FRAGMENTS OF THE LOST could have been a heart-stopping thriller from beginning to end, but sadly, doesn’t deliver its full potential.
When Caleb’s mom, Eve, asks Jessa to clean out his room, Jessa, his ex-girlfriend can hardly say no. After all, everybody blames her for his death. As she organizes Caleb’s belongings, Jessa realizes he had been keeping some big secrets. Maybe she never knew him at all.
I really wanted Megan Miranda‘s latest thriller to become a new favorite. I secretly wanted it to motivate me to read more YA thrillers, but that wasn’t the case.
In my personal opinion, Jessa was an incredibly bland main character. Yes, she was grieving, and that is definitely one of the hardest things anyone has to go through. But that didn’t excuse her having no personality at all. It’s like she didn’t have an actual life before Caleb and she had been no one before her relationship with him. At least that’s how I felt throughout the whole book. I have never experienced the kind of grief she was going through, so maybe that’s just me.
There was a lot of potential in the family dynamics, but they weren’t exactly executed well. I completely understand Jessa’s parents giving her the space they felt she needed, but checking in on her every once in a while would’ve been nice. It broke my heart seeing how she felt, like she would always be her popular brother’s sister and nothing more, because every sibling in this world has felt that way at least once.
Now, I might be in the minority here, but to me, Jessa acted like her and Caleb’s problems caused the end of the world. And when you think of it, they weren’t all that bad. They kept secrets from each other and it simply didn’t work out between them. That happens a lot. I appreciated that their relationship wasn’t picture perfect in the least, but Jessa’s attitude when they were just together for a year annoyed me a little.
The first 100 pages or so were interesting, but not enough to keep me fully engrossed. I found myself to be bored through the beginning and had to fight my drooping eyes. But when I reached the halfway point, something shifted and it got really intense all of a sudden. If the whole novel had been this way, I would have easily rated it 5 stars. Reveal after reveal literally left me breathless. Then it ended, and I couldn’t have felt more underwhelmed in my entire life.
The pacing was absolutely fantastic. I was never lost, and the way the book was formatted really helped me keep track of what was going on. Sometimes it felt as if a ton of things happened super quick, at the same time, but that’s literally what life is like. Time was flying just as fast as it does in this universe of ours.
I deeply appreciated the Puertorican representation. I’m pretty sure Hailey was mixed race, if I’m remembering right, and her father was from my home island, which made my heart melt. Finding characters of my own ethnicity is incredibly hard, so whenever I find at least a teeny bit of it, I jump with joy.
I had a lot of fun reading it and it kept me entertained. But my expectations were a little too high. Nonetheless, I would love to pick up more of Miranda’s work in the future.
RATING: 3 Out Of 5 Stars
Fragments of the Lost by Megan Miranda is available NOW in online retailers and bookstores everywhere, including via Amazon.
From the New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls and The Perfect Stranger comes a suspenseful psychological mystery about one girl’s search to uncover the truth behind her ex-boyfriend’s death. Perfect for fans of We Were Liars and 13 Reasons Why .
Jessa Whitworth knew she didn’t belong in her ex-boyfriend Caleb’s room. But she couldn’t deny that she was everywhere–in his photos, his neatly folded T-shirts, even the butterfly necklace in his jeans pocket . . . the one she gave him for safe keeping on that day.
His mother asked her to pack up his things–even though she blames Jessa for his accident. How could she say no? And maybe, just maybe, it will help her work through the guilt she feels about their final moments together.
But as Jessa begins to box up the pieces of Caleb’s life, they trigger memories that make Jessa realize their past relationship may not be exactly as she remembered. And she starts to question whether she really knew Caleb at all.
Each fragment of his life reveals a new clue that propels Jessa to search for the truth about Caleb’s accident. What really happened on the storm-swept bridge?