Lost & Found Series By Nadia Simonenko

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I am going to do both of these books together since they are a series and I just read both of them.


Lost (Lost and Found #1)

Maria’s life was torn apart when she was fifteen, and for seven years she’s kept her terrible secret hidden from the world.  Now, in her final semester of college, she still struggles against paralyzing fear just trying to speak up in class, and the terror and helplessness linger on in her nightmares.
Across campus, Owen sees his scars in the mirror every morning while he gets ready for class. They remind him of the broken home he left behind, the father he hates and fears, and the little sister he couldn’t protect. Now, in his final semester of college, he’s scared that he may have to return to the hell he called home after staying away for almost five years.
When Owen becomes a teaching assistant for one of Maria’s classes, they find themselves irresistibly drawn to each other. As the two learn each other’s secrets and grow closer, they realize that although they may be lost, they’re not alone anymore.
This new adult contemporary romance is recommended for ages 17+ due to heavy subject matter.

This is another author I owe an apology to for being late on this review.  With every thing going on, family members passing away or being in the hospital and my own son being in the hospital, I didn’t get as much reading done as I normally do. In fact, I didn’t get any reading done for a couple of weeks.  Now that things are smoother, I am back on track.

Now for Lost. Wow. Absolutely amazing book.  There is so much emotion in this book ( a lot of it centers around abuse), I had to remind myself to keep breathing a few times.  I don’t think I have ever rooted for a couple as hard as I rooted for Maria and Owen. 

Nadia’s writing is beautiful and she just draws you into this story of two characters who are so incredibly broken. 

In Lost we are introduced to Maria and Owen and we learn about their background, the horrible things they have gone through, and their struggle to get past their nightmares.  Those of us who have survived the type of things that they have gone through will understand the emotion that was poured into this story and the pain that we are reading.  For others who haven’t been through this, it will break your heart, and hopefully leave you with an understanding for someone you might know who is a survivor.  We all react to these situations differently, I tended to be like Maria, I still have problems with panic and anxiety in crowds and with people I don’t know, though it has gotten so much better.  I don’t have nightmares though and I think it’s because I have blocked a lot of it out.  It’s almost like I’m a stranger to my own memories.  I know it happened, I just don’t remember the details well.  I can completely relate to what Maria is going through, though my reaction to my situation was different.

Highly recommend reading this book.  Nadia does give a warning before the book starts that if you have trouble reading about physical and sexual abuse, that this might not be the book for you.  She also gives the offer of being willing to talk to anyone who needs it.  For those who do, this could be a book of healing.


Found (Lost and Found #2)

All it took was one phone call to tear Owen’s life apart. His father is dead and his mother is in critical condition. Even though he feared his abusive father and despised his family, losing them hurts in a way he never expected. Just weeks ago, Owen was terrified that he’d have to go home. Now, there is no home.
All it took was one phone call to shatter Maria’s happily-ever-after and bring her nightmares back to life. Maria’s estranged brother is coming up to see her graduation and he isn’t coming alone. He’s bringing Maria’s parents, as she expected, but he’s also bringing along an old friend from college—someone who’s haunted Maria’s nightmares for seven years. Now, she’s about to come face to face with the man who ruined her life.
Will the love and happiness Maria and Owen found be enough to hold them together as their lives fall apart around them, or will their relationship slip away and be lost forever?
Found is the exciting conclusion to the Lost & Found series. This new adult contemporary romance is recommended for audiences 17+ due to dark themes and heavy content. 73,500 words (approximately 290 print pages).

On to Found. We continue on Maria and Owen’s journey of healing in Found. This one is just as dark, as they are still living through the past and now have the present to contend with.  Poor Owen.  My heart broke for him.  I explained in my Lost review that I have had my own situations in the past that I can use to relate to their stories, but there is honestly nothing I can use to compare with what Own is going through in this book.  I honestly don’t know if I would have been strong enough to make some of these decisions and survive.  To someone who doesn’t suffer from depression, that might sound strange, but others might understand that spiral downward to the dark place where you feel like it would just all be better if you gave up and ended it.  I’ve been in that place and thankfully survived those moments but my darkness wasn’t nearly as dark as Owen’s. It takes a lot to pull yourself out of that place and continue on.

He has Maria though.  She is still coming to terms with her own nightmare.  Maria is who I can relate to most.  What happened to her has happened to me twice. Like I said in my review of Lost, I don’t remember a lot of what happened to me.  I assume that means after two and a half decades, I still haven’t worked through mine.  I’m not just missing those nights, I’m missing whole sections of time around those nights.  People will say do you remember this? We had so much fun!  No.  I don’t remember a lot from then.  That’s how my brain dealt with the pain.

I think Maria is doing so much better in Found, she still had a long way to come, but in terms of dealing with the fallout, her brain’s way of protecting her from the damage, she has come a long way in what she can deal with and now she is helping Owen.

Honestly, it’s an amazing series and I’m afraid to say too much for fear of spoiling something.

If you’re a survivor (and can handle this type of book), I recommend this.  If you’re someone who knows someone who can’t come to terms with their past, I highly recommend this book. If you’re someone who loves to read a heart wrenching story that sucks in you and won’t let you go, that stays on your mind after you’ve closed the book or swiped the last page over, I recommend this book.  The series is hard to read. It is. But it is amazing journey from start to finish.

Nadia Simonenko I thank you from the bottom of my heart for letting me read these two books. They were beautiful!

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