Published by Simon Pulse on April 5th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic, Romance
Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository
From beloved author and National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti comes a fresh and luminous novel about the grief that can tear us apart and the people who can make us whole again.
When Madison makes a startling discovery, the body of a dead woman floating in the middle of a lake, the summer after her senior year becomes more complicated than she ever expected.
Madison (Mads to everyone who knows her) is staying with her aunt and uncle in Seattle after graduating from high school. Being away from her needy, unstable mother who's been pressuring her to take over the family business is such a relief. Now all Mads has to worry about is taking classes, swimming laps, and fighting off the sadness that threatens to overtake her.
That is, until the traumatic moment Mads collides with a body in the middle of the lake. After swimming the body back to shore, Mads becomes obsessed with uncovering the identity of the woman and what drove her to leap off of the Aurora Bridge. Determined to discover more, Mads parks outside the woman's home and sees the woman's son: the sweet and tormented Billy Youngwolf Floyd.
Through a series of not-so-happenstance meetings, Mads and Billy realize that desperate mothers and rescue missions are not the only thing that bonds them. Billy carries a map in his pocket; the one of the museum from The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler; and it's his dream to visit the museum one day. And though book-loving Mads is expected to return home to her already-decided future, her dream is to run away to a life of her choosing.
As the unlikely pair fall hard for each other and as the summer draws to a close, Billy and Mads must decide whose story to follow: their family's or their own.
I remember reading Honey Baby Sweetheart back in high school (which let me tell you, was a long time ago) and I remember enjoying it and wanting to read more of Deb Caletti’s books. Fast forward to 2016 and I still hadn’t read anymore of Deb Caletti’s books. I did however buy a couple. Then I see a tour for ESSENTIAL MAPS FOR THE LOST and it sounds so good, I immediately sign up for it. I was not disappointed! Reading this book has made me want to read and/or reread the rest of Caletti’s books!
What I really love about this book is the emotion that you get while reading it. And that it deals with some important issues. At the very beginning you are thrown into this terrible event, Mads colliding with a dead body in a lake. I would have nightmares if that happened to me. And throughout the whole novel, you see Mads and Billy dealing with some pretty important stuff, not just their relationship.
Now, as much as I enjoyed this book. It did take me a little bit to get through the first third. I read the first few chapters pretty fast considering the beginning is literally Mads colliding into a dead body, but after that it did take some getting used to. And maybe it was because I was in a slight reading slump due to my wedding, but it did take me a few days to push through and finish this. But Caletti’s writing is gorgeous. She really does know how to show a story. And I will definitely be rereading this at some point in my life.
All-in-all, I really enjoyed this book and if you’re in the mood for a contemporary that isn’t afraid to deal with tough stuff. I really recommend giving Deb Caletti’s writing a chance! Because the story that she tells about Mads and Billy about falling in love amongst the grief, is a pretty fantastic read. 🙂
About the Author
Deb Caletti is an award-winning author and National Book Award finalist. Her many books for young adults include “The Nature of Jade,” “Stay,” “The Last Forever,” and “Honey, Baby Sweetheart,” winner of the Washington State Book award, the PNBA Best Book Award, and a finalist for the PEN USA Award. Her first book for adults, “He’s Gone,” was released from Random House in 2012, and was followed with “The Secrets She Keeps” in 2015. Coming this April: “Essential Maps for the Lost,” her eleventh book for young adults. She lives with her family in Seattle.
3 Finished Copies of ESSENTIAL MAPS FOR THE LOST (US Only)