The Other Side of Lost by Jessi Kirby – Book Review #Gifted
Thank you Harper360 for gifting me a copy of The Other Side of Lost in exchange for an honest review.
It is easy to become trapped in our own lives. We perform the same daily rituals, all the while feeling that there is something missing. There is a constant hum reverberating through our bones, something bubbling in the background of our brains that suggests there is a problem with the way that we are living. It is easy to forget what really makes us happy. What makes us who we are. We become lost in our own little lives and it often takes a big change that we never expected to help us find ourselves again.
The Other Side of Lost – Review
The Other Side of Lost focuses on the life of Mari, a social media celebrity, who has never really dealt with the death of her cousin. As their mutual 18th birthday arrives her glass bubble starts to shatter. In a moment of realisation, or perhaps grief, Mari posts a farewell video to her followers. She explains how her social media persona is fake, that she is desperately unhappy and how her current existence feels meaningless. In order to re-engage with her true self, Mari goes on an adventure. The one she should have taken with Bri.
Mari’s character is really well written! I like the way that she is portrayed as a relatively ‘normal’ girl. It makes her much easier to identify with on multiple levels. Firstly, it is hard work to maintain a social media presence, with or without creating an alternate persona. It is easy to understand how Mari’s hyper-focus on her number of followers has led her to shut away other parts of her life. When her birthday present arrives I’m sure most readers will be able to identify with Mari’s dilemma. It is easy to fall back on what you know rather than taking a big risk, hoping for something better on the other side. Mari’s grief feels very authentic. I love the way that Jessi Kirby talks about Bri and her relationship with Mari.
Bri is an awesome character and her parts in the book are heart-breaking as well as uplifting in equal measure.
The are a few secondary characters in the book such as Vanessa and Josh, who are very likeable. It is interesting how little we learn about some of the secondary characters. In most books I would consider the characters underdeveloped but that is not true in this case. We are given just the right amount of insight into the more important secondary characters and their group dynamics to make it feel authentic.
There are multiple themes in The Other Side of Lost but the strongest one is faith. Not just in a religious sense, although Bri certainly has an almost angelic presence in the story with Mari believing that she is watching over her. Mari has to have a lot of faith. Faith that she is doing things for the right reasons, that Bri would want her to complete her planned adventure and, mostly importantly, faith in herself. Her faith that she can keep going and that she can change her life is very inspirational. The novel is accurately described as an emotionally charged story and I found that it acted as a mental reset for me. I experienced so many different emotions through Mari’s character. There was laughter and quite a few tears shed. By the end of the book I honestly started to feel like I was capable of making changes too.
The Other Side of Lost is an easy read, which is paced very well. It is not an action filled book but rather the experience of a personal journey, with all of its ups and downs. If like me you have wondered what it would be like to break free and escape everyday life for something better then this is a very good book for you to pick up. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy YA Contemporary novels with a heavy character focus. If you enjoy Akemi Dawn Bowman’s books such as Starfish and Summer Bird Blue (reviewed here), then I highly recommend The Other Side of Lost to you!
As a final point I would like to say that I really appreciate how Jessi Kirby finishes the novel. It takes a talented author to know where to leave a book. I don’t want to give away any spoilers but it ends at the right time and in the perfect place.
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