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Maria's life was torn apart when she was fifteen, and for seven years she's kept her terrible secret hidden from the world. Now, in her final semester of college, she still struggles against paralyzing fear just trying to speak up in class, and the terror and helplessness linger on in her nightmares.
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Lost is a new adult contemporary romance that follows two students in their final semester of college as they struggle to move forward and put their terrible, nightmarish pasts behind them. They both believe that they are broken beyond any hope of repair, but when they meet each other, they realize that they’re not alone after all. As they help each other push past the darkest periods of their lives, they start to believe that they’re not so broken after all, and maybe they really have found someone who loves them.
I expected it to be difficult to write this book – especially given that one characters’ nightmares are based (in part) on my own childhood – but the hardest part of writing this book was actually hearing other people’s stories when I talked to them. When I started doing my research for this book, I never expected to find so many people would be willing to talk to me about they went through when they were children. I didn’t have enough room or continuity-of-character justification to include everything I heard when I sought out people to interview. I could only fit stories from five other people into Lost in the end, and two of them came from people I’d known for years. It’s incredible how you can believe that you know everything about a person and still have barely scratched the surface.
There was one heck of a silver lining to the stories, though…
...the number of Happily Ever Afters that people told me.
Not everyone that I spoke to had one, but I was excited to hear that many of the people who I talked to had found a way to move past their broken childhoods. Sometimes someone they met – someone they could trust and grow with — helped them through it, and sometimes it was being able to escape and start a new life (going to college, a new job far away, justice being served), but really everyone had their own story with their own unique happy ending.
Without all the people who were willing to come forward and tell me about their pasts, this book could not exist. I’ve only experienced part of it, and if I hadn’t talked to other people and interviewed them about what they’d gone through and how they recovered, there’s no way that I could have actually produced a realistic depiction of it for Lost. We all have our own experiences and these are what make us unique – and sometimes beautifully broken — individuals.
I know that this probably makes the book sound very depressing – and it definitely has its depressing parts – but one of the aspects I chose to focus on was the Happily Ever After. It can happen, and based on the stories I’ve heard from all the wonderful people talked to me, it does happen. The healing and growth of Maria and Owen as a couple is the true story of Lost and its upcoming, rather obviously named sequel,
Maria and Owen were lost, and I invite you to read along as they finally find each other.
Sometimes you need someone else to help you find your way.
Across campus, Owen sees his scars in the mirror every morning while he gets ready for class. They remind him of the broken home he left behind, the father he hates and fears, and the little sister he couldn't protect. Now, in his final semester of college, he's scared that he may have to return to the hell he called home after staying away for almost five years.
When Owen becomes a teaching assistant for one of Maria's classes, they find themselves irresistibly drawn to each other. As the two learn each other's secrets and grow closer, they realize that although they may be lost, they're not alone anymore.This new adult contemporary romance is recommended for ages 17+ due to heavy subject matter.