One Was Lost is the fourth book from Natalie Richards.
A group of high school seniors head out on an end of year camping trip. An unexpected flash flood separates the group into two - on either side of the river. The bedraggled second group (consisting of a teacher and four students) beds down for the night, resting up for what tomorrow might bring. What tomorrow brings is a group that has been drugged, a teacher that won't wake up and words inked onto each teen's arm. Damaged, Deceptive, Dangerous, Darling.
Uh, huh. There's someone in the woods. Playing games - with their lives.
"Lucas was right. This is a trap, a carefully constructed production. And we played our parts to perfection."
One Was Lost absolutely brought a slasher teen flick to mind. The kind where you want to yell at the characters to not go into the woods alone. (and someone always does) Richards does a good job of casting suspicion on every character as the book progresses. Interactions between the four - who were not friends before the trip - also adds to the confusion and doubt. Who can they trust?And it wouldn't be a YA book without the obligatory romantic subplot. Our main character Sera has fallen for local bad boy Luke, but the path to true love is a rocky one. Very rocky if you're stuck in the woods with a maniac trying to kill you.
The whodunit is a bit far-fetched, but provides a nice little twist at the end. But the journey there was an enjoyable, easy read.
For me, YA fiction is fun escapist reading. One Was Lost was the perfect one night read for a dark and stormy night. (and the cover telegraphs that too) My only quibble would be the recommendation of One Was Lost by the publisher to fans of Ruth Ware's In a Dark, Dark Wood. Ware's work is an adult novel that really cannot be compared to this YA book. But I think teens will love it. Read an excerpt of One Was Lost.