My Lost and Found Life

( 11 )

Overview

Ashley Mitchell thinks she has the perfect life: popularity, a hot boyfriend, and great fashion sense. But Ashley's world falls apart when her mother is accused of embezzling a million dollars, and no one can find her. Before she can say Dolce & Gabbana, Ashley's life goes from perfect to pathetic. With questions growing about her mother and her money quickly disappearing, Ashley is forced to make some drastic changes in her life. With nowhere else to go, she moves into an old camper behind a gas station and ...

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My Lost and Found Life

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Overview

Ashley Mitchell thinks she has the perfect life: popularity, a hot boyfriend, and great fashion sense. But Ashley's world falls apart when her mother is accused of embezzling a million dollars, and no one can find her. Before she can say Dolce & Gabbana, Ashley's life goes from perfect to pathetic. With questions growing about her mother and her money quickly disappearing, Ashley is forced to make some drastic changes in her life. With nowhere else to go, she moves into an old camper behind a gas station and takes a job in a quirky San Francisco coffee shop where she wouldn't have been caught dead a month ago. But life at Mad Malcolm's Cyber Café isn't what she expected. At the Madhouse she finds friends, confidence, and courage to start putting her life back together. But will Ashley ever have the chance to share her new life with her mother?

This heartfelt coming of age story will resonate with every daughter who ever took her mother for granted, and every young woman who must step out on her own and not just survive, but thrive.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Cynthia Winfield
Self-absorbed, pampered, homecoming-queen-beautiful Ashley is days from graduating from Burlingame High and jetting to Hawaii with the senior class, when her bookkeeper mother vanishes and becomes wanted by police for embezzlement. Faced with mounting bills and imminent eviction from her lavish home, Bowsher's initially shallow character passes denial and struggles through multiple difficulties, growing from entitled suburban brat into a responsible, respectful, gainfully employed societal member. On her journey, Ashley ventures beyond her safety zone: partying with wild Tatiana, moving into a camper-trailer behind a gas station, watching her best friend Nicole leave for college, finding work in a funky city cyber cafT and coming to value its unique clientele, befriending a grandfather figure, finding-and losing-love, and ultimately enrolling in college. Adults maintain significance throughout, including her mother's best friend and her mother's ex-boyfriend (both of whom initially view her as spoiled and demanding) Nicole's mother whose dislike is obvious, and the earnest Officer Strobel. Engrossed readers witness Ashley's amazing, wholly unexpected transformation with satisfaction and pride. What teens will read as a riveting adventure, adults might see as empowering teen readers. Ashley develops into a complex, admirable young woman. Useful in classrooms as a vehicle for discussion of plot and character development, instrumental for engaging reluctant readers, and decidedly satisfying for all, this book belongs in schools and libraries where readers age twelve to twenty-seven can enjoy and learn from it.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Bowsher convincingly develops the unique voice of a young woman sliding from being a San Francisco suburban "Valley Girl" into homelessness. At the opening of the story, Ashley is an abrasive, catty snob just days away from high school graduation. Soon enough, however, the police are knocking on her door. Apparently the family's life of luxury has been financed by embezzled funds, and her mother has disappeared without a word. Ashley doesn't know what to believe, but she has no time to sit around wondering. She has to go to work, her boyfriend isn't as loyal as she might have hoped, and all the while she's dealing with the criminal investigation. By the end, Ashley has shed her judgmental pretension and is simply a feisty young woman with a tough exterior. This captivating story reads more like a journal than a novel. Though it is not high literature, it is a quick, easy read.-Leah Krippner, Harlem High School, Machesney Park, IL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The travails of a suddenly poor little rich girl fail to sparkle. Debut author Bowsher has a great concept: Wealthy, spoiled 17-year-old Ashley's mother is accused of embezzling millions and disappears, forcing Ashley to give up her material girl existence, get a job and move into her mother's ex-boyfriend's camper van behind his gas station. But she finds that self-reliance has benefits, including romance with an older Irishman. Unfortunately, the writing is dry and obvious; rather than saying things, characters tease, jibe, quip and so on. Narrated five years after the events of the story, there is little sense of Ashley now, although she says she has grown and changed. Some solid elements, such as the odd cast of characters she falls in with, are lost in ineffective plot points (a fire, a collapsed lung) and a lack of depth. For a better take on the glitzier side of an absentee parent, try Michael Simmons's Finding Lubchenko (2005), or Martha Brooks's True Confessions of a Heartless Girl (2003) for finding a new "family" in unexpected places. (Fiction. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582347363
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 8/22/2006
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 350
  • Age range: 14 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.89 (w) x 8.54 (h) x 1.33 (d)

Meet the Author

Melodie Bowsher grew up in Kansas and received a degree in journalism from Kansas State University. After graduating, she went to work in the Wall Street Journal's Dallas bureau where at age 20 she was the first woman ever hired by that newspaper as a staff reporter. Melodie later moved to San Francisco where her two kids provided the research for this, her first novel.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 5, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Carrie Spellman for TeensReadToo.com

    It's five days before graduation and Ashley's perfect life is crumbling. Her mother is being accused of embezzling a million dollars, and has disappeared. Ashley can't believe her mother would do something like that, much less disappear and leave her with the fall-out. Although it's starting to look like it all might be true. One by one the things Ashley counted on and took for granted are falling away. There's no way she can afford the senior trip to Hawaii. Her perfect boyfriend won't even acknowledge her. Gone are her plans to go to college in Boston with her best friend. Not to mention the bills, but those can wait for her mom to come back. Except it's getting pretty obvious that she's not coming back. <BR/><BR/>Suddenly Ashley, who's always just gotten what she asked for, has to fend for herself. It's a hard crash course in reality. There's no way she can afford to keep the house, even after she has a yard sale to sell off its contents. She needs a job, but it's hard to find a job with no work experience. It's impossible to find a place to live without income. The only people who can help are her mother's ex-boyfriend, who doesn't like her, her mother's best friend, who thinks she's a spoiled brat, and the cop who's investigating her mom. Everyone seems to be waiting for her to fail. <BR/><BR/>Ashley finds herself living in a camper behind a gas station., without heat or running water. She falls into a job at Mad Malcom's, an off-beat coffee shop where the clientele is as nutty as the owner. In her wildest dreams she could never imagine her life getting this off track. The question is, can she pull herself out of where she`s ended up? And, what really happened to her mother? <BR/><BR/>On the way through she learns a few things about real friends, dangerous people, and personal strength. <BR/><BR/>MY LOST AND FOUND LIFE is so well-written that Ashley seems like a real person. It's written like an autobiography, and I almost forgot that it wasn't a true story. Especially since it could be--things like this actually happen to people. It is a good reminder that you don't always know what people have been through. As well as a reminder that you might be surprised at what you can do when you run out of options.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2007

    Heartfelt

    I thought this book was really thoughtful. It is mainly about a rich teenage girl who goes from getting everything she wants then works for survival. Ashley has to learn how to take care of herself and think about what is really important in life. When her mother is accuse of embezzling, Ashley's life completely changes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2007

    a reviewer

    This book was about a girl that was used to getting everything she wants until her mother just disappears, being accused of embezzling money. Ashley has to take care of herself from now on instead of her beautiful future she was looking forward to. Good read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2007

    really really good

    My lost and found life, is a book about 17 year old Ashley.Homecoming queen, very smart in her acadmeics and is on her way to college, when her mom is accused of embezzling funds and runs away. Ashley is left to survive on her own. The bank takes away her house because she can't pay her bills, so she has to find a job and a place to live.The book is funny and shows how a person can go from riches to rags in one day. Very good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2007

    i usually dislike reading , but this booked changed my mind ..

    Try going from the most popular girl in the school , the one that dates the football captain and girls idolize , to your entire life end up crumpling. Five days before her graduation and trip to Hawaii ... her mom embezzes a million dollars and disappears. She can't afford her Hawaii trip and her boyfriend won't even acknowledge her. She couldn't believe her mom would do that to her.She goes homeless and has no choice but to get a job.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2007

    this was one of the best books i have ever read!!!

    this is a truly amazing book. it has multiple heart-wrenching curves. not once was i ever turned away to stop reading. i just couldnt put it down

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2006

    A Powerful Novel

    A harrowing tale of privilege ¿ faced with the realities of life. The protagonist Ashley, appeared to have it all until her mother disappears in a cloud of suspicion. Along with the absence of her mother goes all the materialistic luxuries of life. Out on her own, Ashley discovers the difficult hurdles of everyday life ¿ yet uncovers the true meaning of friendship in a diverse and unsuspecting world. Melody Bowsher paints a wonderful picture of life in the 21st century - with delicate prose and surprising plot twists. A+

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2006

    Ashley is a character to remember.

    Ashley is a graduating high schooler who feels entitled to all the best life has to offer. Unfortunately for her, life teaches her a lesson when her mother disappears during graduation week and she has to fend for herself. We watch her grow from a shrill prima donna to a responsible adult. I enjoyed this book and feel you would too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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