Friday, 9 February 2018

Review for I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman

I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release: 5th April 2018
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Source: Copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"A powerful story of empathy and friendship from the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of If I Stay.

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.

An emotionally cathartic story of losing love, finding love, and discovering the person you are meant to be, I Have Lost My Way is best­selling author Gayle Forman at her finest."

Gayle Forman is one of my very favourite contemporary YA writers so a new release from her is always cause for much excitement! It’s been three years since her last YA book and it’s safe to say that I Have Lost My Way was everything I wanted it to be, filling up the Gayle Forman shaped hole in my life.

I Have Lost My Way follows three teenagers who literally crash into each other’s lives when they each need a friend the most. We have Freya, an online singing sensation who is tipped to be the next big star, Harun the perfect Muslim son who is about to leave his home in search of a wife and Nathaniel who is visiting New York City for the very first time. Each character has recently lost something vital and is questioning their place in the world and how to move forward. As the three of them develop a friendship they help each other confront the things that they have lost and find the courage to carve a new future for themselves.

This book reminded me a lot of Just One Day, my favourite of Gayle Forman’s books. It takes place over 24 hours in New York City but instead of a romantic relationship this time Forman explores the impact that friendship can have on our lives and how just one person’s actions can change everything.

I Have Lost My Way doesn’t give up all its secrets at once. As you get to hear from each character in the present you know that something pivotal has happened in their pasts that has led them to where they are today. Of course, in true Gayle Forman style, as you learn about each character’s story your heart breaks for them and you want nothing more than for each character to find some hope and the strength to move forward. Although I loved all three characters so much my favourite was Nathaniel, his story was the one that moved me to tears.

Overall, I Have Lost My Way is another triumph for Gayle Forman. This book features a wealth of much needed representation on topics such as child carers, mental illness, suicide and coming out, to name just a few, and is handled in a compassionate manner that felt carefully researched. This short but powerful book packs an emotional punch and is one that I’d highly recommend to anybody who likes poignant writing on hard hitting topics.

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