The Lost Girl ★★✰☆☆

cover69767-mediumI’m not really sure how to feel about R.L. Stine’s The Lost Girl. I grew up on Goosebumps books, my favorites being the choose your own adventure stories (like Return to Terror Tower).

I liked the plot:

Lizzy Palmer, the new girl, is the hot topic at Shadyside High. Michael and his girlfriend Pepper make friends with her, but as they get closer the stranger she is… and more attractive–at least for Michael.

After a snowmobile accident Michael’s friends start getting murdered. Pepper is convinced that Lizzy is the murderer but Michael doesn’t believe her.

Tragic Story.

Unthinkable betrayal.

Over 60 years ago.

Or 70 years ago. Because that’s kind of up in the air.

I have a lot of issues with the timeline involved. 70 years ago it was 1950, which makes the current year of the book 2020. In 2020, Michael is a senior in high school, which makes him 17, maybe 18, and means he was born in 2002 or 2003. Michael’s grandfather died in 1985, 35 years after he had Lizzy/Beth’s father murdered and 17 to 16 years before Michael was born.

But Michael talks about his grandfather like he knew him. Specifically, he describes him as a sweet old blind guy.

I also had issues with Beth Palmieri (aka Lizzy Palmer). #1: It’s blatant that’s she’s the same person. What other reason could we have for seeing the flashbacks to 1950? Plus, she’s crazy. Right from the get-go. Insane. No easing into it. She’s always lost, she knows the main character’s name and where he lives, stabs him with a needle, and is always sort of aloof. #2: She’s a witch? Or telepathic? When she first talks about her “tricks” (her word not mine) that’s all they are. Just a little thing she happens to be able to do. Then later it turns out that her grandmother taught her these “tricks.”

Ultimately, I feel like there’s an entire novel’s worth of information missing. I really felt like I was reading a sequel and not a stand alone piece.

Now, I grew up on Goosebumps by R.L. Stine. I loved them. Ate them up the same way the monster in the basement ate kids from the neighborhood. I was excited to see the Fear Street series, R.L. Stine’s YA version of Goosebumps. And it started off appropriately: crazy detailed, dark, action packed, but then the plot holes got a little bigger and I fell right through one and out of love with The Lost Girl.

But-I did still enjoy it. Hence I gave it 2.5 stars. I’m really right in the middle on this one. I think you should give it a chance, but I’m not guaranteeing that you’ll love it.

By J. M. Tuckerman

J.M.Tuckerman is a neurodivergent writer with a big education. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, an MA in Writing, and a BA in Writing Arts (specializing in Creative Writing, New Media Writing, and Publication; concentrating in New Media Production), which she somehow managed to earn despite her three very loud and large dogs. Jessica was lucky enough to intern at Quirk Books and Picador, USA while earning her master’s degrees. Her service dog, Ringo, is very proud of all that she has accomplished and hopes to be on a back cover of a published book with her very soon. An avid reader, writer, and lover of young adult and middle-grade literature, Jessica’s bookshelf is overflowing with hardbacks, paperbacks, and a million half-filled notebooks. She is a proud fur-mommy to two lab/st-bernard littermates, a retriever-mix service dog, and one orange little hobgoblin cat, all of whom have made very audible appearances on the Booked All Night podcast.


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