The Lost Causes by Jessica Etting & Alyssa Shwartz Review – Spoiler Free

34014652*I recieved an e-arc from Netgalley*

TITLE: The Lost Causes

AUTHORS: Alyssa Embree Shwartz & Jessica Koosed Etting

PUBLICATION DATE: September 5th 2017 

PUBLISHER: Kids Can Press

GENRE: Young Adult, Mystery, Murder Mystery,

FORMAT: E-arc      PAGECOUNT: 344

Cover- It’s ok, I like their silhouettes against the creepy forest background.


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.  

My Review


4.5 stars

 What a book! You know when you’re reading and so engrossed in a book and so worried for the characters and so eager to find out what happens that you kind of forget how to breathe because your that excited and nervous? Yeah that happened to me with this book.

I fell in love with this book and the group of misfits the story centres around, but there were the odd things that brought down and because I want to getting to talking about the amazing things in this book and why I feel anyone interested in murder mysteries and kids with mind powers should read it upon its September release.

Although eventually it worked it’s self out the pacing at the start was super fast, more so in the way of the five main characters – Sabrina, Andrew, Z, Justin and Gabby who never before had come into contact became a tight nit friend group so fast, but it was a fast paced, edge of your seat book anyways and the pacing did even itself out.

Lost Causes was said far too much in the beginning to the point where it started becoming cheesy and comical. But me being a hypocrite I did enjoy it when they eventually started calling their group Lost Causes like The Avengers or something.

Andrew was my least favourite character, I wished there had been more of an insight into his background and his hypochondria and it felt his new-found powers changed him more than it did the others.

And now onto the amazing things I want to say, and can say without spoiling anything because like I said, I was on the edge of my seat while reading this and that is the best way to get the most from this book.

First up, round of applause for the cute and fluffy relationship in this between 2 characters in this which DID NOT INCLUDE INSTA-LOVE!!!!!!! Yep, that is right, no insta love, just two teenagers who were adorable and started dating and hanging out because teenagers don’t start going out and then start saying ‘I love you’ a couple days later, not unless they’re twelve or something. Yes A+!

The group friendship formed was really sweet. They were all so different but worked well together and had each other to lean on when they had nobody else because the whole point was that they were outsiders, misfits with troubled lives. And the relationship between the girls too, even though Z and Sabrina hadn’t had the happiest feelings toward each other to begin with they stuck up and watched out for each other. And the group text they had too made me smile.

I’m holding out hope that with the revelation in the last sentance that means there’s hope for a sequel!

There were lots of twists and turns and moments that made it impossible to stop reading because ‘oh my god I did not see that coming!’. I flew through this in just two days and highly recommended it to anyone interested in a quick read about a group of messed up kids with new-found powers investigating a murder mystery featuring a cute and fluffy couple and great friendships!


She hadnt asked her parents to buy her anything since when she was nine and theyd denied her request for a boa constrictor.

The fact that they shared a womb for nine mnths did not provide the sort of tight bond one might expect.

“That is … correct” Mr. Greenly replied, flabberasted.

Mr. Greenly waslked toward him now. “What’s ging on here?”. Andrew flashed him a quick crooked grin. “I guess it just miraculously clicked into place”.

Sometimes Jared felt more like a golden retriever than a boyfriend.

“I dont know. Havent you ever heard of killing someone with kindness?”. “I’ve heard of killing someone” Z mumbled.

If nothing mattered, then you couldnt ever really fail.

Her parents could harldy blame Z for turning out depressed after naming her for a woman who lived her last years in a psychiatric hospital. 

And they certainly hadn’t noticed that she was now happier. (Not even when she’d laughed – laughed- at a kitten GIF the other night).

They all had responed with pretty much every celebratory emoji on the planet.

“Never saw them. My mom only watched movies she wanted to watch when i was little. I’ve seen Steel Magnolia thirty times. And no, didnt shed a tear”. Gabby raised and eyebrow. “The Blind Side?” Crap. She had him.

The only thing Devon seemed to take pride in was the tall bookshelf in the corner of his bedroom, overflowing with hardback and paberback books.

“We managed to open it outselves”  Z said, “or Justin did”. “With what?” Nash asked. Justin shrugged “my brain”. 

With all his illnesses, he never had an answer to the ‘what do you want to be when you group up’ question.

Maybe Tiwnkie ran away in the first place because he was aftraid Gabby’s parents would preasure him into doing cat shows.

Instead, he grabbed her hand, pulled her in to him and kissed her.  

It was more like awe. Or destiny. (Which Nash would never tel another livning soul).

“Did you hear Principal Waters thinking about being horny again?” Just asked. He’d laughed for at least twenty minutes when Z had told them that story last week.

A life-or-death buddy system, Justin thought grimly. 

Like most sociopaths, he was missing the compssionate sensitivity chip.

Sabrina had just asked a ghost to ring up her soda.




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