I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
First Published: March 27th, 2018
Publisher: Viking BFYR
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Romance, LGBT, Loss, Friendship, Music, Family, Drama
Around the time that Freya loses her voice while recording her debut album, Harun is making plans to run away from everyone he has ever loved, and Nathaniel is arriving in New York City with a backpack, a desperate plan, and nothing left to lose. When a fateful accident draws these three strangers together, their secrets start to unravel as they begin to understand that the way out of their own loss might just lie in helping the others out of theirs.
‘‘You gonna be okay,’’ she says.
‘‘How can you know that?’’ Harun asks.
“When a broken bone heals, it’s stronger than it was before the break,’’ she replies. “Same holds true for broken hearts.’’
Better than I Was Here and Just One Day, but not quite as wonderful and memorable as If I Stay and its companion novel.
Gayle Forman does not write to impress. Her writing style is simple, though effective and even lyrical at times. But I can share with you a list of at least fifty other authors whose writing styles are more impressive.
However, this is not why I am always happy to get my hands on her novels. A book that has only its writing style going for itself, while everything else is dull, will very rarely make my list of favourites.
The reason why I keep on reading this author, although she disappointed me in the past, is because her stories have heart. I Was Here was boring, it’s true, but it was atmospheric regardless and explored important topics.
I Have Lost My Way is the story of three separate characters who each deal with their own problems. Freya is a singer who cannot sing, Harun is gay but afraid to come out to his religious parents, and Nathaniel must relearn to live and let go.
I recently read a book that was also narrated from three points of view—The Beauty that Remains—and that one did not work for me because there was never a strong connection between the three protagonists.
In this case, there is. The connection is sudden, so perhaps not entirely realistic, but it did ring true to my ears, possibly because I knew from the start that all three teenagers were good people that were hurting and needed someone to be there for them.
It is a pleasant read. Not surprising, a little short, and frankly quite corny at times, but I’m proud of Ms. Forman for finally writing a book with diverse characters. Yay!
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