Lost Boys

Book Two of the American Nomads

Young Adult - Adventure
304 Pages
Reviewed on 04/17/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Lost Boys is a work of fiction in the adventure, social issues, and interpersonal drama subgenres, and it serves as the second novel of the American Nomads book series. It is intended for young adult and adult readers and was penned by author N.L. McLaughlin. The work does contain some darker content with references to drugs, suicide, alcoholism, abuse, and violence, as our teen protagonists continue their nomadic life hopping trains and living a life beyond the norm. All seems to be going well for the newbies and old hands of the group until a video online opens a gateway for a dark figure from Finn’s past to track him and the whole group down.

Author N.L. McLaughlin offers readers a totally original series with a fascinating perspective but also manages to balance the zesty adventurous spirit of life on the rails and the darker realities of what this kind of life really means for those brave enough to try to live it. I adored the developments between Cash and River most of all, for the narration there was handled with emotional depth and well-thought-out dialogue moments, and I was thrilled to see Beth coming into her own as a strong leading character. The drama between Daniel and Finn was a superb plot driver that really homed in on some of the more sensitive subject matter of the novel in a realistic and heart-breaking way, which also led to a truly staggering conclusion. Overall, I would highly recommend Lost Boys to all YA/NA drama fans looking for something like nothing they’ve ever read before.

Stephanie Chapman

Lost Boys is the second book in N. L. McLaughlin’s American Nomads series. The story opens with Daniel out for revenge against his wife and son. When a prison friend located Tricia, Daniel discovered she had changed her name to Melody. He snatches her and has her transfer her entire bank account into his. Daniel then begins his next objective. He has to find Finn. Six people are traveling together, hopping trains to get from one place to another. Beth has, unbeknownst to the rest of the group, filmed their travels and posted them on social media. Daniel has subscribed to her account, and without a second thought, she has added him. Among her films and pictures, she shows River and Cash with a growing romance, Finn and Teague as best buddies, and Zac as a formidable leader of their group. During their travels, they keep in contact via a special server with other nomads. Their goal is to get to Tempe, Arizona, to celebrate where they first started their “family.” 

Lost Boys was more than I ever expected it to be. N. L. McLaughlin’s depiction of each member allowed me to connect with each person. Beth’s insecurity about being accepted caused her to be more of a hindrance. Finn’s quiet demeanor didn’t affect his quick to flash temper. Zac was the epitome of a father figure to the entire group, even though he wasn’t the oldest. The antics that they pulled as they traveled entertained me. The story was full of adventure, danger, and intrigue. I never put the book down as every page’s vivid imagery and the interaction of each character kept me glued to my seat. The end of the story left me with a need to know more and a haunted feeling about some people they encountered. The end left a perfect opening for a sequel. I recommend Lost Boys to young adults who enjoy well-developed characters embarking on adventures. Each one of the group is relatable and is sure to capture the interest of anyone who reads the story.

Rabia Tanveer

Lost Boys is the second novel in the American Nomads series by N.L. McLaughlin. The adventures of Beth, River, Cash, Finn, Teague, and Zac continue as these misfit nomads hop from one train to another in search of their next thrill. Now that Beth has made a place for herself in the group, things are much easier. While Cash and River get ready to explore the chemistry between them, Finn and Teague are closer to each other. Content and happy with what they have, the friends have no idea that danger from the past is waiting on the sidelines to strike at just the right moment. Beth’s social media posts have given Daniel the access he needs to figure out where Finn is. As Daniel gets closer to Finn, the friends have no idea what is about to happen. What does Daniel want from Finn? Are the nomads in real danger? What will happen when Daniel and Finn come face to face?

Reading American Nomads was a pleasure, and Lost Boys evoked similar feelings. I love how author N. L. McLaughlin opens her stories in the middle of the action and sets the tone of the story from there. There is hardly a moment where you feel lost or overwhelmed. The dynamic of the relationships between them has changed a lot. Finn is more accepting of Beth; River and Cash are finally exploring their feelings; and dear Zac is just happy to have a family in his friends. The mystery behind Daniel and his intentions is well-managed. The narrative style is essential for the story and its progress. The fragmented narrative and multiple points of view allow readers to understand what is happening from different perspectives and that makes the reading experience so much better. The character development is fantastic, the pace is perfect, and the suspense is adrenaline-inducing. I loved it!