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Book review: I have lost my way by Gayle Forman


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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.

It has been a lifetime since I read a Gayle Forman novel, but the minute I started reading 'I have lost my way' I could feel it unlocking the same section of my heart that 'If I stay' did all those years ago. These books are the best kind: the ones which you can't put down, they're too all-consuming.

Forman's characters seemed as if they've been lurking in the back of my mind, waiting to be unearthed, and have always existed. When I began reading Nathaniel, Freya and Harun's perspectives it felt as if I was hearing the thoughts of old friends, and the more the book revealed about their backstories, the harder it was to put it down.

This book makes me long for the days when I devoured books, before reading was part of my degree so off limits for entertainment purposes. I barely looked at my phone as I learnt of these character's struggles, and considering how dependent upon it I am that's quite the feat. What transpired over the course of book was utterly real and raw, and watching it unfold was devastating (but in that good way that makes you feel enriched as it crushes you).

It's worth mentioning that this book is so much more diverse than much of what I used to see in YA, back when I was considered part of that bracket, and it brings me so much joy to see. This story would lack so much if it were about more normative stories, and the diversity of it didn't feel forced, but natural. These characters felt real, and not as if they'd been made to fill a quota on some invisible checklist. 

If my glowing review didn't convey it thoroughly enough, I would most definitely recommend this book, and readers of Gayle Forman should be excited to read her next masterfully emotion-triggering work.

This proof was provided by Penguin and LoveReading4Kids in exchange for a fair review. 'I have lost my way' will be published on 5th April.

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