"Lost Voices" Book Review

by KaitlynDeMetro

Sarah Porter's debut novel "Lost Voices" paints a hauntingly beautiful portrayal of lost innocence. Refreshingly original and relatable, "Lost Voices" is a story to be heard.

"Lost Voices" tells the story of 14 year old, Luce, whose life is a whirlwind of bad luck. After losing the only person she has, she's forced to live with her savage, gluttonous uncle. When a line is crossed, innocence is lost amongst Luce's own life. She's given a new life; a life that only exists in fantasy; a life of a mermaid.

The Plot

Not Exactly "The Little Mermaid"

The story of "Lost Voices" surrounds teenage mermaids, who were once human but are supernaturally transformed after succumbing to violent and untimely deaths. They're immortally trapped in the sea as enchanting sirens, singing and luring sailors to their death in the classic way sirens do. It gives them power they've never had; the ability to be the killer, not the killed. 14 year old Luce is new to this dark and beautiful world and is torn by her new found abilities and her ever fading humanity she desperately clings to throughout this stunning novel.


"Lost Voices" is a wonderfully insightful look into why mermaids sing their songs of death to innocent sailors in all of the classic siren stories. It's beautifully written and shows an unfortunate reality to each of these fictional characters; they were abused, neglected, and even raped. As humans, they were helpless; their voices lost. This new life gives their voices back to them.

-- I do admit I felt a little outgrown for this type of book. I think it would have been my favorite as a teenager. I didn't go through nearly as much as the remarkable characters did but throughout my teen years I felt alone, as most of us did. This novel and its following trilogy would have made a great friend to someone lost like me.


Official Reviews:
  • "A haunting debut. . . . Porter’s writing is expressive and graceful. . . . . a captivatingly different story."—Booklist
  • "A beautifully written and heartbreaking story about a lost soul struggling to forgive the people she loved who wronged her, and ultimately to forgive herself."—Jennifer Echols, author of Going Too Far
  • "It might be shelved as a fantasy, but Lost Voices is full of gripping, harsh realism. Without resorting to stereotypes or tired high school plots, it deals with the complications of friendship and peer pressure. And at its core, it's nothing more than a really believable, understandable and relatable story about finding one's voice. Its relevance to real life and its references to the real issues that create lost girls --- abuse, neglect, rape, bad parenting and more--make it a one-of-a-kind mermaid story. For that reason, it will appeal to paranormal, fantasy and realism fans alike."--teenreads.com
Sheila Wolk Metamorphosis Art Print Poster
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A Mermaid, 1900
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The Message It Conveys

It gives such vital messages to girls going through painful, even unfathomably painful situations:

  • What you're going through can destroy you or empower you.
  • Something that breaks your heart can bring you new life.
  • You are not insignificant. Your. Voice. Matters.

Every girl needs these words. Every person needs these words. "Lost Voices" is a timeless story, one that you should greatly consider reading or passing on to a young lady whom you know may be feeling a little voiceless herself.

Lost Voices Book Trailer

Some Mermaid Folklore

To learn more about the history of merpeople, check out The Secret History of Mermaids and Creatures of the Deep
The Secret History of Mermaids
$17.99  $7.38
Updated: 09/19/2014, KaitlynDeMetro
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