Essential Maps for the Lost

Essentials Maps for the Lost - Cover

Finished Essential Maps for the Lost by Deb Caletti.  I received a copy from the publisher for review.  Click here to enter to win a copy! Good luck!


When Madison makes a startling discovery, the body of a dead woman floating in the middle of a lake, the summer after her senior year becomes more complicated than she ever expected.

Madison (Mads to everyone who knows her) is staying with her aunt and uncle in Seattle after graduating from high school. Being away from her needy, unstable mother who’s been pressuring her to take over the family business is such a relief. Now all Mads has to worry about is taking classes, swimming laps, and fighting off the sadness that threatens to overtake her.

That is, until the traumatic moment Mads collides with a body in the middle of the lake. After swimming the body back to shore, Mads becomes obsessed with uncovering the identity of the woman and what drove her to leap off of the Aurora Bridge. Determined to discover more, Mads parks outside the woman’s home and sees the woman’s son: the sweet and tormented Billy Youngwolf Floyd.

Through a series of not-so-happenstance meetings, Mads and Billy realize that desperate mothers and rescue missions are not the only thing that bonds them. Billy carries a map in his pocket; the one of the museum from The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler; and it’s his dream to visit the museum one day. And though book-loving Mads is expected to return home to her already-decided future, her dream is to run away to a life of her choosing.

As the unlikely pair fall hard for each other and as the summer draws to a close, Billy and Mads must decide whose story to follow: their family’s or their own.

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | The Book Depository


This is my first Deb Caletti book and that’s embarrassing for someone like me who is a huge fan of contemp YA.  Many blogging/actively literate friends have been raving about her for years and I absolutely get it.

From what I understand, her books tend to deal with important things (abusive relationships, for example, and anxiety) and this one is no exception.  This book is actually one of the best representations of grief I’ve ever read.

Deb Caletti’s writing is also gorgeous.  She writes these profound things but never makes them seem like those obnoxious things that you’d see on Facebook graphics, maybe with a picture of footprints on the beach.  (You know exactly what I’m talking about, don’t pretend like you don’t.)

And another gift of hers is writing these incredible characters who aren’t really described all that well, but who you can immediately recognize and imagine.  She does a phenomenal job of showing, not telling, what her characters are going through.

I’m very excited because I know she has quite the backlist and I can’t wait to get started.


Deb Caletti


Deb Caletti is an award winning author and National Book Award finalist. Her many books for young adults include “The Nature of Jade,” “Stay,” “The Last Forever,” and “Honey, Baby Sweetheart,” winner of the Washington State Book award, the PNBA Best Book Award, and a finalist for the PEN USA Award. Her first book for adults, “He’s Gone,” was released from Random House in 2012, and was followed with “The Secrets She Keeps” in 2015. Coming this April: “Essential Maps for the Lost,” her eleventh book for young adults. She lives with her family in Seattle.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest


One thought on “Essential Maps for the Lost

  1. I love contemporary YA and mysteries. I also love that this book is set in one of my favorite cities. i think i was meant to live in Seattle. Thanks for the post today!

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