Genre: New Adult
Release Date: May 7, 2013
There’s complicated. And there’s Rowen Sterling.
After numbing pain for the past five years with boys, alcohol, and all-around apathy, she finds herself on a Greyhound bus to nowhere Montana the summer after she graduates high school. Her mom agreed to front the bill to Rowen’s dream art school only if Rowen proves she can work hard and stay out of trouble at Willow Springs Ranch. Cooking breakfast at the crack of dawn for a couple dozen ranch hands and mucking out horse stalls are the last things in the world Rowen wants to spend her summer doing.
Until Jesse Walker saunters into her life wearing a pair of painted-on jeans, a cowboy hat, and a grin that makes something in her chest she’d thought was frozen go boom-boom. Jesse’s like no one else, and certainly nothing like her. He’s the bright and shiny to her dark and jaded.
Rowen knows there’s no happily-ever-after for the golden boy and the rebel girl—happily-right-now is a stretch—so she tries to forget and ignore the boy who makes her feel things she’s not sure she’s ready to feel. But the more she pushes him away, the closer he seems to get. The more she convinces herself she doesn’t care, the harder she falls.
When her dark secrets refuse to stay locked behind the walls she’s kept up for years, Rowen realizes it’s not just everyone else she needs to be honest with. It’s herself.
Lost & Found is a novel firmly in the new adult genre when it first started gaining attention. My two star rating is more indicative of my personal preference when it comes to new adult novels rather than a true reflection of the novel.
Lost & Found follows Rowen as she’s forced to spend the summer “proving” herself by working on a ranch. Rowen hasn’t been on the best path for the past couple of years. She’s been abusing drugs, alcohol, and boys, so when she arrives at the ranch she realizes she’s in for a tough summer.
Lost & Found has a great premise, but isn’t angsty enough. Williams has her main characters living in the same house on a ranch during the summer, but they barely interact. Rowen is too busy pushing everyone and everything away. The angst could have been so good.
Williams also tried to introduce a love triangle/temptation, but fails. Williams introduced Garth as the type of guy Rowen has been gravitating towards for the past few years because she knows they aren’t interested in anything more than a one night stand. He’s too much of an asshole to make a lasting impression, even with the hint of a sad backstory. Nothing about Garth was appealing.
I would put Lost & Found on the same level as early Abbi Glines novels. They’re the kind of new adult novels that I would have called ground-breaking and genre defining, but I have since moved on to more mature novels.
Overall, Lost & Found is an average new adult novel that is a product of its time. It’s an iteration that would have felt ground-breaking at the time, but now only feels dated and lacking.
Have you read Lost & Found? What did you think?
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