Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes

The Distance Between Lost and Found
By Kathryn Holmes
Available Now
Harper Teen (Epic
Hardback 292 pages
Realistic Fiction YA

To Buy Links- Amazon/ Kindle/ B&N/ Book Depository/ Indiebound/ Kobo

Goodreads:  Ever since the night of the incident with Luke Willis, the preacher’s son, sophomore Hallelujah Calhoun has been silent. When the rumors swirled around school, she was silent. When her parents grounded her, she was silent. When her friends abandoned her … silent.

Now, six months later, on a youth group retreat in the Smoky Mountains, Hallie still can’t find a voice to answer the taunting. Shame and embarrassment haunt her, while Luke keeps coming up with new ways to humiliate her. Not even meeting Rachel, an outgoing newcomer who isn’t aware of her past, can pull Hallie out of her shell. Being on the defensive for so long has left her raw, and she doesn’t know who to trust.

On a group hike, the incessant bullying pushes Hallie to her limit. When Hallie, Rachel, and Hallie’s former friend Jonah get separated from the rest of the group, the situation quickly turns dire. Stranded in the wilderness, the three have no choice but to band together.

With past betrayals and harrowing obstacles in their way, Hallie fears they’ll never reach safety. Could speaking up about the night that changed everything close the distance between being lost and found? Or has she traveled too far to come back?


First, I would kill my parents for naming my Hallelujah. Can you imagine the teasing she got? But there is a very cool reason for naming her that so she wears the name proudly. And she should. Hallie, as her friends call her, is probably one of the most resourceful, quirky, self critical, reflective characters I have ever fallen for in YA. I call Hallie quirky because of her religion. I am not one that reads books with any kind of religion in them, in fact, I run the other way. Probably due to my own questions about religion. But Kathryn Holmes introduces a very religious group without being preachy in the least. The camping trip Hallie and the others are on is a church youth group retreat. And who is the bad boy? The preacher's kid. I so wished a bear had gotten him but no such luck. Anyway, when Hallie and Rachel and Jonah are separated from the rest of the group there are a lot of questions that come up about God. Did God plan their harrowing experience as a test? Does God just sit back and watch them suffer? How can God let bad things happen to good people? You might have asked these things yourself. I know I have. I liked the way the teens approached them and especially how Hallie answered them. Again, it DID NOT come across as "You have to believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior!!!!"  It was refreshing to see these questions asked by the teens in some very difficult situations and even coming from a religious upbringing have them not have all the answers.

Okay, why else did I like Hallie. At first she is very self critical because of  the situation she let herself get caught in and then didn't correct the mistake. It was a mistake, but everyone believed the preacher's son over her. Because why? She'd never done anything like that before. Why was everyone so quick to believe something so bad of her? Even her parents? Hallie has everything bottled up inside of her and she judges everything she does. She puts herself down in her own mind before anyone new can. She even pushes the new girl, Rachel, away before she can get hurt by Hallie's reputation. But, later, the self criticism turns reflective after she talks to Jonah and she realizes her mistake. And with that one talk, the criticism becomes a powerful tool in motivating her. It's gentler, not harsh, nudging, not judging, urging her forward.

You will have to read about her resourcefulness for yourself but the way she uses the forest, the things she finds in their backpacks, her inner strength, it all makes for an incredible story of survival. I promise this is not a religious story though it is thoughtful and mindful of God's plan. It just raises questions, looks for answers. It's a story of forgiving yourself and others. Starting over and finding the strength to go on when all you want to do is quit. I think there is something in it for all of us.

It's a YA story. Realistic fiction about survival in the wilderness. There is some drinking, mean girl situations and some suggestive talk. Very PG-13. I highly recommend this novel. It's going on my favorites shelf!


  1. I've been hearing a lot about this one so I'm really glad you enjoyed it as well. I'm not sure this is necessarily for me but I feel as if I should give it a shot. Definitely bumping this up my TBR. ;)

  2. I was steering clear of this one because I was worried about the religious undertones, but after reading your review I need to give it a go. I would totally hate to have a name like Hallelujah! Seriously, what were her parents thinking?

  3. Hm... interesting! I probably wouldn't have picked this one up, and I'm not sure if it is for me, but I know a few people who would love this one. I do like the sound of Hallie and that is what sells it to me. Brilly review.


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