Saturday, January 25, 2014
Review: The Days Lost by Shannon McCrimmin
On the heels of her high school graduation, Ellie Morales is spending her summer vacation in the mountains of Western North Carolina with her dad and brother, Jonah. Having lost their mother only months earlier, all of them are trying to cope with the loss in their own way.
Part routine, part escape, running is Ellie's way of dealing with her grief. Shortly after sunrise each morning, Ellie and her dog, Bosco, set out for a lengthy run on the path that passes by her house and leads deep into the woods of the Blue Ridge Mountains. One fateful morning, Ellie is lead off of the trail and discovers a secret that will change her life, as well as the lives of the family she meets, forever. One member of this mysterious family is Sam Gantry, who seems unlike any guy she's ever known.
This meeting sparks a series of events, causing Ellie to question everything she's ever known and believed. The more she learns about Sam and his family, the more she wants to help him find the missing puzzle pieces.
My Rating: 3.5
When I first starting reading The Days Lost, I thought that the novel would be terribly cliche, but I was delightfully surprised. Soon enough, I found that the story was unique and intriguing, and I fully enjoyed it. This novel is perfect for curling up and reading during a slow day, as I did exactly that and could not stop until I finished.
Ellie definitely comes across a mystery when she ends up coming across Sam and his family. The entire story behind them is very interesting, especially to fans of historical fiction. Their actions and interactions were entertaining, while creating a mysterious suspense that leads up to an incredible reveal. However, I was a bit disappointed that their situation was never fully explained, even though I do understand that it could be simply a mysterious wonder of the world that can't be explained, that seems a bit easy. Still, it makes for an excellent plot, so I can't complain too much.
I am not too proud to admit that I fangirl over many characters. I am also not too proud to admit that another one has been added to the list, at a pretty high ranking. Ladies, I'd like to introduce you to Sam Gantry, fictional proof that chivalry ain't dead. I loved Ellie's dialogue, but certain parts of her character just didn't stick with me much. Sam's a different story. The Days Lost has some romance to it, and Sam is the swoon-worthy male that we're looking for. He manages to be polite and gentlemanly while still having some very manly survival skills and the good kind of fight in him. Not only does this ex-soldier have a wonderful singing voice, but he reads. (He had me at The Count of Monte Cristo.) Love interest at it's finest.
The Days Lost had some truly beautiful quotes and themes, and was a lot of fun to read. Despite the fact that I went on and on about the male lead, it is more than just romance. Between the mystery of Sam's family, the sarcastic humor of Jonah, and even quite the amount of action for a more contemporary work, The Days Lost has a wide range of appeals.