Author: Katrina Leno
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Publication Date: July 5th, 2016
Hardcover, 336 Pages
Summary: LOST: Frannie and Louis met in an online support group when they were both younger. They have never met face-to-face. They don’t even know each other’s real names. All they know is that they both have a mysterious tendency to lose things. Well, not lose them, exactly. Things just seem to…disappear. FOUND: They each receive news in the mail that sets them off on a road trip to Austin, Texas, looking for answers—and each other. Along the way, each one begins to find, as if by magic, important things the other has lost. And by the time they finally meet in person, they realize that the things you lose might be things you weren’t meant to have at all, and that you never know what you might find if you just take a chance.
I received an ARC copy of this book from author Katrina Leno after winning her online giveaway, and I was so excited to get it! The story itself is something I haven't read before - two teens, across the country from one another, dealing with traumatic events of their own. Through a chain of events, their paths intersect, and they find themselves meeting face to face.
I really enjoyed this book! Like I said, the story line itself is something I haven't really read before. Both Frannie and Louis have their own traumas, and then, even though they both live on opposite ends of the country, they both find themselves in Texas for different reasons, and they decide that there's no time like the present to finally meet each other in real life instead of through their trauma group website that they were previously talking on.
I really loved the sense of adventure in this book, and the characters! The fact that Louis and Frannie's guardians were both okay with them driving halfway across the country as juniors in high school was a hard prospect to wrap my head around, but that's also because my parents are super strict and I just couldn't imagine them being okay with that. But following the characters through the story as they traveled with their companions and explored new sights and restaurants and stores and people was a nice feeling. If I'm not able to do it myself, it's nice to at least live vicariously through other characters.
Speaking of the characters, I really enjoyed the whole lot of them! Louis was awkward and gawky, which I can definitely relate to, while his twin sister Willa was outspoken and spontaneous and didn't take no for an answer. Arrow was super dedicated, and Frannie was super sarcastic, and I think that I saw a little bit of myself in each of these characters. Following their dialogue was entertaining because someone always said something sarcastic or witty that made me laugh out loud. (And for those of you who didn't already know, the story is told in first person dual perspective between Louis and Frannie.)
There were only two things about this book that I wasn't a big fan of and that kept me from giving the book a five star review. First is the fact that the disappearing act between Louis and Frannie's objects is never really explained. I know that this was probably Leno's intention, but it threw me off a little bit. This book is supposed to be a contemporary, realistic fiction, but now mysterious objects are appearing and disappearing in places with no explanation whatsoever? It gave it a bit of a fantasy feel, which wouldn't be an issue if it was a fantasy book...but other than the disappearing acts, everything else in the story lines it up with being a contemporary novel. So it just made me a bit confused. And it never gets explained at all, which is even more confusing.
(Minor spoilers ahead, so please skip to the next paragraph if you haven't read this book yet!) The other thing that threw me off a little bit was the fact that the entire book is building up on Louis and Frannie meeting, and then their actual meeting gets glossed over and rushed through. I definitely got a sense of, This is IT? while I was reading. You don't even get to follow their entire night out together -- you just get a brief snippet of their dinner conversation and then it's a chapter switch and bam, it's the next morning and you're getting secondhand details. Again, it wouldn't be a huge issue if the entire book was centered around them meeting one another. The fact that their meeting was so glossed over was a bit disappointing.
All in all, I really enjoyed The Lost and Found. The story line was original, the characters were funny, and the love story was undeniably sweet. I enjoyed Leno's previous book, The Half Life of Molly Pierce, and this book was no different. I definitely recommend this book to anybody looking for a light read but a sweet love story at the same time. I'll definitely be reading more work from Leno in the future, because she's a talented and promising author!