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Reviewed by Louanne Piccolo for Readers' Favorite
Teenage angst, unreasonable parents, family secrets and ghosts – Lost on the Water by D.G. Driver has it all, and more. Fourteen-year-old Dannie is uprooted from her home in California and sent to spend the summer with her grandmother in rural Tennessee. Almost immediately she runs into a group of local boys who invite her on an annual overnight kayaking trip for boys on an island. Dannie, the quintessential tomboy, lets the boys think she’s a boy and accepts the offer. Unfortunately, her grandmother forbids her from going. Dannie suspects it has little to do with the fact that she’s a girl and more to do with the fear she sees in her grandmother’s eyes. Will Dannie defy her grandmother and go on the trip?
Intriguing and suspenseful, Lost on the Water is well suited to a young adult audience. As an adult, the theme of social pressure, the search for independence, and the hankering for adventure brought back bittersweet memories of being a teenager. This exciting period following the childhood magic of tooth fairies and Santa Claus, when teenagers want to believe that just about anything is possible, is the ideal setting for a feel-good ghost story. During this period, the innocence of childhood still fuels the imagination and makes for a fast-paced and dramatic story line with a heart-warming, homespun tone. I loved Dannie’s quick wit, sharp tongue and tough attitude; her strong female character is evident in her sassy comebacks and made me like her instantly. D.G. Driver’s Lost on the Water features adventure, humor, intrigue and just the right amount of romance for a YA novel – a spectacular combination!