First Impression: The Distance Between Lost and Found is a powerful and moving story of survival in both the physical and mental sense. I LOVED it, and Hallie (short for Hallelujah) is very much a relatable character who struggles to find her voice, but when she does it’s truly inspirational.
“The storm won’t last long. And, Hallelujah realizes, sometimes you need the storm to really appreciate the sun and the blue sky.”
Review: Something bad happened between Hallie and Luke Willis, the preachers son. Luke, because he’s an absolute shitface (mind my language), lies about what happened and Hallie suffers the consequences. She’s tormented and bullied, distrusted by her parents, shunned by her peers and abandoned by her friends. Six months later, Hallie returns to church youth group and they’re out hiking in the mountains. Hallie continues to be tormented, Luke takes pride out of her shame and embarrassment. When she meets Rachel, a fun outgoing new girl who knows nothing of Hallie’s and Luke’s past, who hasn’t heard the nasty rumours, Hallie is still on the defensive and thus is quickly distrustful of Rachel. When out hiking, Rachel, Hallie and Jonah — Hallie’s ex-best friend — get separated from the group and must stick together to survive. They begin to form a strong bond and the life and death struggle is enough to encourage Hallie to speak out, to stand up for herself and to stop being tormented by the past.
I was excited about The Distance Between Lost and Found. I don’t entirely know why, I just was. Yet, I had every right to be because it’s a deeply moving story and I’m glad that I had the opportunity to read it.
Whilst at times it may seem like The Distance Between Lost and Found is just about trying to survive in the wilderness, trying to rely on each other, it’s much more than that. It would have been a great story still if it wasn’t, but I think the touching storyline and fantastically developed characters and back-story (for everyone, not just Hallie) was what made The Distance Between Lost and Found a book I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.
Hallie is a very courageous character who is deeply hurting and can’t find the strength to speak out about what happened. She’s vulnerable inside, but the silence is just a shield — keep your head down and it will go away, they’ll find something new to talk about. It doesn’t happen like that, and Hallie comes to realise it. It was a wonder and an inspiration to get to watch Hallie make that choice. I enjoyed Rachel as a character too, her supportiveness, her openness and general optimism in the face of danger. She was a great friend to Hallie, despite just meeting. Jonah is also a great character, who you really do begin to care about. Luke is someone I detested from the start and deceptively awful people are the worst.
Overall, The Distance Between Lost and Found is a book I will probably find myself recommending frequently.