We Are Lost and Found

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 06 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

2.5 stars-ish?

I'm so sad that I didn't like this. I love books following queer teens in 80s NYC. It's one of my favorite coming-of-age settings, frankly. But I don't know why I couldn't connect to any of these characters. There was something about them that felt kind of removed from the story if that makes sense, like I never really knew any of them. The plot was also fairly lackluster, and I was not a fan of the ending. And honestly, I'm really bummed about it.

 Trigger and Content Warnings:  Homophobia (physical acts of violence, violent language, disowning family members, slurs, etc), AIDS and AIDS related death, conversations about sex, but no on-page sex, brief hospitalization
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An incredibly poignant read, a must read for all teenagers, in particular queer teens. This really plucked at the heart strings. Well written and captivating.
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A poignant story of a young man coming of age in the middle of the AIDS epidemic. Michael was such a beautiful character and this was a unique story of a time in which homosexuality was feared for many reasons. The 80s were a complex time, and this book explores that. I enjoyed this.
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This book is so important and showed us a young boy's pov of the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in NYC in the 80's. I loved Michael's voice; wanting to be free but feeling guilty because he didn't want to put life as he knew it in jeopardy. And how he couldn't love as he wanted because he didn't wanted to die of AIDS like so many people were. So many. Those numbers. The government's silence. The press' choice not to talk about it. People letting fear cloud their judgement.

I loved all the characters. Micheal and his desire to be himself in a world who sees him as a monster who deserves to die, giving himself to the music and his friends. James and his fear, living as best as he could with what he had. Becky being an adult when she should've been a kid enjoying her last years of school. Connor and his life after he publicly came out to the world resulting in him being kicked out of his house, his safety. Gabriel and a life working to have a better life with his family.

I truly found this book honest and important. Everyone should read this.
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This book ripped my heart into a thousand tiny pieces and I love that it did that. The author really delves into what it must have been like for homosexuals in the 80s and did it in such a way that wasn't exploiting their lives for the purpose of the story. Because their lives were the story. This was one of my fave reads of 2019 and I know it's going to stay with me for a long, long time.
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A beautifully diverse story which truly captures the heart and tragedies of New York in the 1980's, How this book represents anxiety and sexuality made me think I was reading a true memoir of what really happened in the time.
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I really enjoyed a great many things about this book. Characters were fleshed out and the plot was well spaced. Some of the secondary storylines could've used a bit more page space but all in all an enjoyable read!
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It's intriguing to look at the late 80's through an historic lens, to see club culture and the beginnings of the AIDS crisis. Especially how those things impact one another. Dunbar examines this relationship in detail, using the experience of a single character as a focal point. We see the balance between the fear of disease and the fear of being rejected by his parents and the desire to live fully. He's reminiscent of Holden Caulfield, preferring inaction and ennui to actual decision making. Much like Catcher in the Rye, not a lot happens in this book, more attention paid to contemplation than events.
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This was an amazing story about navigating life through the AIDS outbreak while being part of the LGBTQ+ community. It was fascinating to see the execution of such a delicate topic and to see how the characters tackled the struggle of being outcasted by society. There was also a hint of self-discovery as our main characters decide what they want to do with the rest of their lives and who they want to be.
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Coming of age novel set during the AIDS epidemic. An important topic for teens unfortunately, this book wasn't very memorable. The lack of quotation marks also made it a bit confusing.
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My heart hurts.

While I was expecting the pain to be a lot worse, this still hurts. The writing conveys such a fear that I have felt for so long. That fear was so much worse back when no one knew anything about HIV/AIDS. We have so much more information now and it's so much easier to stay safe. But, damn did this book get me. It was so emotional and powerful and I want to read it all over again. 

The only things I didn't like was 1.) how the dialogue was written, 2.) certain aspects of the ending. You can't really tell when someone's done talking because there aren't any quotation marks ( this could've been fixed in the final copies). Certain things about the ending really fell kind of... flat. No spoilers but I just didn't like who Michael most likely ended up with. 

Overall, loved this book to pieces. Please pick it up and read it.
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Wow. I'm speechless.

It's 1983, Michael is 17 years old, lives in New York, has two best friends.... and he's gay. AIDS is growing in victims and Reagan's Homophobic America has Michael's father calling it 'what they deserve' for their lifestyle. Michael's older brother, Connor, had already been kicked out for being gay and Michael is terrified of being next.

I always find reading any art that takes place during the AIDS epidemic incredibly upsetting. The desperation, the lack of information, and the blatant homophobia that prevents people from learning how to protect themselves, what to look out for, and getting help.... it's heavy. A heavy that is one hundred percent necessary. Today, the knowledge about this time period is limited to those who survived and to those who are diligent about keeping that knowledge, the stories, alive. 

We must keep making these stories, bringing these experiences to the center of attention, even if it is just for a little moment like James' play. Because, like Michael says, "It doesn't feel like a lot, but it's a start" and the more people like Helene Dunbar make books honoring those who didn't make it to today, then the more likely we are to get the help we need, to make their lives not be in vain,

The writing is beautiful. It's definitely an acquired taste, one that thankfully I have, but I felt that it added to the uncertainty of the environment and the ability to build fear and keep it in the forefront.
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We are lost and Found is a poignant coming of age story about growing up gay in the midst of the AIDS crisis in the early eighties.

Michael Bartholomew is a junior in high school, he has a close circle of 3 friends and he is gay. His older brother is also gay and when he graduated 4 years earlier he came out very publicly and his father kicked him out.

So not only is Michael learning to accept himself the way he is he is learning to accept that his father will not accept him and his brother the way they are. His family is broken and he desperately wishes to fix it.

Unfortunately some things can never be fixed, his family nor this new disease that is ravaging the Homosexual community.

Michael and his friends traverse the year with ups and downs like any other group of teenagers. Becky is trying to hold on to her boyfriend. James is trying to make positive impacts through the theater arts. And Michael is trying to find himself and love along the way.

During the year Madonna breaks it big and Michael finally puts himself out there in more ways than one.

In the end you can’t change others nor their opinions but you can be true to yourself and that can mean a world of difference in your life where as the other can do little but harm.

The story itself was good at it’s core. It was interesting and meaningful. The way it was written or laid out I can’t say that I am a fan of. There are few chapter breaks so the majority of the story is like a big long run on of broken conscious thoughts. Like an extreme case of ADD. It is also broken into 2 parts which I didn’t understand. Usually parts are befores and afters to some big event but there is no defining event like that.

I give We Are Lost and Found a 3 out of 5 stars and hope that this read it anyway because I really do believe the story is meaningful.
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Oh how I love the 80s.  I was a child in the 80s but clearly remember all the issues such as the fear of AIDs and the AIDs epidemic that was taking place during this time.  How taboo it was to be a homosexual and how hard it was to come out to parents. 

The book wrecked me, the coming of age wrecked me as well.  Michael was a beautiful character whose fear came across the pages.  You felt the same fear he felt about coming out to his parents, especially because his older brother came out first and was thrown out of the house. 

James is one of his best friends and you could almost feel the little bit of resentment he had for him for being able to know and be confident in who he is.  He also was tired of people using him to get close to James.  Until he meets someone who likes him for him. 
Such a wonderful read that stays with you for days after reading it.
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My feedback here is late to the party.  I enjoyed this book, but it was relatively forgettable.  I'd recommend it to others as a quick read.
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Disclaimer: I was given an ARC of "We Are Lost and Found" through Netgalley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

How do I put this?

It was jarring to find out yet another romance between two gay men was written by a straight woman, who self-inserted herself as Michael's and James's best friend in the book, and who clearly shipped the two of them together. Now, I'm not knocking authors who self-insert themselves into their fictional work. I've done the same! Although, when combined with other questionable aspects of the story -- Gabriel, Michael's love interest, is years older than the teenaged main character and frankly could have treated him better -- I have some concerns.

I adored "We Are Lost and Found", until I realized it wasn't #OwnVoices, and had to re-analyze the book from a different perspective. What was once raw and inspired became...a little creepy.

The author wrote a beautiful, important, and informative story about growing up as a gay man during the AIDS crisis. However, it was not her story to tell.
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This was an okay read for me, but unfortunately, I didn't love it as much as I expected to.

The lack of quotation marks was a bit hard to adjust to at first, and is not a style choice I usually like in writing but it didn't affect my reading experience once I had spent some time with it.

My biggest issue was with the (lack of) plot. Im usually fine with a more character-driven story with little plot, but this didn't have strong enough characterization for me to get invested in. I didn't find any of the characters particularly well developed, and I knew this would be a book I'd walk away from and not really remember much.

Still, I think a lot of this is just my taste in storyline and characters, so it's still a book I'd recommend to the right reader.
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Thank you NetGalley for this book in exchange for an honest review.

We Are Lost and Found is a beautiful yet heartbreaking coming of age novel that takes place during the AIDs epidemic. It's a wonderful narration about a group of friends and the obstacles they overcome and learning to accept themselves for who they are. The characters really resonate with readings and the development is admirable.
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“How do I live my life without becoming a statistic?”

I’ve come to realize that I enjoy reading stories with LGBTQ+ main characters. Especially if it’s during a historic time. We Are Lost and Found focuses on Michael, a teen during the early 80s dealing with the struggles of being a gay male. 

This book doesn’t utilize quotations for dialogue. I’m not a big fan of this style and found it confusing and frustrating. I’m never sure why authors make that choice. 

This novel didn’t really bring anything new to the table and felt like a typical YA novel. While there are some difficult topics discussed, I wouldn’t consider this to be “heavy” like other comparable titles. It seemed like what could have been some great conversations were glossed over or ignored completely. When Michael eventually comes out as gay at the end, everyone accepts him and the only “backlash” that he faces is that his parents kick him out. I find that hard to believe from story taking place in 1983. 

I think there are plenty of other YA books that deal with these topics in a much better way. While I commend the author for creating a likeable and well-rounded gay character, I think more effort could have been put into the story and pacing.
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Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read and review this book. 

I came into this book because of the title and the cover, and after that, because is an 80's story. But I never thought it would be so impactful and beautiful. Is a story about friendship, family, acceptance, and finding who you truly are. The story, the writing, and the author made you feel like you are living in that time and with that group of characters. 

Some people might think is just angst, others that is too strong or depressive but is part of what felt to be a gay person in the 80s. Knowing that everyone would judge you because you like someone of your same-sex or leave you out of everything/apart because you might have ADIS or GRID as they used to call it. 

I think is a powerful story that so many people should read, but with precautions, because it has content warning as recreational use of drugs and alcohol, homophobia, the use of discriminatory words (fag), verbal abuse, gambling, abandonment (parent trow son out of the house). Can't wait to see what else this author comes up with.
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