Lost & Found, by J. Holland
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Release Date: April 19, 2017
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Nerissa has always been fascinated with humans, but when her seal skin goes missing, she’s trapped in human form—which is way more human that she wants to be.
Desperate to find the missing trunk that holds her skin, she winds up at Lorelei’s bakery and soon finds herself drawn to the other woman. Lorelei offers Nerissa a place to stay, and friendship soon turns to further possibilities—until the true whereabouts of the missing seal skin threatens to tear them apart.
Mythical Creatures (selkies)
This novella is trying to cover too much ground in very little time, and it ends up undercutting itself by putting Lorelei and Nerissa’s relationship on fast-forward. Given the folktale roots of the original selkie stories, insta-love is not entirely out-of-place here. But this is an entirely contemporary setting, Netflix and all, so the speed at which Lorelei and Nerissa fall into physical intimacy and “I love you” was hard for me to accept.
I was looking forward to seeing the asexual character in this story. Nerissa is great, and her asexuality is never presented as a conflict in her and Lorelei’s relationship. Rather, the conflict is centered around Nerissa-as-a-selkie-in-a-human-world. At one point, however, Nerissa is hesitant to say that she’s asexual because in the past people have asked her “are you sure” or insinuated that she hasn’t met the right person yet… despite the fact that this backstory makes zero sense in the context of her character. She only spends a short amount of time on land, and spends most of that time alone in the library. This stood out to me, because instead of getting an exploration of asexuality in a new context (how do Nerissa’s selkie friends and family react?), we see a common asexual narrative given to a character it really doesn’t belong to. It felt like a missed opportunity.
Past that, I thought Lost & Found was straightforward in a good way. Lorelei and Nerissa are both enjoyable main characters (and Lorelei truly won my heart). It delivers exactly on what it promises, and is a great pick if you need something short and want to smile while you’re reading.
J. Holland is a wandering soul who finds inspiration wherever she goes. She loves sleeping in National Parks, 12-hour Netflix binges, and cuddling. Check out her website for more: flightsoffantasyreviews.com
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.