I have a complicated relationship with Sara Zarr. My favorite YA blog, Forever Young Adult, touts her as a YA legend–on par with Meg Cabot and Sarah Dessen, and that’s definitely true. She writes well-written, thoughtful books that tackle extremely tough issues such as abuse, teen pregnancy, and alcoholism. I really enjoyed the first book I read (Story of a Girl), because it discussed a sensitive topic like rape with respect and sincerity. However, despite the long-standing Forever Young Adult adoration of Cameron Quick, the (admittedly realistic but wholly unromantic) ending of Sweethearts kind of soured the entire book for me. But I’ll be the first to admit that I read Sweethearts during a very emotional time, and the fact that I got so invested in Jenna and Cameron Quick that I literally cried after I finished the book is more of a compliment than “I didn’t like the ending.” When I got Once Was Lost from the library, I didn’t know much about it. I knew from a Forever Young Adult book review that it was about alcoholism and a pastor’s daughter, but I didn’t know much else. However, once I started reading it, I was hooked.