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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

#ATBR2019 Review: Lost You by Haylen Beck @crownpublishing @HaylenBeck @jessmapreviews

Lost You 
by Haylen Beck

Publisher: Crown Publishing
Publish Date: August 6, 2019
320 Pages
Genre: Psychological Thriller

A provocative and unputdownable psychological suspense about two women locked in a desperate fight over a child each believes is rightfully hers

Libby needs a break. Three years ago her husband split, leaving her to raise their infant son Ethan alone as she struggled to launch her writing career. Now for the first time in years, things are looking up. She's just sold her first novel, and she and Ethan are going on a much-needed vacation. Everything seems to be going their way, so why can't she stop looking over her shoulder or panicking every time Ethan wanders out of view? Is it because of what happened when Ethan was born? Except Libby's never told anyone the full story of what happened, and there's no way anyone could find her and Ethan at a faraway resort . . . right?

But three days into their vacation, Libby's fears prove justified. In a moment of inattention, Ethan wanders into an elevator before Libby can reach him. When the elevator stops and the doors open, Ethan is gone. Hotel security scours the building and finds no trace of him, but when CCTV footage is found of an adult finding the child wandering alone and leading him away by the hand, the police are called in. The search intensifies, a lost child case turning into a possible abduction. Hours later, a child is seen with a woman stepping through an emergency exit. Libby and the police track the woman down and corner her, but she refuses to release Ethan. Asked who she is, the woman replies:

"I'm his mother."

What follows is one of the most shocking, twist-y, and provocative works of psychological suspense ever written. A story of stolen identity, of surrogacy gone horribly wrong, and of two women whose insistence that each is the "real" mother puts them at deadly cross-purposes, Lost You is sure to be one of 2019's most buzzed-about novels.

My Review:

I love it when a book stays at the same pace throughout the entire read.  Beck brings us two mothers fighting for the same child.  There's nothing like a mother's love or a woman scorned - meld the two together and you're getting a high dose of crazy! Libby wants nothing more than to have a child and will go to any lengths to have one.  How far is too far and when does it become at the expense of the child?

This book touches on surrogacy, legalities of adoption, two women fighting for the child that they claim is theirs and the path they both get set on due to one terrible mistake stemming from multiple decisions made on both of their parts.  

There were definitely some "yeah, ok" moments but who cares? I absolutely don't mind suspending some reality for the sake of entertainment. Crazy enough though, all of this could probably happen.  In this day and age I honestly wouldn't be surprised.  

As a woman who would love to be a mother but it isn't in the cards for me to do it biologically, I can absolutely feel for Libby and the want of a child so badly.  (Disclaimer: I would never go to the lengths that she did but she's a special kind of crazy.)  The subject of surrogacy and illegal adoptions are unfortunately all too real in this world.  Women being taken advantage of due to their need for money, a better life, etc. being lured in to be a surrogate for those who can afford to pay a ginormous amount of money to make their dreams come true.  How do you know you can go through with this if you've never felt a human growing inside you before?

I will say that I like Here and Gone just a tad bit more.  Beck seems to like stories about women and their mothers.  There's moments that you wonder how this could actually happen.  How did she/he/they get away with ANYTHING.  If you loved his first book, you'll like this one as well.  It's fast paced, twisty and one similar to one you may have read before... but well worth the read in my opinion.


Jessica's Review:

This is my second book by Haylen Beck and I definitely wasn't disappointed! I read HERE AND GONE in 2017 and that was a quick thriller that kept me completely engaged. This was a solid thriller and kept the tension up and threw a few twists at me as the story progressed, but I think HERE AND GONE came out ahead for me by just a tiny bit. I personally think it was more a me thing and my crazy schedule than it was not being engaged by the book. If that made sense.

We all know the "hell hath no fury" about a scorned woman, and we also know that a mother will go to any lengths to protect her children. Well, imagine these two forces coming head-to-head with one another. You're in for quick the ride with this one! Two women claiming to be Ethan's "real" mother - but who is actually considered to be the real mother?

This explores the topics of surrogacy and the illegal side of adoptions. Two things that aren't always talked about or explored much - or maybe I'm just not reading the right thrillers! I really enjoyed seeing this play out and the twists and turns that Beck threw at the readers. I would warn you to suspend some reality, but this won't take away from the reading experience. Like I said, the pacing is great, it is a captivating read, and the only reason I dropped it half a star was because I found myself setting it down a couple of times (definitely could just be me and my schedule right now and not the book itself).

I will continue to pick up more from Haylen Beck and would highly recommend both LOST YOU and HERE AND GONE!

3.5 stars

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