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The Other Side of Lost
Cover of The Other Side of Lost
The Other Side of Lost
Borrow Borrow

Girl Online meets Wild in this emotionally charged story of girl who takes to the wilderness to rediscover herself and escape the superficial persona she created on social media.

Mari Turner's life is perfect. That is, at least, to her thousands of followers who have helped her become an internet starlet.

But when she breaks down and posts a video confessing she's been living a lie—that she isn't the happy, in love, inspirational online personality she's been trying so hard to portray—it goes viral and she receives a major backlash.

To get away from it all, she makes an impulsive decision: to hike the entire John Muir Trail. Mari and her late cousin Bri were supposed to do it together, to celebrate their shared eighteenth birthday. But that was before Mari got so wrapped up in her online world that she shut anyone out who questioned its worth—like Bri.

With Bri's boots and trail diary, a heart full of regret, and a group of strangers that she meets along the way, Mari tries to navigate the difficult terrain of the hike. But the true challenge lies within, as she searches for the way back from to the girl she fears may be too lost to find: herself.

Girl Online meets Wild in this emotionally charged story of girl who takes to the wilderness to rediscover herself and escape the superficial persona she created on social media.

Mari Turner's life is perfect. That is, at least, to her thousands of followers who have helped her become an internet starlet.

But when she breaks down and posts a video confessing she's been living a lie—that she isn't the happy, in love, inspirational online personality she's been trying so hard to portray—it goes viral and she receives a major backlash.

To get away from it all, she makes an impulsive decision: to hike the entire John Muir Trail. Mari and her late cousin Bri were supposed to do it together, to celebrate their shared eighteenth birthday. But that was before Mari got so wrapped up in her online world that she shut anyone out who questioned its worth—like Bri.

With Bri's boots and trail diary, a heart full of regret, and a group of strangers that she meets along the way, Mari tries to navigate the difficult terrain of the hike. But the true challenge lies within, as she searches for the way back from to the girl she fears may be too lost to find: herself.

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About the Author-
  • Jessi Kirby is a writer for young adults whose first book, Moonglass, was named an ABA New Voices Pick. She has also written five other novels—In Honor, Golden, Things We Know by Heart, The Secret History of Us, and The Other Side of Lost. Jessi lives in central California with her husband and two kids. You can visit her online at www.jessikirby.com.

Reviews-
  • School Library Journal

    May 1, 2018

    Gr 8 Up-As a child, Mari and her cousin Bri made a pact to hike the John Muir Trail for their shared 18th birthday in Kirby's The Secret History of Us. Since then, Mari has refocused her life on creating the ultimate social media image and Bri has passed away while pursuing her hiking dream. As Mari realizes the detriment her false life has brought her, she vows to quit social media and attempt the hike Bri trained years for instead. But the John Muir Trail is not for beginners and Mari might have encountered a challenge more difficult than she ever imagined. Kirby writes a classic journey through grief and adolescence in this coming-of-age novel. Full of adventure and heartfelt introspection, this work provides ample opportunity for thematic and symbolic analysis while maintaining a compelling plot inhabited by unique, if slightly underdeveloped, characters. Teens will find plenty of truth in Kirby's depiction of creating and cultivating a social media presence before walking the nearly 211 miles with Mari on her adventure. A compulsively readable title with a deep understanding of the trauma both grief and social media can bring. VERDICT This is a must-have for where Morgan Matson's Since You've Been Gone and similar young adult contemporary novels are popular.-Abby Hargreaves, District of Columbia Public Library

    Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    May 15, 2018
    Seeking a bond with her estranged cousin, a social media maven turns to nature to reconnect with herself.Teen Instagram influencer Mari has felt lost since her cousin's death. Bri was her best friend, her family, her everything. But as Mari rose to fame, the duo grew distant, and Bri's sudden death--a hiking accident while preparing for the backpacking trip the two had always talked of taking--means they will never be able to repair their relationship. Tired of feeling inauthentic and performative, Mari publicly quits social media on what would have been their shared 18th birthday and, thanks to supplies from her aunt, takes Bri's hiking gear and impulsively begins a trip along the John Muir Trail. Along the way she befriends a dynamic group of peers who instantly take her into their fold, providing the companionship--and, with one, romantic connection--that she sorely lacked in her previous life. Despite the physical pain of hiking with new boots, a full pack, and absolutely no training, Mari decides she's ready--no, needs--to hike as far as her body will take her. Mari's emotional journey is predictable and tidy, but her first-person narration is compelling and her determination, inspiring. The book follows a white default.Mari's story may not chart any new territory, but readers will be glad to have made the journey with her. (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 4, 2018
    Everything in Mari’s life is for show. She’s a popular social media presence, and her fans love her Instagram and YouTube posts—whether they’re inspirational quotes, yoga shots, or charming moments with her boyfriend, another social media star. The truth is, he’s not really her boyfriend, and Mari is incredibly lonely. Turning 18 reminds her of Bri, the cousin she grew up with, and how they’d grown apart before Bri’s death from a hiking accident. When Mari gets real about her sadness on YouTube, her star falls, and she decides to follow Bri’s old plan to walk the John Muir Trail—all 200-plus miles through the Sierra Nevada mountains. It’s not a hike for neophytes, but Mari has Bri’s pack, provisions, itinerary, even her boots, and she soon makes friends on the trail. The telling is at times oversimplified—with Mari’s troubles chalked up to her parents’ divorce and Bri idealized—but Kirby (Moonglass) skillfully evokes the extreme beauty and challenges of the hike and the importance of making friends who like you even when you’re dirty, tired, and honest. Ages 14–up. Agent: Leigh Feldman, Leigh Feldman Literary.

  • Sarah Ockler, author of The Summer of Chasing Mermaids "The Other Side of Lost left me absolutely breathless. An achingly real story of empowerment, friendship, and heartfelt transformation, this gem of a book will easily earn a place among teens' favorite summer reads."
  • Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight "This book is good for the soul."
  • School Library Journal "A compulsively readable title with a deep understanding of the trauma both grief and social media can bring.This is a must-have for where Morgan Matson's Since You've Been Gone and similar young adult contemporary novels are popular."
  • Kirkus Reviews "Compelling and inspiring. Readers will be glad to have made the journey."
  • ALA Booklist "Most satisfying is [the] transformation from emulator of life experiences to one who truly lives."
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