Monday, 15 February 2016

Review: Lost & Found by Brooke Davis

Book: Lost & Found

Author: Brooke Davis

Pages: 272

Read: The paperback pictured above

Time Taken to Read: This book took me 3 weeks to read!

Plot Summary: Millie Bird is a seven-year-old girl who always wears red wellington boots to match her red, curly hair. But one day, Millie’s mum leaves her alone beneath the Ginormous Women’s underwear rack in a department store, and doesn’t come back.

Agatha Pantha is an eighty-two-year-old woman who hasn’t left her home since her husband died. Instead, she fills the silence by yelling at passers-by, watching loud static on TV, and maintaining a strict daily schedule. Until the day Agatha spies a little girl across the street.

Karl the Touch Typist is eighty-seven years old and once typed love letters with his fingers on to his wife’s skin. He sits in a nursing home, knowing that somehow he must find a way for life to begin again. In a moment of clarity and joy, he escapes.

Together, Millie, Agatha and Karl set out to find Millie’s mum. Along the way, they will discover that the young can be wise, that old age is not the same as death, and that breaking the rules once in a while might just be the key to a happy life.

Things I Liked: Quick (and short) list: 

1. The premise of the book- three unlikely people- different ages, different issues, sort of strangers thrown together by extraordinary circumstances and then take a journey of self-discovery. Sounds really interesting when I put it that way, right?! That's what I thought when I read the back cover of the book and some of the blurbs. I was expecting a quirkier version of Little Miss Sunshine (the movie) and, spoiler alert, I was sorely disappointed. 

2. This book does have some interesting and scary reflections on what it is like to grow old- how you stop becoming relevant in the world, how your body and face no longer seem your own and so on. The author does a good job of taking us into the mind and heart of two senior citizens- their loneliness, their need to be seen as something, anything other than a "senior" and how much heart and spirit they still have. 

Things I Didn't Like: Oh boy! Let's get started:

1. The characters, for me, were the biggest problem with this book. Each and every character in this book was massively annoying. Millie Bird was a morbid, annoying kid. True, she lost her dad and was obsessed with death, like some kids are known to be at a certain age, but her voice is so annoying and I had the urge to reach into the book and ask her to shut-the-heck-up! Agatha Pantha was a cranky old woman, no, not charming cranky, but weird cranky. Nothing remotely likable about her. Karl, the Touch Typist was also super annoying. The author was trying for quirky characters but she missed 'quirky' by about 10,000 miles and was smack-dab in the middle of 'pissing off' as far as characterisation is concerned! Major let down! 
In a story where characters are the most critical piece and are the ones who are supposed to propel the narrative forward, these characters made it impossible for me to want to read the book! 

2. The 'journey' of the three characters is trite and predictable. When you read the plot summary above, did you think maybe the old people will fall in love? Did you? So did I and, guess what, they do! Their journey is not fun, it is frustrating and silly and annoying. 

3. Colour me stupid, but up until one-thirds into the book I had no clue that this is a book set in Australia! I first thought this book was set in the US.. and then I was confused and then the author let on that the book is set in Australia. Oh-kay! 

4. The writing is average, disjointed and because of that very difficult to read. It is not evocative or even just bland. It is quasi-pretentious and just annoying. There, didn't I say this book was annoying?! I didn't, then here is your one word review- annoying! 

Rating: 1/5 

Avoid it like the plague. If you want to read a charming book about old people, go read Elizabeth is Missing. If you want to watch a movie about a journey that brings people together, go watch any number of movies starting with It Happened One Night right down to Little Miss Sunshine. This book, though, avoid it. 

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