Review of The Lost Coast

The Lost Coast
by Amy Rose Capetta
High School    Candlewick    342 pp.    g
5/19    978-1-5362-0096-6    $17.99

High schooler Danny and her mom arrive in Tempest, California, under mysterious circumstances (Danny: “I was the one who had begged for a new life, my tears salted with guilt”). There, where the redwoods dominate, she meets a group of queer girls called the Grays, who weave magic in “a braid of traditions” that they make up as they go. The Grays need someone to help recover their most powerful member, Imogen, who is acting eerily strange and distant and whose magic has become unresponsive. The characters reflect a range of races and LGBTQ+ identities. The text, too, encompasses many things at once — mystery, fantasy, thriller, and romance — in a realistic, contemporary, insular high school setting. Capetta alternates narrative perspectives and time periods (“Danny Now”; “Danny Weeks Ago”; “The Students of Tempest High School Now”) in a way that feels organic if occasionally somewhat disjointed. This atmospheric story thought-provokingly explores the powers of magic within young women and in women loving women.

From the July/August 2019 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Jeannie Coutant

Jeannie Coutant is a graduate of Simmons University with a dual master’s in children’s literature and writing for children. She currently reviews for The Horn Book and Kirkus Reviews, and is an intern for The Horn Book, Inc. She identifies as queer generally, and demi-bisexual more specifically.

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