The Lost Girls by Sonia Hartl – Review

Sonia Hartl’s The Lost Girls is laced with dark humor and queer love; it’s John Tucker Must Die with a feminist girl gang of vampires.

When Elton Irving turned Holly Liddell into a vampire in 1987, he promised her eternal love. But thirty-four years later, Elton has left her, her hair will be crimped for the rest of immortality, and the only job she can get as a forever-sixteen-year-old is the midnight shift at Taco Bell.

Holly’s afterlife takes an interesting turn when, she meets Rose McKay and Ida Ripley. Having also been turned and discarded by Elton—Rose in 1954, and Ida, his ex-fiancée, in 1921—they want to help her, and ask for her help in return.

Rose and Ida are going to kill Elton before he turns another girl. Though Holly is hurt and angry with Elton for tossing her aside, she’s reluctant to kill her ex, until Holly meets Parker Kerr—the new girl Elton has set his sights on—and feels a quick, and nerve-wracking attraction to her.

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Thank you so much to NetGalley for the eARC of this gore-geous and sapphic vampire novel with serious bite! I fell in love with the cover at first glance and was instantly reminded of the movie of a similar name but different gender– and it turns out that was a stellar play; the novel gives us Holly, who was made into a vampire in 1987 at the young age of 16 years old. Her crimped hair tells the story of another lifetime as she slaves away in her nightly food service job, giving us a less glamorous view into the life of the turned and the unfamous. Unlike her media counterparts, Holly is straight up not having a good time. That is, until she forms a revenge plot with the other victims of her sire.

Elton, a gaslighting and cradle-robbing bloodsucker, left a trail of scorned women in his wake. Holly, Ida, and Rose team up to save the girl he has now set his sights on: Parker. Before her, Holly had reservations about taking the soulless being she once loved out. But suddenly, feelings develop between the human girl and the vampire. This was so exciting to me as a pansexual in a f/f relationship; vampires have always been my favorite supernatural creature, and most novels about them form romances between two members of the opposite sex– a la Twilight. This is the kind of gay horror representation I’ve been looking for, and it was a thrilling and bloody ride. The story unfolded like a train without a conductor, and it was absolutely impossible to put down.

A beautiful mix of John Tucker Must Die with a tantalizing Buffy twist; The Lost Girls is a YA romance novel for a new generation. It shines with its dark humor, quirky nature, and intelligent characters– not to mention a slow burn connection that is absolutely to die for. Sonia also did a beautiful job of exploring what it is to be in an abusive relationship, and how important communicating with your loved ones is in that situation, be it found family or blood relation. Isolation gets pretty lonely, especially in thirty four years. Holly would be more than happy to tell you that. Her growth mirrored some of my own, and it was a complete delight to experience.

5/5 stars