Review: I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman

Title: I Have Lost My Way
Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Viking Books
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Hardcover, 258 Pages
Published March 2018

Summary: 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. 

When I first found out that this book was being published, I immediately put it on my TBR, because Gayle Forman has a way of writing books that just punch you right in the chest and take you on an emotional roller coaster. So it goes without saying that I was super excited when I got a gift card for my birthday, so I went and scooped up this book as soon as possible.

As the summary explains, the story focuses on three young adults. First, there's Freya, an up-and-coming star who just lost her voice, and therefore everything she's worked so hard for is on the brink of falling apart. Then there's Harun, gearing up to travel back to Pakistan to find a wife, even though what he really wants to find is the courage to tell his family that he's in love with a boy name James. Finally, there's Nathaniel, who came to New York City on a mission to see his father...but things are more complicated than they look. So the story follows these three on their individual journeys, but eventually they come together, in the form of falling off of bridges and potential concussions. It's definitely interesting, that's for sure!

What I liked about this book was the way the three stories were able to operate apart and have their own plot points and everything, but they still threaded together so seamlessly. I think Gayle Forman definitely did an excellent job of this, which is just another testament to what an awesome writer she is. Each story was unique and really intense, and it definitely took you on an emotional journey. And seeing these three characters interact with each other, not knowing each other's full backstories, while I as a reader knew what was really going on, added an entirely different layer to the experience.

I really enjoyed the diversity of the three characters, and all of their unique complexities. Freya was so headstrong and funny at times that I was definitely cheering her on, especially watching her success grow as a singer. I felt deeply for Harun, who wanted so badly to tell his parents the truth and live the life he wanted to, but had an unbearable weight on his back that made the decision all the more difficult. And my heart even broke for Nathaniel, who had a much more difficult and harder to understand life than I originally expected, and once the pieces unraveled, some of the stuff that I found out as a reader really shook me down to my core.

There were only a few things about this book that tripped me up a little, one being the different points of view the story is written in, and how often it shifts. Some chapters were in first person perspective, focusing on a particular character and their experiences, and sometimes there were chapters that were in third person and completely bounced around between the three characters. While I think it was an ambitious writing choice and was definitely really creative, there were some moments where I was a bit confused, because that constant shift between first and third person was throwing me off a lot.

(Spoilers in this paragraph, so please skip to the next one if you don't want the story ruined for you!) The other thing about this book that I wasn't a huge fan of was Nathaniel's story. I feel like there was a lot that I didn't understand and it wasn't explained until the very ending -- and even then, it's still pretty vague and doesn't make a total amount of sense. I suspected from the very beginning that something was up with his dad, since he wasn't answering his phone and everything, but it doesn't seem like we ever really find out how his story ends. I mean, we suspect that he doesn't go off the bridge...but what happens next? Does his mom find out? Did his mother ever find out that his dad died at all? Or what Nate tried to do? Or that Nate lost his eye? The book leaves you off on an ambiguous point, which I can sometimes appreciate as a reader, but in a case like this with so many things going on, having an ending would've really been appreciated.

However, those were the only two things that threw me a little bit with this story. The rest of the book hooked me from the beginning up until the very end, and it was so small and easy to breeze through that I read over 200 pages of the story in a single day. If you're looking for a quick read to devour, this is definitely something I think you should consider!

Overall, I really enjoyed I Have Lost My Way. I think that Gayle Forman did it again with a heart-wrenching story that weaves together the complexities of life and shows how everyone may think they're having different struggles, but their underlying problems can be more similar than they'd expect. Whether you're new to Gayle Forman's stories or you're a longtime fan, I Have Lost My Way is definitely another book that you could benefit from adding to your bookshelf. 

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