This review is spoiler-free!
This book was received from Netgalley.
The Lost Causes by Alyssa Embree Schwartz & Jessica Koosed Etting
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery, Paranormal
Release Date: September 5th 2017 by Kids Can Press
Format: Kindle Edition, 344 pages
Find it here: Goodreads || Book Depository
They’re the kids that no one knows — or no one wants to know. The rich depressive, the OCD chick, the hypochondriac, the drug abuser, the athlete with anger management issues. All chosen for intensive group therapy because they’re out of other options. They’re lost causes, the therapist tells them. She promises this support group will help them heal.
There’s only one problem. She’s not a therapist. And that water she offers? It contains a dangerous serum that gives each of the kids a psychic power.
Suddenly, they can think clearly, speak to ghosts, see the past, even move objects with their mind. Their earlier problems have vanished, but their new freedom comes with a price.
Sabrina, Gabby, Z, Justin and Andrew are to help the FBI solve the grisly murder that has rocked their small town. Their new powers will help them uncover clues and follow leads that have eluded the authorities. Their outsider status gives them the perfect cover.
But the same traits that make them top investigators also make them vulnerable. As they close in on the murderer, they expose a much larger conspiracy that puts them directly in harm’s way and makes them wonder who — if anyone — they can trust.
Oh nooooo. I should have known this was intended to be a series, one book just didn’t seem like enough to give the premise all the opportunities it deserved.
Which, the idea behind this book is awesome, and I would love more. Love more.
I went into The Lost Causes thinking that the whole idea behind it — the idea of kids with not only issues such as OCD, depression, etc. but also parents who have either given up on them or never attempted to care in the first place — was great, and as I got further into the book, I really appreciated the fact that the authors made an effort to relate the powers each of the kids got back to their initial mental illness that they suffered.
On the note of the mental illnesses portrayed in the book — I can’t give an opinion on if they all were accurately portrayed or not, because I don’t suffer from each of them, but they seemed as if they were properly portrayed. Especially when it came to Gabby and her OCD, the scene we were given was described in a way that I felt, from what I do know, was fairly accurate to how OCD can be.
A thing to note about the mental illness covered in this book, though, is that the only one who seems to have suffered from his since he was young is possibly Justin, and the others had their illnesses manifest somewhat later in life (late childhood?). I’m not sure if this is unusual or not, but it’s a trait most of the Lost Causes shared with one another.
My biggest fault with the story would have to be the fact we didn’t get to see from Andrew’s POV as much as we did the other’s (there were quite a lot of POV chapters from Sabrina and Z in particular, with more from Nash later in the book), and there weren’t as many as I would have liked from Gabby’s. Hopefully we can see more in the second book (there has to be a second book, come on), along with more about the character’s families. I want to know more about Scott or Justin and his mother, or Z’s boyfriend (hint hint, develop that please). The romance was cute and all, but I want more background details.
And, finally, the mystery aspect. Honestly? I was surprised by quite a lot of it. I saw a few things coming, but almost nothing I was 100% right about in my theorizing. I could blame that on the fact I don’t really read mysteries, but I’d rather give credit to the authors, because it’s much more likely they were just very good at what they were doing. The ending wasn’t a HUGE surprise, but it still left it so nicely open for another book.
All in all, I’m ready for more.
Thanks for reading!