Title: The Lost Boy
Author: Anna Martin
Publication date: January 19, 2020
Length: 264 pages
Reviewed by Sammy
Five years after his band Ares shot to success, Ben Easton is struggling. He’s holed up in a mansion in Los Angeles while he fights depression and a dark drug addiction that threatens to destroy everything. In a final attempt to save Ben’s life, his best friend Tone does something desperate—he calls Ben’s ex-boyfriend Stan and begs him to help.
Stan Novikov is living in New York and thriving in his career as a fashion journalist. He hasn’t been back to London since he and Ben broke up, but that seems like the right place to go—along with Tone—to try and shock Ben out of his unhealthy lifestyle.
The band have to finish their album before Christmas but without Ben, work has stalled. Ben has to decide whether he’s going to stay with Ares and keep making music, or find another path for his future. One that might just include Stan.
Ben is fairly sure that he has hit rock bottom and maybe even fallen further but then again he’s so drugged up and miserable he can’t be sure of anything. A few years have passed since he’s even seen Stan—losing the one thing he loved when he couldn’t give up the drugs for him was the beginning of the end. Now with the band’s fourth album looming and the pressure for Ben to pull it together to finish the work, he’s so far gone he isn’t even really aware that his best friend Tone has found the only person that might possibly break through Ben’s self-destructive loop. Stan is back—in LA—and ready to help. He starts by taking Ben home—back to London—where maybe, just maybe Ben can begin to heal and shake off the demons that hold him and the drugs that are killing him.
With the release of The Lost Boy, Anna Martin reunites Stan, Ben and the bandmates from Ares. But the band that was on the cusp of greatness is greatly changed, wildly successful and ready to implode. Ben has been eating drugs like candy for nearly three years—since right before Stan walked out of his life. In that time, albums have dropped and the band has toured the world. Most of the time, Ben has self-medicated and handled the stress of his star rising with nearly every narcotic he can get his hands on. As always, Tone is there to pick him up and try to keep him together but Ben is in too deep for Tone or any of the band to help him anymore. So Tone brings in Stan thinking that somehow he may be able to reach Ben and slowly but surely it works.
In this second chance novel, Stan may be a catalyst for Ben to get sober but it will really come down to the fact that Ben decides he really doesn’t want to die. I loved how the author makes it clear that Ben was trying to kick the drugs for himself first, and Stan and the band second. The beginning of this novel is an ugly mess—gearing the reader up for a potentially not so happy ending for Ben and Stan. During the story, Ben will relapse more than once and have to try and dig deep for self-love—the key to real healing. Through it all, Stan will be the most loyal and loving friend—something Ben really needed. The love they once had will spark again but it’s a long road to a happy ever after and there will be a lot of pain and gut-wrenching confessions along the way.
But there is also love…and healing…and hard work to remain sober and strong and that is what this novel is really all about. The Lost Boy is an anthem to anyone who has ever struggled with addiction and self-loathing guilt. It is a tender embrace for those who stand beside the addict they love and relearn how to trust them again—to let them back behind the wall they have built around their heart and be willing to be hurt again, if necessary, to see the one they hold so dear recover. It is a beautiful love song full of hope and courage and finding a home together again.
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