Author: Sarah Porter
Publisher: Harcourt (imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing)
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Summary (from Goodreads): What happens to the girls nobody sees—the ones who are ignored, mistreated, hidden away? The girls nobody hears when they cry for help?
Fourteen-year-old Luce is one of those lost girls. After her father vanishes in a storm at sea, she is stuck in a grim, gray Alaskan fishing village with her alcoholic uncle. When her uncle crosses an unspeakable line, Luce reaches the depths of despair. Abandoned on the cliffs near her home, she expects to die when she tumbles to the icy, churning waves below. Instead, she undergoes an astonishing transformation and becomes a mermaid.
A tribe of mermaids finds Luce and welcomes her in—all of them, like her, lost girls who surrendered their humanity in the darkest moments of their lives. The mermaids are beautiful, free, and ageless, and Luce is thrilled with her new life until she discovers the catch: they feel an uncontrollable desire to drown seafarers, using their enchanted voices to lure ships into the rocks.
Luce’s own talent at singing captures the attention of the tribe’s queen, the fierce and elegant Catarina, and Luce soon finds herself pressured to join in committing mass murder. Luce’s struggle to retain her inner humanity puts her at odds with her friends; even worse, Catarina seems to regard Luce as a potential rival. But the appearance of a devious new mermaid brings a real threat to Catarina’s leadership and endangers the very existence of the tribe. Can Luce find the courage to challenge the newcomer, even at the risk of becoming rejected and alone once again?
Lost Voices is a captivating and wildly original tale about finding a voice, the healing power of friendship, and the strength it takes to forgive.
Lost Voices was a beautifully written book. The writing is smooth, clear, and easy to understand. The author is also very adept at describing scenes and settings - I was able to visualize it all very quickly. It was, however, a little boring to me - probably because it seemed like a book for the young YA readers. Readers aged 12-14 will enjoy it more than I did, although there is a incident that occurs early on that may not be appropriate for younger readers.
The story is fast-paced, although I do wish Luce's pre-mermaid life had been expanded on a bit. Luce's confusion about whether her father was a good person was really believable, though, and I liked the way the author incorporated the whole, 'can you be a good person if you do bad things?' debate. I also really loved Luce's friendship with Gum - I think it was a great addition to the story and it made me like Luce a lot more.
All in all, it was very well done. I definitely recommend it to younger YA readers.