Here are three things to know about Maia:
1. Ever since her mother left, Maia’s struggled with depression — which once got so bad, she had to go to an institution for a while. She doesn’t want to go back.
2. Maia’s sure that if she finds her mother, if the two of them can talk about whale songs and constellations, then everything will be okay again.
3. She’s in love with Billy, the handsome, brooding boy who lives in the group home in town. He doesn’t seem to know that Maia exists… until now.
When Maia sets off on a road trip in search of her mom, Billy unexpectedly comes along. They drive up the East Coast, stopping along the way for lobster rolls and lighthouses. Maia learns that Billy has dark secrets of his own — and wants to outrun his past, too. But what will the future hold if they reach their destination?
From internationally bestselling author Luanne Rice, this is a sweeping, stunning story about the surprising directions our hearts can take.
When I picked up The Beautiful Lost by Luanne Rice, I was totally judging the book by the cover. I had a feeling that I would not like the book, but I gave it a chance. You can’t judge every book based on the cover, no matter how cheesy the book looks. My gut was right, I did not like the book. I am baffled. Honestly baffled because The Beautiful Lost has positive reviews on Goodreads. I guess my review will be controversial because I haven’t seen any negative reviews for this book.
What I liked about the book is that it did a good job at portraying abandonment issues that both Maia and Billy faced. That’s about it. What killed the book experience for me was the way depression was handled. Honestly hated how Maia would say her depression was gone because of her love interest Billy. I couldn’t believe what I had read. Nope, nope, nope. I had to put my book down, there’s no way that I can continue to read The Beautiful Lost. I don’t even want to know how the book ended. I tried reading it, but it was frustrating. Besides the story being cheesy, the romance was very instantaneous.
Maia is a girl who has depression and even though her father and step-mother try to help her with her depression, she only blames her new step-mother. Maia misses her mother, and may I add that Maia’s mother only contacts her daughter by snail mail. The book is set in the present. The mom doesn’t reach out to her daughter. Maia’s mother left her family, and has left Maia with an emptiness in her heart. Maia desperately wants her mother back. She runs away from home in order to be with her mother. This aspect of the story I loved, but the romance was such a buzzkill for me.
I hated how there had to be a love interest. Couldn’t Billy just be a really good friend to Maia? The love interest that wasn’t fully developed even though they had a whole road trip to connect and learn about each other. I would have loved a greater emphasis on Maia’s issues and her growth as a person rather than force the reader to enjoy a contemporary love story. I tried to sympathize with Maia, but I am not on board with her romance. Now you may be wondering why I am against this story’s romance. How did they even get together, you might be wondering. Well, Maia has never really talked to Billy at school. Billy is the mysterious teen attending the same school as Maia. Maia is completely head over heels in love with Billy. When Maia runs away, she stops in front of Billy’s residence. And what does he do? Billy runs away with her even though he doesn’t know her either! That’s a bit weird for me. I see Billy as a stranger because they aren’t even friends. How the heck are you going to let a stranger be with you on a trip? How? I get that Billy is Maia’s crush, but it feels gross for me .The story could have at least focused on some type of friendly relationship between Maia and Billy prior to the road trip. There is no established acquaintanceship between Maia and Billy, and both characters decide to take a trip together. Yeah, no thanks. Will I give The Beautiful Lost another chance? No.
Final Rating: ⭐️