying to figure out how to juggle a life, religious and otherwise, while having to be the preacher's daughter required to appear with a sort of socially preconceived demeanor. It's laughable to think that teenagers don't struggle with religion. The teenage years are when kids grow up and begin to really think for themselves, and begin their own religious journeys as opposed to the ones their parents simply brought them into. I'm really glad that Sara Zarr wrote such an open, honest book about how a teenager deals with those questions and developing that religious identity. She does so in a fully nonjudgmental way, in a way that all readers of all religious/spiritual beliefs will both enjoy and relate to, no matter what. Other than that, the book is typically Sara Zarr style, beautiful writing, honest dialogue that teenagers, real teenagers, can easily picture, and an ending that's not so much about happiness as it is about the promise for future hope.
Want to read more on Sara Zarr's personal religious views? Here's one of my favorite essays, written by her during the YA for Obama campaign in 2008, where many prominent YA authors came together to show their support for then presidential candidate, Barack Obama. I strongly recommend reading it, even if you're not a Democrat. The views expressed are beautifully open-minded and really touching.
I got this book from...:Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh