Book Review | The Lost Causes by Alyssa Schwartz and Jessica Etting

I try to prioritize my books as first in, first read. This doesn’t always work out, but it’s how I at least attempt to manage my incredible TBR pile. Sometimes, though, I want to read books I’ve recently purchased because they sound promising enough. This was the case with The Lost Causes.

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Misfits. Outcasts. And the only ones who can find a killer.

They’re the last people you’d ask to help with anything, much less a murder investigation. The rich girl, the obsessive, the hypochondriac, the addict and the hot-tempered athlete—people think they’re beyond help. Lost causes. But where the world sees losers, the FBI sees its only hope.

With the help of a dangerous serum, the FBI erases the teens’ past problems and unlocks a psychic ability within each of them. In return, all they have to do is help find the killer who’s turned their small town upside down.

But as they close in on a suspect, they expose a conspiracy that puts them directly in harm’s way and makes them wonder who—if anyone—they can really trust.

If anything happens to them, will anyone even care?

Interesting Characters

Perhaps what I found most interesting about this book was the characters. Each of them had some defining characteristic that captured my interest really well. Z is clinically depressed. Gabby has OCD. Justin is unexplainably angry and violent. Sabrina self-medicates. Andrew is a hypochondriac. I liked that this story shed light on the issues that can plague teenagers. I liked that these characters all functioned through their dysfunctions. And I really liked that this was the principle behind the novel.

I guess I didn’t like that their parents were horrible – I mean, it’s hard for me, as a parent, to imagine just giving up on my kids like the parents in this novel. I understand that this is a driving factor in this book, but I still didn’t like it.

I enjoyed that the group bonded together after the ingested the serum. It was really nice to have five messed up teenagers find something in common with each other and remain friends throughout the book. They needed each other, and they found each other. I loved that.

Intriguing Plot

I enjoyed the ride of this book. It was really fast paced (and if I’d had time to finish it over a weekend, I would have). The characters invested me in the story, but trying to solve the mystery kept me engaged in the story. There were some twists I didn’t expect along the way as well.

There were, of course, some holes in the plot. I can’t deny that, but I don’t mind. I just take this as something that’s always going to be a factor in literature. You can’t tie up ever loose end and that’s fine!

I was on board with this story until the end. For me, it just felt really abrupt and ridiculous. It didn’t make sense to me. (I will say, this could be just a me thing because I stayed up late to finish this book on a work-night).

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟💫

It could have been better, but I’d still recommend it to people who like trying to solve mysteries. I honestly would have rated it a 4 if the ending had been better. This, again, is a me thing.

Let’s Chat!

Do you like books by dual authors? Let’s discuss in the comments!

Book Reviews From My Library

Brittany Andrade View All →

lover of literature. librarian in training.

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