Book Review : Lost in Los Angeles by Jenny Lynne

20437164Title : Lost in Los Angeles

Author : Jenny Lynne

Publisher : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Release date : January 13th, 2014

Rating : 4.5/5

Synopsis (from Goodreads) :


Just weeks after eighteen-year-old Erin tragically loses her best friend, she is brutally raped by her high school crush. Plagued by crippling panic attacks and disconcerting visions of her dead friend, Erin travels to Los Angeles, searching for a sign that life is still worth living. Shortly after she arrives, she meets Ben, a mysterious man who captures both her curiosity and her heart. As they explore Los Angeles together, Ben reveals shocking secrets of his tragic childhood and helps Erin believe that she can heal from the wounds of her traumatic past. But Ben is hiding one horrible secret. A secret that could destroy her.

Review :

When I heard Lost in Los Angeles was for people who liked If I Stay, I knew I had to read it. And it was BETTER than If I Stay.

Clearly the author knew what she was doing: the story starts with a shock, igniting my curiosity for the next pages, just enough to make me care for Erin, the protagonist. And then I was hooked.

Erin was raped. Despite my lack of experience in this area, I think Lynne did a great job at describing the effect of such a betrayal: the mistrust, the detachment, the anti-socialness. But especially the PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Being a psychology student, I check-listed a lot of the things Erin went through. I’m fully aware that anyone would live it differently, but just considering the approach the author took, it was very well done. Very, VERY realistic.

The author manages to create a heavy atmosphere, manipulating our emotions to feel uneasy on the girl’s account. She really handles well the subjects of loss, trauma, betrayal and nostalgia. It’s with grace that she describes how the protagonist copes after tragedy struck. There’s a lot of introspection on Erin’s part. We follow her thoughts, her path to healing, her confusion as to what could help her. L.A., the city of angels, is where Erin wants to reminisce on what she has lost, but she is lost herself. I sympathized, and cared; I was moved by her frailty but also her determination.

Lynne underlines the importance of kindness, how one simple nice gesture can help a struggling individual and alter their behavior. In comes Ben. I think the way the author represented him in the book really made me love him so much more. Ben never takes too much space in the story. Of course, there’s still romance, and Erin’s thoughts revolve a lot around him, but never as if he was leading her thoughts. It was more in the way of how he changes her perception of life, and what he makes her discover. Erin never became stupid because of Ben. And that was SUCH A NICE CHANGE, compared to MANY other novels. Because of her past, she remains wary of him, doesn’t go along with everything he says and made sure he understood where she stands. Her safety is her main concern, and it’s really prominent.

The ONLY thing I slightly frown upon would be the time frame. While you read the book, it seems like a long time has passed, but when you think about it, it’s only a couple months after her rape, and a few days since Ben and Erin have known each other. Again, I have no experience, but it seems like an awfully short amount of time to try to heal.

The book finishes with a bang, that will leave you either in tears or at least shocked. I admit I would’ve liked more explanation, but I guess it’s just as well. It leaves room for interpretation.

In conclusion, if you like contemporary YA fiction, then this book is FOR YOU. If you liked If I Stay, this book TOPS IT EASILY. I really liked Lost in Los Angeles, and I definitely want it on my bookshelf, to take out and press it against my chest.

Picture sources : 1, 2


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