Fragments of the Lost
Earlier this year, I read and very much enjoyed Megan Miranda’s A Perfect Stranger. So when Fragments of the Lost, a psychological thriller for young adults, became available for review, I was eager to get my hands on it. I’m a huge fan of young adult literature, and the synopsis seemed interesting so I dove right into the story, and, while I didn’t absolutely adore everything about it, I came away with a feeling of overall satisfaction.
We meet Jessa Whitworth just a few months after the automobile accident that claimed the life of her ex-boyfriend Caleb. Jessa has been asked by Caleb’s mother to pack up the contents of his bedroom, a request Jessa finds both difficult and puzzling. She has the feeling Caleb’s mother blames her for his accident, so why would Jessa be the one asked to help with such a personal thing? Still, she knows she can’t say no, both out of a misguided feeling of obligation to Caleb’s family and a need to discover what really happened on the night Caleb died.
As she begins to sort through the items that made up Caleb’s life, Jessa discovers more questions than answers. She and Caleb had broken up just a few short weeks before his accident, so what really brought him to her track meet on the day of his death? Why hadn’t he gotten rid of the countless photos of the two of them together, and, perhaps most important of all, was his death really the result of an accident, or did Caleb take his own life?
Caleb’s death came close to destroying Jessa, and I found myself questioning the wisdom of her spending hours alone in Caleb’s room going through his things. She thinks it will bring her closure, but it actually seems to do exactly the opposite; she becomes consumed by the need to find out the truth about his death, and everything else in her life suffers. She no longer hangs out with her friends or confides in her older brother, she seems to have no interest in running track, and she dismisses the concern of those who care about her. The whole thing seemed very unhealthy to me, and I longed for her to put all of this behind her and move on with the actual process of healing. At the same time, I sympathized with her need to learn the truth about Caleb’s death. I just wished she could have gone about it in a less self-destructive manner.
Parts of the plot, especially during the last third of the book, are a little too melodramatic for my taste, but I recognize that I’m not the author’s target audience. I imagine the high drama will appeal to a great many of today’s teenagers, and so I can’t in good conscience count this as a mark against the book. Ms. Miranda does a great job of ramping up the suspense, and while I rolled my eyes at a few of the situations Jessa finds herself in, I was eager to see how things would turn out for her.
I’m not normally a fan of vague reviews that don’t say much about the plot, but this is a novel that will be much more enjoyable if potential readers go into it with as little information as possible. That way, you’ll discover Caleb’s secrets right along with Jessa, and your thoughts and feelings about her discoveries won’t have been influenced by your prior knowledge of certain plot points. You’ll just have to trust me and pick this novel up, especially if you enjoyed novels like One of Us Is Lying and This Darkness Mine.
I'm Shannon from Michigan. I've been an avid reader all my life. I adore romance, psychological fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and the occasional memoir. I share my home with my life partner, two dogs, and a very feisty feline.