Review of The Lost Girls by Sonia Hartl
This was a fun read! It’s my favorite time of the year again and I could not be more excited about what that means book-wise. For the next month I will only be reading a few ARC’s, and instead concentrating on paranormal, urban fantasy, horror, and magical realism books that I already own. I have purposely kept my ARC’s on the lighter side, so I could have a month filled with Halloween-type reads. My goal is to read at least 15 books from different supernatural categories, with 95% of them having sapphic characters. There are one or two books I am considering that don’t, but I’m ready for plenty of spooky sapphics. I decided what better way to start the month off than with a book I bought a couple of weeks ago, featuring one of my favorite types of supernats, vampires!
I heard that this book was sort of John Tucker Must Die, but with sapphic vampires and I thought, yes, please! I had never read Hartl before, but I liked her style of writing that had a good amount of dialogue. I found the book to be very readable and there were some good lines that I enjoyed. This book has a bit of a dark humor undertone that I really appreciated. I did think the book slowed down a little in the middle, but it didn’t last long, and mostly I enjoyed the flow and pace.
There are a few things I love in books more than dragons, necromancers, vampires and witches. I see one of these advertised and I can’t stay away, so you can imagine the number of vampire books I’ve read. From the fantastic to the sparkly, I’ve read so many that it is hard to find anything new. I’m not looking for an author to re-write the vampire trope, since it is too set in stone, but I did enjoy some of the different twists that Hartl added to the story. There were a few things that have been done before, but not often, and one thing that was new to me so I appreciated that this felt different. These are not your glamorous vampires, they are more what would probably really happen if you turned a bunch of teenagers. And while that maybe was a little more realistic, this is a book that you definitely have to suspend disbelief on. I happen to expect to do that every time I pick up a vamp book anyway, but I think it’s worth mentioning that this is not a book to look for realism in, and instead, it is a story that is for fun and entertainment –which it absolutely is.
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the romance. Our main character is bisexual so she gets in the pickle of catching feels for the next girl her vampire ex-boyfriend wants to turn. Considering this is not a long read, and is a bit dark with lots of ripping off of body parts, Hartl still makes this little slow-burn romance work. The relationship is sweet and the characters actually have chemistry together. I would not really call it explicit, but it is more of a PG-13 relationship than most G or PG-rated YA romance out there.
TLDR: This was a fun vampire story that was a great way to start off my Halloween reads. I enjoyed the darker take on being a vampire, but I liked that the book was balanced with some humor and romance. The group of characters was really interesting and I got a kick out of the art projects one of them kept making. This book is not perfect, but if you go with the flow, and suspend disbelief a bit, the book is good entertainment and I’m glad I read it.