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Author: Jessica Koosed Etting & Alyssa Embree Schwartz
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Publication Date: 09/05/2017
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.
Imagine you’re a teenager, just going about your life. You’ve got a few problems. Maybe you’re depressed or have social anxiety. Maybe it’s something else entirely. But you’ve got problems. Suddenly, you’re part of a group of other teens with problems. Now imagine that overnight your problems are gone, you can do things you never imagined were possible for anyone to do, and you’re being asked to help the FBI solve a case and dealing with all the danger that brings. That is what you’ll find when you read The Lost Causes by Jessica Koosed Etting & Alyssa Embree Schwartz.
I’ve always been a huge fan of books, movies, etc., that talk about or deal with psychic phenomena. Stephen King’s Firestarter and Charlie’s pyrokinesis have long been a favorite of mine. There are a few similarities to the beginning of King’s Firestarter, but for the most part, the book is completely new and fresh.
The characters in this book are diverse enough that any reader should be able to find one that they connect with. While they’re all “lost causes,” at the same time, they’re different enough to provide that method of connecting with the reader.
I particularly liked Z’s character because she reminds me a lot of myself but with more issues than I have. She’s an interesting person and I can imagine us hanging out. She’s honestly the only character I relate to – I couldn’t see myself wanting to hang out with Gabby, Justin, Andrew, or Sabrina. They just don’t resonate with me.
The story and plot was well done. There were plenty of twists, turns, and full on “What the heck?” moments when something smacked me out of left field. I almost hope there is some sort of sequel in the works because I would definitely read it if there is one.
A definite 5 star read.
I received a copy of this book free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.