originally posted here
The premises for this story are incredible. The setup takes place in England during the second World War. The young protagonist, David, is struggling to find his place in a changing family. He finds solace in the stories he once shared with his mother, and leans on his books to keep himself stable. Then the books start whispering to him, and soon the books take him on a journey far away from his home. The novel then takes on an episodic form, as David fights one monster after another. I really enjoyed this book. One third of the way through, I was so excited for the story to unfold, I could hardly contain myself.
The beginning was everything I expected it to be. I set my hopes so very very high that I'm sure no book could possibly live up to them. In a kind of alarming way, the gruesome details in some violent and graphic parts were pretty cool. These moments grounded the theme as something much more grown up than a children's book. David goes from a world troubled with war to one on the verge of it. He is forced into situations far beyond what a child should have to handle. Halfway through, I just kinda got tired of the episode-by-episode-ness. I found the end lacking resolution. That's just my opinion, though. I would have really liked to see a reunion scene instead of a summary to wrap it all up. I do of course understand that it was invoking a storybook-style ending, which was fitting. The Book of Lost Things is a tribute to fairytales, stories, and the lessons that young readers can pull from them.