Olive’s mom is in jail. David’s mom barely gets up off the couch. Olive never hears from her dad. David’s dad is constantly telling him what to do and never stops talking about the Air Force Academy. Olive is just staying temporarily on Upper Ridge Road with her aunt. David has lived in Washington State his whole life. When Olive finds a dog running loose and takes it around the neighborhood to find its owner, she meets David, who also takes a liking to the dog. As the story unfolds - through health scares, barn fires, and other events of the summer and school year - Olive and David slowly become friends, and maybe even something more.
Six Degrees of Lost is a quiet, character-driven novel for a young teen audience (roughly ages 12-15). The story builds very slowly, but not in a boring or stunted way. Rather, it simply takes it time presenting each character and each situation, as though the author is building the story brick by brick, to make sure everything is in the right place. Few things are out of place, in fact. The story is well-told, and because it is told in alternating chapters, the reader spends equal time getting to know David and Olive, and gets to see their friendship unfold from both sides.
Girls are the likely audience for this story, and I think they will relate to Olive and fall in love with David very easily. The book isn’t really a romance, so I wouldn’t try to sell it as such, but girls who are just getting interested in boys will enjoy the realistic portrayal of things like holding hands for the first time. The serious issues of the book do give it a more somber tone than some fluffier titles for this age group, but the issues by no means weigh the story down. The author does a lovely job of balancing the sadness of David’s home life and Olive’s family situation with the sweetness and gentleness of their budding relationship.
Recommend this book to dog lovers who have enjoyed Fetching, as well as to readers who enjoy more serious, contemplative fiction about real life issues, and who like work by authors such as Linda Urban, Courtney Sheinmel, Laurel Snyder, and Susan Patron.
I received the ebook edition of Six Degrees of Lost from the publisher.
For more about this book, visit Goodreads.