ARC Review: The Lost Causes by Jessica Koosed Etting and Alyssa Embree Schwartz


I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Title: The Lost Causes
Authors: Jessica Koosed Etting and Alyssa Embree Schwartz
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Stars: 4/5

Summary (from Goodreads): They’re the kids that no one knows — or no one wants to know. The rich depressive, the OCD chick, the hypochondriac, the drug abuser, the athlete with anger management issues. All chosen for intensive group therapy because they’re out of other options. They’re lost causes, the therapist tells them. She promises this support group will help them heal.

There’s only one problem. She’s not a therapist. And that water she offers? It contains a dangerous serum that gives each of the kids a psychic power.

Suddenly, they can think clearly, speak to ghosts, see the past, even move objects with their mind. Their earlier problems have vanished, but their new freedom comes with a price.
Sabrina, Gabby, Z, Justin and Andrew are to help the FBI solve the grisly murder that has rocked their small town. Their new powers will help them uncover clues and follow leads that have eluded the authorities. Their outsider status gives them the perfect cover.

But the same traits that make them top investigators also make them vulnerable. As they close in on the murderer, they expose a much larger conspiracy that puts them directly in harm’s way and makes them wonder who — if anyone — they can trust.

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The Lost Causes is such a unique book! It tells the story of a group of outcasts who gain psychic powers to try and solve a mystery. The characters are all so developed, and watching them become friends is heartwarming. I found the book to be a bit unbelievable at times, but it is still a great thriller.

This book has such an intriguing concept. Basically, the FBI recruits a group of teens who everyone has given up on and gives them mysterious powers. The teens work together with the FBI to solve a murder with their new psychic abilities, and their existing issues disappear. I really enjoyed the many twists and turns throughout the novel and the uncertainty surrounding the FBI agents. This in an entertaining scientific thriller that is sure to leave the reader on the edge of their seat!

There is such a great cast of characters in this story. All the Lost Causes have issues before their meeting with the FBI, such as addiction and anger issues, and I loved how developed each of them are. None of the Lost Causes are even friends before they are recruited, and it is so interesting watching them bond over the case. My favourite character was Gabby, who gets visions from the past when she touches an object. Her power really interested me, and it is not too common. I also enjoyed Andrew’s character, since he basically becomes a genius. His sense of humour is so entertaining, and he has some great comebacks to a nasty teacher.

The only issue I really had with the book is the believability. Just the way the FBI was depicted didn’t seem that logical. Them drugging a bunch of kids to solve a murder doesn’t seem like something that would occur in the first place. Also, Nash’s character doesn’t really behave like an FBI agent would. It’s a bit hard to describe without spoilers, but I definitely would have enjoyed the story more if it was more convincing.

The Lost Causes is the story of a group of teens who try and solve a murder using psychic powers. I loved the mix of characters, especially Gabby and Andrew. However, the concept is a bit hard to believe, so I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I could have.

9 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Lost Causes by Jessica Koosed Etting and Alyssa Embree Schwartz

  1. G Nelson says:

    most of my faovoite books and movies have parts when you say no way that could happen but you still end up loving it– I think it sounds really interesting and I love a good thriller! Will read!

  2. ravenblake99 says:

    I haven’t heard of this book but it sounds like an interesting read and that cover looks a bit spooky. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoyed it as much as you thought you would. Nice review!

  3. sydneyeditor1 says:

    This is such a cool story! The plot i think is original, though I grant you, it will stretch believability in some respects. I like it though — great review!

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