Feb 19, 2015

Review: The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes

Title: The Distance Between Lost and Found
Author: Kathryn Holmes
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: 2.17.2015
Pages: 320
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Series: N/A
Source: eARC from publisher

Rating: 4 Stars

Summary (from 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?

Odds are at least one person (likely more) reading this review won't know a thing about THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND. It's not a block buster book and sadly Kathryn Holmes is not a household name (this is her debut), so it's easy to see how this book would get lost in the shuffle of big name and largely hyped books in the beginning of 2015.

Which is a shame, because this is a really good book.

Hallie (whose full name is Hallelujah - yeah, clearly her parents didn't really think this through) has had a craptastic year, culminating in this wilderness trek with her youth group. You know from the way Hallie is bullied and a lot of her musing that something bad happened to her, but it's not very clear until the end.

This is not a bullying book. This is a book about a young woman finding herself and finding what she's made of when put to the test. When Hallie and her new friend/acquaintance Rachel along with Jonah (a guy she new before she became the group pariah) get lost in the woods, all the bets are off.

What I love is the simple danger of this book. There is no psycho with a knife hunting them or even a pack of wolves stalking them through the woods. This is basic danger, but that's what drives this. I think we forget that nature can be more dangerous than a room full of Charles Mansons.

I loved watching these three fight to survive against the odds while also breaking down what really happened with Hallie. It all boils down to nature and human nature and this is a great story that doesn't need any frills or fluff to work.

THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND is a quiet book, one that almost slipped by my radar. But it a very fast read with intriguing characters and a lot of suspense. Don't be too quick to dismiss this book.


  1. Reading books like this always reminds me of how little chance I have of surviving in this kind of situation. Wilderness survival fail. I love reading survival stories though, and I definitely want to know what happened to Hallie, so this is going on my list for sure! :)

  2. I really enjoyed this one as well! I have always loved survival stories, humans never cease to amaze me with their tenacity and determination to survive. I didn't really connect to any of the characters, but I enjoyed their story and I really loved watching Hallie come to the realizations that she did.


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