Book Review – Emi Lost and Found by Lori L. Otto

by Maryse on January 12, 2013 · 35 comments

in My Book Reviews

Lost and Found: Book One of the Emi Lost & Found series
Over the last month or so, my fellow readers have been devouring this series. Loving it, and at some point… sobbing over it. Sobbing is right up my alley! Er… in my book life, that is. I was SO in!

Unfortunately, I came across a little (okay big) hiccup of a spoiler, so… I *knew* things going into book #1, that I shouldn’t have known. For maximum impact and shock value (’cause y’all know I love book-adrenaline surges and sudden sob-fests) I would recommend you do your best to avoid spoilers/comments and any future book synopsis at all cost, with this one. I’m not going to tell you what happens. If it’s good, bad or sad. Shocking or titillating. If it’s a crazy dramatic reveal, or a big ol’ secret. I’m keeping mum, ’cause it’s a BIG part of the series as a whole. And I will admit that my reading experience of book #1 may have been biased, and I don’t think I experienced it the way I should have.

That said. I still have TWO whole books left to read and I think I’m pretty much passed the “spoiler” part. Now… anything goes. ;) And I’m happy that I’ll be jumping in a bit more blindly. I have… “ideas” of what I’m in for, but you know. TWO more books. Anything and everything awaits me. YAY!

So what’s it about? Nate and Emi have been best friends since high school, and all through college. Like the BESTEST!!! And now, as adults, they spend all of their “friend-time” together.

My curiosity was piqued, but Nate and I were never going to be anything more than friends. He was attractive – no, scratch that, he was hot – but we had an arrangement. I liked our arrangement. He was the best friend I’d ever had.

Of course, Nate being the super wealthy hottie artist that he is, dates gorgeous women. And super-supportive Emi stands by and watches. Nate is a serial “fall-in-lover”. He’s not like our usual bad boys, this one. He’s quick to say I love you, he’s quick to think each of his new girlfriends is “the one” and he’s quick to lose ‘em all, ’cause the one thing he won’t sacrifice is his relationship with Emi. Awwww, I adore him! He LOVES Emi with all of his heart.

But does he love her the way she secretly desires him to? And also… what’s the deal with that “perfect kiss” that she once experienced and was still desperately searching for. Who was it? When was it? I have my own suspicions but… ;)

I know that Emi wants something that I can’t give her. I tried. I failed.

Oh and! We get his perspective, too. Mostly him, even. And Emi well… she eventually finds someone she connects with, romantically. I’ll let you enjoy Nate’s reaction to that. Sure, it’s easy to date and “love” while your best friend is always there waiting in the wings, but what happens when she’s not so available?

… there was no Nate without Emi, and no Emi without Nate.

A great, well-written, very sweet read, with moments of angst, deep romance, and sure. A little heartache, too. It’s not out-of-this world angsty or dramatic, or … come to think of it again. Maybe it is in it’s own, quieter way. It didn’t turn my world upside down, and at times I found it a  bit slow, but again, knowing what I knew, well, I truly believe my reading experience of this work may not be fairly accurate. This is the first time I’m going to give a review/ star rating on a book that I’m not sure is what I would have given it had I gone into it blindly, and let myself truly get carried away with it.

And that’s the thing. As badly as I wanted to feel certain things, I remained on the outside looking in. I tried. I really did try to set aside what I “knew” (after all, I still had two more books after this one) but I… stayed —> “over there”. *sigh* Watching. Experiencing enough of it to know I liked it, but not enough to know if I loved it.

3.5 to 3.75 stars was how I experienced it. However, had I read not knowing anything, I suspect this is more of a 4 star read, for me.

So I’m going to leave you with reader reactions, who DID go into this blindly, (and insisted I must read #2 & 3) and I’ll let you decide for yourself. I’m fairly confident these are spoiler free. You know you’re in for angst, but you don’t know what. :) I know they’ve convinced me. I’m in for the long haul! And, after this? She’s got a sort of… spin-off series that she’s started! Check out the reading order guide: Emi Lost & Found Series Reading Order

Kelly: I have no words for this series! Tore me up!!!! Loved it!

Becky: Ohhhh, I loved this series. Hang in there because you have to finish books 2 and 3 to feel satisfied.

Lesa: Great series!! I had the same feelings! Keep going….

Kristen: Loving this….hated the beginning of book 2 but it gets better….cried so hard.

Carey: I’m reading this right now and it’s killing me! On book 2.

Tiffany: yeah Emi makes things to Hard!! I wanted to punch her a few times!!

Teresa: I am reading book 3 now. Book 2 makes me cry so much and I don’t usually cry while reading a book. It is a really great series.

Traci: Omg i’m reading it now too I’m@64% into the series…didn’t think i would stop crying @ one point..

Natalie: Such a good series. Ugly cry face and everything.

Jennifer: Read the bundle first and just finished the prequel last night. This series has put me through the wringer!

Juana: Maryse glad to hear you are finally reading this series, it was a great read with everything you want in a book!

MiliandJami: I’m at the end of book 3… Love the series. Keep reading…

Julie: I’m almost done w book 2 love this series!! And I can’t wait to read contessa after this one! And the prequel! Gah this author writes splendidly !!

Steph: …she is making me so mad and nervous!!!! I don’t want to see what goes wrong!!!!! …… I stopped reading!!!! Rrgghhh I’m a wimp!…I just want the “umph” to start again! Haha her writing is so good I don’t want the pain of who ever f’s this up!!! Haha

Jennifer: I loved the prequel, it made me love Nate even more! Also, can we mention the extras at the end of book 3? I normally shut my Kindle down after the last page of the story and don’t usually read any of the other stuff tagged on to the end like promos for other books. It was an unusual accident that I found the extras and they are SO important! I hate for anyone to miss out! One in particular is so powerful for me that it is stuck in my head on replay mode. Great writing!

Tanya: Not sure I can keep reading it! Seriously had to out it down 3 times from crying and not wanting my kids to see me!

Brenae: Just finished the series and I will feel these characters for a long time!

Christine: Absolutely love this series. I can’t wait for Olivia to come out.

Kristina: Yeah. Wanted to poke her in the eye too.

Kristine: I have read them all including the prequel and the first of the contessa series – I absolutely adored them – it was emotional and angsty and I loved it!

Sadie: You guys!!! You MUST move this to the top of your TBR. It was my favorite series of the year. It had everything – emotion, swoon-y moments, angst and beautiful, well-written characters. I can’t get it out of my head!! You must read all 3 books. On to the prequel…

Chrissy: I’m reading book 1 and want to give Emi a wake up call, ugh!

Chrissy: Tears, tears and more tears

Reyna: Keep reading! I absolutely loved this series- I cried like a baby!

Steph: Was crying thru 2nd book last night qrtr the way in…. Whaa whaaa …..

Nikki: KEEP READING! Really, you’ll be glad you did

Ashley: Oh geez, I finished #1 this afternoon. Started #2 since my daughter was still asleep. Stomach dropped, kindle pushed away. Oh dear. It’s going to be a long night.

Check out the reading order guide:

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Kim January 12, 2013 at 12:18 PM

This is EXACTLY why I adore you! I can’t stand spoilers and refuse to read reviews with them! I like being shocked, stunned and speechless ;) I have the series and cannot WAIT until I can start them!!

Maryse January 12, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Oh yah. Spoilers are bad bad little things (at least for me). I know quite a few of my friends actually request them and tell me they can fully enjoy a “spoiled” book without issue, but I still need to work on that. ;) I prefer being hit with a ton of bricks, when reading.

Ashley January 12, 2013 at 12:36 PM

I read one and two. Oh dear Lord. Number 2. I started 3, but I felt like I needed time before continuing on. Number 2 tore me up that much! I’ll be starting it probably this evening! I can’t stand spoliers so I tend to just skim over comments!

ashley January 12, 2013 at 12:49 PM

the spoilers kept me away from this one…and not cuz i hate em’…i can live with a little spoiler and still enjoy the book, but im really not ready for a *certain book* deja vu…i don’t know if its the way this one goes in terms of angst cuz i can’t say for sure if what i heared is 100% true but…i need to keep my eyes tears free for a while. and my heart safe:D…maybe later this year…

Sadie January 12, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Oh Maryse, I am so sad about the spoilers but I am with all of the other readers – you must power through. I have read other books since I finished this series but none can compare. These books – and characters – will stick with me forever.

joy January 12, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Read the first book over a month ago and read to the third chapter in tge second book. I had to stop reading…..havent picked it up again. I need to but I need help and people to talk to while I read. I know its a great series but seriously….augh the emotions.

Christina January 12, 2013 at 1:26 PM

When I used to read paper copies I was horrible for reading ahead to find out what happens. Now that I read books on my kindle app I resist as it’s a pain to fast forward. I usually try and avoid reading your reviews till I’ve read the book, so I get the full effect of the book and form my own opinions. Get persuaded to easily on other people’s opinions.

Lea January 12, 2013 at 1:56 PM

I just finished all the books and little stories/novellas in this series….I didn’t really know much about this story going in. I got it based on the freebie status and amount of stars on Amazon. I am still reeling. I hate that the first book was kinda ruined for you Maryse. Especially because of the amount of emotion I felt in the second book as a direct result from the first one. Throughout the whole series, really. It was definitely the most I have ever cried for fictional characters, and I can’t get them out of my head! I can’t wait to read your reviews on the rest of the series!

CJ January 12, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Maryse- I read the spolier without meaning to as well. Someone reviewed it on goodreads without hiding the spolier! I plan to read it, but I can’t bring myself to knowing what I know. Glad you reviewed it because I had searched your blog and couldn’t find your thoughs on it.

Joanna January 12, 2013 at 1:57 PM

I felt like this series was one you really needed to get into before it went from nice to holy shit – I’m never going to forget this book, and for good reasons. I felt that sense of distance all through the first book as well, and remember thinking, well, this is okay. I’m glad I’m reading this. Then it goes to another whole level emotionally and I was wrung out and destroyed and all the rest… I didn’t know the spoiler, and am glad.

Lori Otto January 12, 2013 at 2:30 PM

Thank you, Maryse!! I wish you hadn’t been “spoiled” either but I’m so happy you continued. There’s plenty more that awaits you!! :)

Thank to your nice commenters, too!!

Claudia January 12, 2013 at 4:08 PM

I loved the series!! But I do prefer J than…sorry!!

sabrina blanco January 12, 2013 at 4:14 PM

I just finished reading this series and loved it I was either smiling or crying the whole time loved Nate even with all his isues dont care still love him but then you have jack the dream perfect guy

Alex s January 12, 2013 at 5:17 PM

I saw the spoilers too, but the effect was the same, maybe even more drawn out because of the anticipation it created. I don’t think the spoiler changed my emotional reaction. I’m on book 2, and can’t stay still, trying to stay away from the fam because they’d surely think I was crazy for sobbing the way I was. Had to stop and come here for a while before I continue reading/crying! I need a place to hide ;)

V. January 12, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Thanks for the recommendation. Just downloads the first book for free. I’m a bit hesitant to read it because given how much you have not said, I’m worried this is going to be another book where cheating occurs and we are supposed to be ok with it if the characters get their HEA which I’ve discovered I do not like. But I hope I’m wrong.

Lori Otto January 12, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Emi hates cheaters. That’s all I’m going to say… you learn that pretty quickly.

LucyLou January 12, 2013 at 7:17 PM

Haven’t read the spoiler. Will make a point not to before I read it. It’s on my TBR list. :)

Joanna I January 12, 2013 at 10:26 PM

Read books 1 & 2 and loved them! I’m going to start 3 soon but I needed a little break :)

Jen January 13, 2013 at 12:11 AM

Loved this series! It is emotional, but worth it. Definitely one of the best series I have read in awhile.

Sara January 13, 2013 at 1:14 AM

Thanks for the heads up. I won’t be reading any reviews incase they have a spoiler.

Brandi Bradford January 13, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Maryse, Book 1 is FREE on Barnes and Noble right now! Thanks for the review of this series!

Lori B January 13, 2013 at 6:04 PM

What extras are there at the end of book 3?? I don’t have any extras :(

ElizabethM January 13, 2013 at 9:32 PM

I got maybe 20 to 25% into book 2, and I was sobbing so hard that I had to stop! I had to read some other books for blog reviews, and it gave me a good break…which I *badly* needed! I was getting seriously depressed! Now…I’m going back in! I absolutely have to know how it all turns out.

As for spoilers?! BAD!!!!!! I read book one knowing absolutely nothing about the story, and could not believe the ending! I’m *still* furious just thinking about it! I actually messaged the author on FB, after, and told her I would find a way to bill her for my therapy! If you read the YA prequel she wrote, it’s the story of them meeting in highschool and becoming best friends. I have SO much invested in them after that shorter prequel and book one. Man. I’m rambling. I *almost* don’t know if I can get back into it. Sigh….

ElizabethM January 13, 2013 at 9:36 PM

By the way, here’s the kindle link for the prequel she wrote. I read this before reading book one, and it made everything so much more impactful!

hazel January 14, 2013 at 11:27 AM

OMG…I finish all 3 books and it was a roller coster. I could not believe what happen at the end of book one, let alone book 2. Wow! I haven;t cried like that in a while (all emotions, just out there). Now I am trying to read Contessa. trying to figuere out if I should read hoe J and nate met or just move right into contessa. Any suggestions?

Dawn Bush January 15, 2013 at 11:16 AM

I’m soooooo soooo sad :-( ….I want this to end a certain way (with a twist) and I’m afraid! I’m just into book 2….God this is killing me. Just had to share and feel like someone understands. I was crying last night and my husband said, “You’re crying??”…YES! It’s so sad!!! (Not to mention my HEA being ruined!). Sniffle, sniffle…ok…back to it! I’m trusting you people!

Alex s January 16, 2013 at 11:03 PM

WOW! I took everyone’s advice and powered through book 2, hard as it was, but WOW does it pay off! The series together is so…Beautifully written, so full of emotion and detail. I connected with Em, the entire way (even when she was being stubborn), but mostly through her pain and then sweet, sweet joy. I will never forget this story, I FEEL like I lived/survived through it. Thank you for recommending it. And now on to a lighter read so I can rest my heart a little. Also, thank you Lori Otto for your talent as well as your comments of encouragement throughout this series. I can’t imagine what it was like to write this series, especially book 2.

Lori Otto January 16, 2013 at 11:34 PM

I feel like such a lurker and I’ve been trying to stay out of the conversation, but I wanted to pop in and thank y’all for your nice comments. I’m happy most of you are enjoying the series!!

LaurenB January 17, 2013 at 7:51 AM

I feel the same way as most of you guys and I am so glad this blog exists. I stayed up late the night before last trying to finish book 1 and didn’t finish until after work. I knew something was going to happen and I almost wished I had stopped reading. It was so different to have most of the story told from Nate’s perspective and I feel like we really got to know him. I read the first two chapters of book 2 and I know it will get better but I just had to put it down to be upset for a while (this is the first book I’ve read where I wasn’t just tearing up. I was sobbing!!!) I’m amazed that a series could have such a profound effect on me!

Kelly January 17, 2013 at 12:25 PM

@ Hazel- I read Contessa after the Emi Series and Prequel. I don’t want to give anything away for those that have not read the Emi Series, but it is a new series that’s an extension of the Emi Series.The only bad part is waiting for the next two books *sigh*

Amanda January 18, 2013 at 1:13 AM

Just finished number 2. One was ok but 2…omg. I feel like I have been through this experience the last few days and I am just like emotionally drained! Can’t wait to see what you think of it.

Sarah January 18, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Omg just finished this series an am dying for more…. I should have stopped after the first book and been happy thinking Nate and Emi! Lol but I couldn’t stop just kept going such heart wrenching books but so so good! I need more! I see there might be from previous comments!
Can’t wait!

Claudia February 8, 2013 at 10:50 AM

OMG, I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much over a book, my eyes remained red and puffy throughout a whole day, specially while reading book 2 in one single sitting, I couldn’t put the book down. It felt like I went through the wringer! I read through the whole series…need more…I’m hooked!!! arghhhhh!!!!

Fliss February 11, 2013 at 8:57 PM

OMG I read this series after seeing it mentioned on her & i cried my way though all 3 books. I dont think I have ever cried that much over the notebook which is my all time favourite. I read in on my kindle & stayed awake not putting it down for nearly 3 days to the point where i took my mum to the dentist & was sat outside reading it with tears streaming down my face. As my mum does have an ereader she asked what I was reading that was kept me up crying all night my first night reading the book so I told her & she was in tears just at my breif description & every night she wanted updates on what was happening & we would both sit crying about it. I would recomend anyone to read this books. I’ve gone on & read the not today but someday & contessa the 1st in the series of her Choisie series & cant wait now for Olivia & Livvy books 2 & 3 to come out I hope its not a long wait for them.

Lori L. Otto February 12, 2013 at 10:17 PM

Hi! I just wanted to stop in and thank those of you who’ve been reading the Emi Lost & Found series. Fliss, I loved reading this experience here, with your mother. :) When I read it yesterday, I got all teary-eyed. I treid to comment last night, but the site was giving me some trouble.

I’m so appreciative of you all.

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