I’m a big fan of Megan Miranda’s thrillers. While I felt this one got a slow start, it did have a satisfying ending. Read on for my Review of Fragments of the Lost!
Fragments of the Lost by Megan Miranda
To be published on November 14, 2017 by Crown Books. I received an eARC for review.
Synopsis from Goodreads: Jessa Whitworth knew she didn’t belong in her ex-boyfriend Caleb’s room. But she couldn’t deny that she was everywhere–in his photos, his neatly folded T-shirts, even the butterfly necklace in his jeans pocket . . . the one she gave him for safe keeping on that day. His mother asked her to pack up his things–even though she blames Jessa for his accident. How could she say no? And maybe, just maybe, it will help her work through the guilt she feels about their final moments together.But as Jessa begins to box up the pieces of Caleb’s life, they trigger memories that make Jessa realize their past relationship may not be exactly as she remembered. And she starts to question whether she really knew Caleb at all. Each fragment of his life reveals a new clue that propels Jessa to search for the truth about Caleb’s accident. What really happened on the storm-swept bridge?
Review: Fragments of the Lost
I’m a big fan of Megan Miranda’s thrillers. I especially enjoyed All the Missing Girls, which is an adult thriller written in reverse. (See my review of that here.)
Fragments of the Lost also tries out a more unconventional narrative technique, one that didn’t work as well for me. Fragments of the Lost opens as main character Jessa packs up her boyfriend Caleb’s room after his memorial service. This packing makes up a good half to two-third of the story.
Jessa is certain that Caleb’s mom is making Jessa do this to punish her, and Jessa is happy to accept the guilt. Then each chapter is centered around an item that Jessa finds in Caleb’s room and her thinking about/remembering the significance of that item. This meant a LOT of flashbacks/memories, which aren’t my favorite narrative technique.
Yes, Jessa’s memories helped me gain more insight into her relationship with Caleb, but I thought too much time was spent on Jessa standing around in an empty room, thinking about stuff. (Note: on Goodreads, Thirteen Reasons Why is used as a comp title, and I think that’s because it has a similar structure, with each chapter focused on one of Hannah’s tapes and Clay’s memories of what the tape discusses.)
Finally Jessa begins to get the idea that Caleb’s “accident” was no accident and the story really gets going, but that wasn’t until the last quarter or so of the book. The ending was suspenseful and clever but I couldn’t help wanting fewer pages spent on Jessa’s ruminations. (Yes, she does leave the bedroom from time to time – the packing takes place in multiple sessions – but still….)
Fragments of the Lost was still a solid book with suspense and twists and if you’re a Megan Miranda fan, I think you’ll enjoy it. If you’re new to her books, I’d recommend starting with a different one, like All the Missing Girls!