Once Was Lost

Once Was Lost

by Sara Zarr


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Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr

Samara Taylor used to believe in miracles. She used to believe in a lot of things. As a pastor's kid, it's hard not to buy in to the idea of the perfect family, a loving God, and amazing grace. But lately, Sam has a lot of reason to doubt. Her mother lands in rehab after a DUI and her father seems more interested in his congregation than his family. When a young girl in her small town is kidnapped, the local tragedy overlaps with Sam's personal one, and the already-worn thread of faith holding her together begins to unravel.

In her third novel, acclaimed author Sara Zarr examines the coexistence of affliction and hope, and what happens when everything you thought you believed---about God, about your family, about yourself---is transformed.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316036030
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 01/04/2011
Pages: 217
Sales rank: 633,576
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Sara Zarr was raised in San Francisco, went to high school in Pacifica, California, and now lives with her husband in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is the author of Sweethearts and the National Book Award finalist, Story of a Girl and can be found on the web at www.sarazarr.com.

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Once Was Lost 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 48 reviews.
volleyballgirl143 More than 1 year ago
Sam Taylor has been through a lot in the past month or so. For starters, her mom was sent to rehab for a drinking addiction and one of her friends from church dissapeared off the streets one day. Through all of Sams problems, she tries to stay as strong as possible. So far, the book has been very well written. Sara Zarr has done a terrific job of telling a story. The characters seem so real and you could easily place yourself in any of the settings. The problems that occur in the book are real-life issues and can be easily related to. I would highly recommend this book to any girl, teens and/or young adults.
Susan Duval More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Keeps you on the edge for a while then shows you how God really brings things back together. So glad i bought this book! :)
TheButler More than 1 year ago
Once was Lost holds the exact measurements of everything that makes it accessible and good for many audiences. Sam is someone that many can relate to as they go through an emotional period in there life. I felt like her reactions to her life crumbling around her were realistic. Both the reader and Sam learn that her life isn't crumbling at the end, it is just changing. There is mystery where the kidnapping is concerned and emotion is expressed everywhere in the book. Sam must deal with her own problems with her alcoholic mother and busy father, as well as her communities where the kidnapping is concerned. There is literally a touch of romance in just the right place with just the right person. Sam and her entire journey are good for anyone. The religion aspect plays a big part in the novel, but it will not matter if you have any similarities with the religion part!
Lawral More than 1 year ago
Poor Sam. She needed a hug throughout almost this entire book, and not the one-armed youth leader kind. She sufferes from knowing a lot of people but being close to very few. She's also dealing with the absence of her mother, and her mother's long-time alcohol abuse, all alone. Her dad doesn't want to talk about the situation, or at least he doesn't want to talk about it with Sam, and Sam can't talk to anyone else about it either, not even her best friend Vanessa, without hurting her father's reputation. They just keep telling people her mom is "sick" and not letting anyone in the house. Luckily for Pastor Charlie's image, no one wants to come over anyway since it's August and their air conditioner is broken. When Jody is kidnapped, Sam is clearly upset (she's mad at life, not heartless), but it does give her something besides her mother and crumbling family to focus all of her energy/super-power-strength-worrying-skills on. It's when the youth group is all gathered praying for Jody's safe return that Sam realizes that she doesn't know anymore if anyone's listening. How could a just and loving God let Jody be kidnapped? How could He let Sam flounder through her life feeling so abandoned and alone? Sam struggles through this by herself as well. A daughter who may have lost her faith could be more damaging to Pastor Charlie's reputation than a wife in rehab. But Sam's doubt isn't a rejection of God. She desperately wants to feel the closeness and comfort that her youth group friends feel, especially when she has such a lack of both in her day-to-day life. She just can't muster it, and so she feels isolated and wrong. Though Sam's situation would undoubtably be helped by talking to her church friends or youth leader, the fact that she doesn't feel she can go to them is ultimately realistic. Even if she had sought guidance, this is something so personal that she has to deal with it alone. And she does, with the search for Jody, a budding relationship with Nick, fights with Vanessa, and unreturned voicemails left for her mother all buzzing in the background. Though it is a heavy read, I highly recommend Once Was Lost, especially for regular youth group attendees. Book source: Philly Free Library
GirlwiththeBraids More than 1 year ago
When her mother is checked into rehab, Samara wants her father to say the right words like he does to everyone else in their small town. His charm is undeniable and the Pineview Community Church is lucky to have him as a pastor. But Sam isn't so sure that her dad has it altogether. Then again, what does she really know about him if he's never home? Heat waves suck. And they make everything feel ten times worse. So Sam's thoughts are all the more depressing. A 13-year-old girl from their congregation goes missing and Sam finds herself falling in love with the girl's grieving older brother. But paranoia doesn't leave without a question: Is there really a God? Once Was Lost was predictable. The writing was pretty and flowed well but I was never fully into the story. It was too easy to set the book down. There seemed to be two sides of the main character: one was self-conscience and vulnerable and the other just wanted to scream of frustration. So I could never sympathize with Sam. The book also needed a bigger variety in character personalities. Everyone's dialogue was basically the same things being said over and over. I really liked the ending even though I knew what was coming. Both the cover and the story are minty fresh but they're forgettable.
Lauren817 More than 1 year ago
Sara Zarr's novels are always filled with greatness. Story of A Girl was an amazing and fascinating read while Sweethearts was a heartbreaking story that made me cry. So, when I found out she had a new novel coming out soon, I was supper excited. Luckily, Once Was Lost may seriously be Sara's best attempt yet! Once Was Lost is novel that deals with loosing hope because of different tragedies that are occurring around you while still trying to restore that hope. One thing, I enjoyed about this novel was the way Sara Zarr approached religion. Since, it was well done and wasn't overbearing which I admired about this book. Also, I loved the whole mystery aspect of this novel which is brought out from the kidnapping. It was interesting to see the twists and turns that come from this and the final revelation of who did it. Sadly, at times, Once Was Lost moved in a way that was a bit slow, especially at the beginning. Though, the characters tended to over shadow this bad point, because I really enjoyed reading about them all, especially Sam. She is a character that is easy to relate to and like. Overall, Once Was Lost is a beautiful tale about forgiving and starting to believe again, I look forward to reading more books by Zarr! Grade: A
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I felt that this book was very slow and boring, but i loved the lessons that the author brings in the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What We Lost is an amazing book!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of those where everybody seems guilty. Unexpected ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Little slow
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kinda slow but heartwarming
Bookworm970 More than 1 year ago
This book was amazingly amazing!!! <3 It grabbed my heart when Jody went missing and kept pulling at my emotions with Sam's family problems and Nick's situation where half of the country thinks it's him! I never thought it was him for a second! And at the part where Sam jumps out of the car and Nick just protects her and kisses her sooo gently! That's one of my favorite parts, and I kept re-reading it! How he didn't mean to hurt her, and she truly believes him when he told her he didn't do it. I was crying a little! This is the first book I've read by Sara Zarr, and I just started another and it's pretty good for the beginning of a book! I highly recommend this book to everyone who wants a book that'll definately test your emotions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DKami More than 1 year ago
Sam thinks entering high school will turn her life around, well she is completely wrong. She is the only child of a pastor, which makes everyone automatically think she must be perfect. Her family barely has any money so the church pays most of their bills. When she thinks nothing worse could happen her mother got a DUI, meaning she must attend rehab. Sam and her mom were very close which made her going to rehab even harder. Her dad didn't understand her like her mom did, he seemed to have the answers to everyones questions and problems but hers. One day after church while watching the news she discovers one of her friends, Jody Shaw, from church got kidnapped. At this point she basically loses faith and is unsure on who to turn to.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another hit for Sara Zarr. I love her style of writing. I hope she has something else coming out soon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sierra Clegg More than 1 year ago
Im not christian but i liked that religion was woven in this one
Hallie Rauch More than 1 year ago
It really is awesome. It describes how one event can change your life. Its got tragedy, romance, bonding, and hope all rolled into one. It describes a teens journey to define herself and her faith. The ending might be a little predictable for some, but it definitely makes my top ten.