review by Jacob Chon, age 14

The Lost Causes by Jessica Koosed Etting and Alyssa Embree Schwartz

    A mystery book for the YA genre, The Lost Causes is a fairly unique book and stands out against the majority of the YA genre. It follows five high school students with psychological problems so bad that their parents had given up on them. After being given special psychic powers via a serum, they are tasked with hunting down a savage killer in possession of that same serum. Although at first the case seems relatively safe, as they get closer to solving the mystery, each student begins to live a life fraught with peril and danger. Their very lives are put on the wire as they track down the killer. Each one of them must confront their own inner demons and question if their task is really worth risking death.
    This novel had an interesting premise that was very different from most of the YA genre. Although many books of the genre are a copy paste of “dystopia and teenagers,” The Lost Causes was a fresh change in the monotony of dystopia. Although it retained the ever relatable high school students that most novels in the genre do, The Lost Causes was also mystery novel. It took a step in a different direction and succeeded. I enjoyed the mystery aspect of the novel. However, there were some problems, one of which being the dynamic between the five students. Their relationships with each other seem forced and dry. In addition, the characters themselves are very cliché.  Despite this, The Lost Causes was still a nice change in pace for a YA novel. The risky choice to depart in a different direction paid off well, and I recommend this book to anyone looking for a YA mystery novel. 3.5/5 stars.

Find this book in our catalog: The Lost Causes

Catalog Number: On order

341 pages

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