If there’s anything Rowan knows for certain, it’s that life is just one big series of disappointments. She’s used to it, she’s accepted it, and she’s learned not to try for anything more. But now that high school is over, she has to do something, and she’s had what’s left of her heart set on art school. Only her mom won’t let her have any bit of happiness that easily, and the only way she’ll pay for Rowan to go is if Rowan first spends the summer working on a ranch in the middle of nowhere. The absolute last place someone like Rowan belongs.
Judging Covers: I picked this book up for free, along with a bunch of others, and when it came time to pick my next read on my Kindle, it was the cover that caught my eye. But now that I’ve read the book, I don’t feel like it’s right at all. The design is just lovely in its simplicity, with a great mix of fonts and a subtle color overlay that really makes it stand out. But it doesn’t hint at anything western, doesn’t show just how different Rowan’s usual look is, and seems too light for the story it’s supposed to illustrate. There’s something much deeper to the story than the cover portrays.
The Verdict: I absolutely loved it. The fish-out-of-water storyline has been done countless times, but never quite like this.
Rowan is definitely a troubled girl, but even as she is reluctant to trust anyone, even as she doubts herself and feels like she could never deserve the kind of life she finds in Willow Springs, the angst is layered lightly over a lovely romance. She’s put up walls and done all she can to outwardly show distance and apathy, and it all just feels so real.
In striking contrast, Jesse is warm sunshine. He doesn’t fall for Rowan’s disenchanted act and doesn’t judge her for her differences. He just seems to immediately understand her, offering oddly wise comments and occasionally advice. Of course, there’s more to him than smiles and perfect abs, but he’s clearly heaven sent.
Their romance isn’t what I expected, which is a good thing. Though in some ways you could say the story is predictable (of coursethey’re going to fall in love), the events that get them there are not. Jesse’s relationship with his ex-girlfriend is sad and sweet. Rowen’s reaction to the local bad boy is refreshingly real but shows she’s not just another stupid girl. There were so many places where this book could have followed a very specific, done way too often formula, but instead it took a different route to the happy ending we all want for these two. I can’t really say much more than that, since I don’t want to give it away, but suffice it to say that Lost and Found is a sweet romance, well-written and completely fleshed out, and it’s good enough that I actually *gasp* spent money on the next two books. What is the world coming to?