Book Review: Lost Girls by Ann Kelley

Lost Girls
Author: Ann Kelley
Reading Level: YA
Genre: Adventure/Survival
Released: July 10th 2012
Review Source: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Available: Amazon

Summary: (from goodreads) No parents. No rules. No way home. Fourteen-year-old Bonnie MacDonald couldn't be more excited for a camping trip on an island off the coast of Thailand with her fellow Amelia Earhart Cadets-the daughters of the men and women stationed there during the Vietnam War. But when a strong current deposits the girls on what their boatman calls the "forbidden island," things take a turn for the worse: A powerful storm comes to destroy their campsite, the smallest of the junior cadets is found dead, and their boatman never returns. What once seemed like a vacation in paradise has become a battle against the elements.
Peppered with short, frantic entries from Bonnie's journal, Lost Girls is a page-turning, heart-pounding adventure story about a group of teen girls fighting for their lives.

The story is about a group of Amelia Earhart cadets, young daughters of those Americans stationed in Thailand during the Vietnam War. The group of young cadets were heading out excitedly on a camping trip to an island off the coast, when they are caught up in a raging storm. The boatman manages to steer them to the nearest island, although he refuses to set foot on it even with the waters overcoming the small boat. He deposits the group of girls and their one chaperon, Mrs. Campbell, on the island and steers right back to the mainland. Leaving the girls to imagine they’d be picked up in 3 days time, as planned.

Our narrator is fourteen year old, Bonnie. I felt she had such presence among the group. She can be annoyingly indecisive, but considering the situation and her age, it’s easy to get past. As for Mrs. Campbell, the only adult accompanying the group of girls on the trip, she’s useless in every way. She drinks the liquor she stashed in her bag rather than disinfect one girl’s injury and smokes joints she brought on the trip, even encouraging a couple of the girls to smoke with her. Bonnie and her best friend, Jas, were the ones that kept the group in motion and in survival mode.

In the first couple of chapters, there is a loss that caught me so off guard it made me suddenly teary when I realized what happened. The scenarios the girls find themselves in are written so realistically that you can almost feel the grit of the sand in your mouth along with them. You can hear the squeals of the wild boars and monkeys on that island. This story was all about survival. The chapters were scattered with entries from Bonnie’s personal journal that she kept while stranded. Her fears and frustrations etched in those pages, are a great reminder to the reader that they are just a group of terrified little girls wanting to go home.

Even with all of the hard to stomach details written into this story, I couldn’t peel my eyes away from it. I just had to know what would happen next…would they even survive in those lush jungles surrounding them? How far could such young girls go until all of their hope for rescue just faded from them? I’d recommend Lost Girls to anyone looking for a fast-paced, detailed, enthralling story to read. Through to the very end, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.


  1. I'm really excited to read this! I love survival stories & this one reminds me of the t.v. show Lost (which I loved), but with teenage girls. :) Great review!

  2. Great review!! I really enjoyed this one as well! I also had to keep reading to see what would happen next and was pleased with the ending. Some pretty strang things happen on that island!

  3. Oh, this sounds like a great blend of Lost and Hatchet. Your review has made me so excited to read it. I am trying to find a YA with complex themes and this sounds like the perfect book.

  4. Great review!
    I'm really excited to read this.


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