I was graciously given a copy of All The Things We Lost by Kayla Tirrell for free in exchange for a review.
My overall rating for this story is 4.5/5 stars. This is a debut novel from Kayla Tirrell, but honestly I never would have known that if I hadn’t looked at her list of books that she has out. It was very well written except for one typo that I found in one chapter and a tiny bit of redundancy in another chapter. A few of the characters were also a little underdeveloped for what I would have liked, but I do know that one character that I wanted to know about is the main character in the sequel.
This story follows Katie Lynch who has just graduated high school and has lost her mother to cancer that came on very aggressively out of nowhere. Pushed by her grandparents, she leaves her home to live with her father. Once there, her father pushes her to get out of the house and she runs into her old best friend (and the boy she used to have a crush on!), Julian Alvarado.
Julian is a character I felt for as soon as he was introduced. While neither main character has had it easy, Julian’s life is tough. Between a dad who left to be in a band, a brother who is into drugs and who knows what else, and a mother who has pretty much given up on life, I just felt for him so much. At the age, he shouldn’t have to be worrying about whether bills are paid or if there is food in the house, but with everything going on in his life, these are some of the things he worries about.
The side characters were enjoyable, but some were a little underdeveloped for my liking. I wish I could have found out more about Gwen in this story, but after looking at the synopsis, I know the sequel is about Gwen so I’m hoping to learn more about her.
I personally felt very connected to Katie while reading this story. I personally haven’t lost a parent, unless you count one moving as far away as they could when you’re three and barely contacting you after that, which I personally don’t, but I have experienced hard things through high school. During my senior year, I became unable to physically go to school and ended up having a spinal fusion. As an effect of my spinal fusion, I was out of school from September until graduation and had to take my few classes that I still needed online. I was able to go to my senior prom and my commencement ceremony, but I missed out on so much of that year and that summer afterwards. I lost so many friends and in turn memories, which I know is nothing like losing a parent, but it still hurt. Reading a story that dealt with loss and learning to love and trust after lost was really great for me.
Overall, I loved this story. Most of the characters were memorable, the story was well written, and the pace of the story was perfect. I can’t wait to read the sequel about a character that I can’t wait to learn more about.