Book Review- The Lost Causes

Thursday, 12 October 2017
Title: The Lost Causes
Author: Alyssa Embree Schwartz & Jessica Koosed Etting
Published: 5th September 2017
Pages: 344
Genre: YA, Mystery, Fantasy

Rating: 3.5/5

Misfits. Outcasts. And the only ones who can find a killer.
They’re the last people you’d ask to help with anything, much less a murder investigation. The rich girl, the obsessive, the hypochondriac, the addict and the hot-tempered athlete—people think they’re beyond help. Lost causes. But where the world sees losers, the FBI sees its only hope.
With the help of a dangerous serum, the FBI erases the teens’ past problems and unlocks a psychic ability within each of them. In return, all they have to do is help find the killer who’s turned their small town upside down.
But as they close in on a suspect, they expose a conspiracy that puts them directly in harm’s way and makes them wonder who—if anyone—they can really trust.
If anything happens to them, will anyone even care?-Goodreads
I received a copy of this novel from Net Galley and Kids Can Press in return for an honest review.
This is a YA novel about a group of teens who are chosen to receive a serum from the FBI that gives them certain psychic/mental powers. The thing that the teens all have in common is that they are all "lost causes" (see what the authors did there?) who have been abandoned by teachers and parents etc.
All the teens have mental or behavioural issues, and they felt very realistically "teenage". The authors have done a good job of capturing the voice of teens.
The authors do a good job of creating a mix of characters for this novel too, and although some of the teenagers felt a little like caricatures at times, overall the characters felt realistic for the high school/teenage setting.
This is a mystery novel, and the mystery was good and it did have some unexpected twists and turns which kept the plot moving and kept the story itself interesting. The mystery was difficult enough to make me want to continue reading the novel, and actually I finished this novel very quickly. 
The novel features a romance between two of the teens which was well written by the authors, it was cute and felt realistic, and provided a nice minor plot line within the main story. However, there is also a romance between one of the teenagers and one of the FBI handlers assigned to look after them. This felt quite inappropriate to me, he was 22 and she 17 so age difference/legality wasn't an issue, it was more the feeling of it being an abuse of his power over her, and it just didn't sit right when I was reading it.
Overall I enjoyed this novel, it is an interesting YA mystery, with some good mental health portrayals. My enjoyment was only slightly dampened by a romance that felt inappropriate.


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