8/7/18

The Other Side of Lost - Jessi Kirby

This book.  OH THIS BOOK.  I feel like Jessi Kirby is such a phemonenal writer of YA contemporary, but her books don't seem to garner as much buzz as some other popular YA authors, like Morgan Matson or Katie Cotugno.  So instead, I feel like I need to climb up on top of a soapbox and yell for all the world to hear: IF YOU HAVEN'T READ A JESSI KIRBY BOOK, WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?!?

This book.  OH THIS BOOK.  I had started 9 Days & 9 Nights because its publication date was earlier, but something about this book was calling to me, so I thought I'd just read the first couple of pages and see what it was like.  Two pages in, I WAS HOOKED.  Mari is an Instagram sensation and the book opens with her composing photos and posts for her account.  I loved seeing the way her mind approached her online persona, and the way she as a person was disconnected with how she appeared to her fans online.  Then she posts a confessional video about how everything she posts online is a lie, and that she isn't the happy, carefree individual that she pretends to be online.  In the virtual aftermath of her video going viral, she makes a spontaneous decision to fulfill a life goal that she had planned to do with her cousin, a plan that had fallen apart both because of her estranged relationship with her cousin, and the fact that her cousin died in a tragic accident.  The life goal includes hiking the John Muir trail, an impressive 211 miles across all kinds of terrain.

All of this happens in the first few chapters of the book and what unfolds from there is a story of self-discovery and truth that is unlike any other book that I have read.  I'm already craving a re-read of the story, and can scarcely wait to get my hands on a physical copy so that I can go back and Post-it flag some of the pages ... and I'm not one to annotate books at all.  There's just something about this book that spoke to me on such a deep level -- there was a reason that this book was calling to me, and I'm so glad that I picked it up when I did.

To repeat my earlier statement, IF YOU HAVEN'T READ A JESSI KIRBY BOOK, WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?!?!  Start with this one, or start with one of her earlier books, but please please please give her a chance.

Note: An egalley was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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