Book Review: One Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards

28321033Title: One Was Lost

Author: Natalie D. Richards

Genre: Young Adult, Thriller

Age Group: Young Adult

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Damaged. Deceptive. Dangerous. Darling. Are they labels or a warning? The answer could cost Sera everything.
Murder, justice, and revenge were so not a part of the plan when Sera set out on her senior camping trip. After all, hiking through the woods is supposed to be safe and uneventful.
Then one morning the group wakes up groggy, confused, and with words scrawled on their wrists: Damaged. Deceptive. Dangerous. Darling. Their supplies? Destroyed. Half their group? Gone. Their chaperone? Unconscious. Worst of all, they find four dolls acting out a murder—dolls dressed just like them.
Suddenly it’s clear; they’re being hunted. And with the only positive word on her wrist, Sera falls under suspicion…

In One Was Lost, author Natalie Richards does an admirable job of portraying four teens’ fear, increasing paranoia and mounting distress as they must survive in the wild, during a hike gone terribly wrong.

Sera didn’t want to sign up for the camping trip, nor did she want to be cut off from civilization for this long, but her teacher talked her into it. Now she’s here, along with two teachers and several other students, one of them being Lucas – a boy she could fall in love with, if only she’d left herself. After crossing a river during particularly heavy rain, the group gets split up – two girls and one teacher on one side, Sera, Lucas, Jude, Emily and another teacher on the other side.

But when they wake up the next day, the campsite across the river is empty. They slept half the day away – obviously drugged. Their teacher is still out cold. They all have tattoos on their arms: Deceptive, Dangerous, Damaged and Darling. Sera is Darling, which immediately rouses the others’ suspicions.  Then they see a finger dangling from a tree at the other camp site.

Whatever is going on, someone wants to hurt them. Kill them, maybe. As the culprit continues leaving eerie clues, the paranoia rises, and Sera must decide who, if anyone, she can trust, how she’ll survive this ordeal, and who wants to hurt them.

The book definitely has a lot of good points. I enjoyed the descriptions, and the author did a good job painting realistic characters. The plot was very engaging, particularly in the first half. I couldn’t wait to find out who or what was targeting Sera and the others. Also, with Sera no longer sure who she could trust, the plot definitely kept me on the edge of my seat.

I did have issues with some things, though. For example, the ending. The culprit. I figured that one out from the start, and it was rather dissapointing. Not that realistic either, and it just didn’t seem developed enough – why them, why now, sure, some of it was explained but I wanted a better explanation. It just seemed far-fetched. Also, the plot dragged in the middle. The characters argued a lot – too much, if you ask me. If you know a madman’s out to get you, you won’t argue about what to do for half an hour first.

Anyway, it was an enjoyable, suspenseful read, and I would recommend it if you enjoy YA thrillers/mysteries, especially ones set in the forest. Although parts of it were predictable, I still enjoyed reading the book.



  1. Great review! I did find the ending a bit unrealistic as well even though I didn’t figure it out (at east the reasoning).
    my review

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