Fragments of the Lost
Crown Books for Young Readers
Published November 14, 2017
Synopsis: Jessa Whitworth knew she didn’t belong in her ex-boyfriend Caleb’s room. But she couldn’t deny that she was everywhere–in his photos, his neatly folded T-shirts, even the butterfly necklace in his jeans pocket . . . the one she gave him for safe keeping on that day.
His mother asked her to pack up his things–even though she blames Jessa for his accident. How could she say no? And maybe, just maybe, it will help her work through the guilt she feels about their final moments together.
But as Jessa begins to box up the pieces of Caleb’s life, they trigger memories that make Jessa realize their past relationship may not be exactly as she remembered. And she starts to question whether she really knew Caleb at all.
Each fragment of his life reveals a new clue that propels Jessa to search for the truth about Caleb’s accident. What really happened on the storm-swept bridge?
Initially, I wasn’t sure what to make of this book. The description made it sound like a mystery/thriller, but when I first started reading, it felt much more like a very sad book about a young woman grieving for her dead ex-boyfriend. The mystery aspects slowly revealed themselves, and I was completely hooked about 50 pages into it.
Jessa is a high-school junior, and her ex-boyfriend Caleb died in a car accident a few weeks ago. They had only been broken up few a couple of weeks, and she feels very guilty about his death because he drove his car off a bridge during a storm shortly after seeing her at her track meet. Caleb’s mother asks Jessa to clean out his room, and because she feels so guilty, she agrees to do it.
As she goes through Caleb’s things, each item triggers a memory. At first, the memories are bittersweet and mostly happy, as she remembers the good times. But as the days go on, the things she discovers in his room cause her to question everything about her relationship with Caleb. How much did she really know him? Was he keeping secrets? What really happened the day he died? With the help of Caleb’s best friend Max, with whom she has a complicated history, she tries to figure out the mystery of Caleb and come to terms with her own grief.
Fragments of the Lost was an excellent mystery. I was sucked into it very quickly, and it was a quick read for me, because I couldn’t put it down (I’m always like that when I’m reading a good mystery). I find YA thrillers a bit hit or miss for me. Often, the plots are a little simplistic and I can figure out the culprit pretty easily (a lifetime of reading mysteries gives me an edge). But Fragments of the Lost kept me guessing. It’s obvious pretty early on that there’s much more to Caleb’s death than meets the eye, but the plot takes a lot of twists, and I was as much in the dark as Jessa until the whole truth was revealed. I really enjoyed this one, and I’m interested to check out the author’s adult mysteries.
I received an ARC from Amazon Vine.