Their ogres relish throwing roadblocks in their way. Billy Youngwolf Floyd and Madison (Mads) Murray. Billy’s mom, Anna, threw herself off Seattle’s Aurora Bridge. Mads, in Seattle to study for the real estate license she doesn’t want (but her mother does), discovers the body (although Billy doesn’t know this). After the discovery, Mads becomes obsessed with finding what could have possibly pushed Anna to the brink.
Of course, Billy and Mads must meet…under awkward circumstances…and fall for each other. Of course the ogres are in their glory, setting up roadblocks to their budding romance. Of course there is heated passion. Of course there is disappointment.
Billy and Mads are savers. He wants to save animals from cruel owners. She wants to save her infant next door neighbor, Ivy, from her lousy parents. The question is can they save themselves from themselves, either alone or together?
Have you ever read a book that you like at the beginning, but about two thirds of the way through, it’s too much of a good thing and you speed read to finish because you’re invested? Well, Essential Maps for the Lost by Deb Caletti is just such a book.
Caletti, author of the popular The Last Forever, The Six Rules of Maybe, Wild Roses and, of course, Honey, Baby, Sweetheart begins Essential Maps for the Lost as follows:
“Here’s the biggest truth right up front: The way Mads and Billy Youngwolf Floyd met was horrible, hideous. Anyone will agree. You will, too. You’ll think it’s awful. And then maybe beautiful, which is precisely the point. When the story gets sad and terrible, when there are too many mistakes to count, hang on for the beautiful parts. Wait for them. Have some faith they’ll arrive. This is also precisely the point: the hanging on. The waiting, the faith.”
It is certainly an unusual use of language. However, after 270 pages, it was too much of a good thing. I was ready for ‘normal’ language. I was invested. I liked Mads and I liked Billy. I wanted a happy ending. So I read on…actually skimmed the remaining 60 pages…to find out what happened.
Essential Maps for the Lost is a good book, no doubt about it. Something, though, made it miss being a great book.