REVIEW: I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman

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I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Length: 258 pages

Release date: 1 April 2018

Amazon UK | Amazon US

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.

“To be the holder of other people’s loss is to be the keeper of their love.”

I Have Lost My Way is basically a New Adult Breakfast Club, but set in NYC. So, it’s pretty awesome. This is an intriguing glimpse at one fateful day (more like 12 hours, really) in the lives of three teenagers. Didn’t think magic could happen in that short a time? This book might just change your mind.

It’s one of those books where there really isn’t much to review, aside from throwing out a “HEY IT’S GOOD AND ONLY 250 PAGES, IT’LL TAKE, LIKE, THREE HOURS OF YOUR TIME MAX, SO READ IT, OK?” and letting the story speak for itself.

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Simply put, the premise works. You care about Freya, Harun and Nathaniel’s lives, and at some point or other you’re going to want to hug/protect/cry with each one of them. Or maybe deliver a solid punch in the face to the assholes in their lives, who knows.

Gayle Forman calls the first draft a “train wreck” in her acknowledgements, which actually gives a lot of reassurance to everyone who’s struggled to move past the garbage heap we initially vomited out that we can someday write something as flawless as this book. The doubtlessly astounding amount of time that was put into refining I Have Lost My Way is evident in the lush, thoughtful details throughout, which show the full extent to which each character has been envisioned. Between the three protagonists and the sprawling supporting cast, there’s hardly a weak link.

Unlike many novels where they almost feel there to pad out the length, I Have Lost My Way‘s flashbacks have been given the same depth of attention and contain many of its best scenes.

This novel proves that brief word counts can carry more insight than the wordiest epics. I only wish there were more of it. Maybe even a sequel a few years in the future, to answer a few of the questions left up in the air and follow the next chapter in their lives. It’s a challenging task in the way that making any sequel to a book originally intended as a standalone compelling is, but if anyone can pull it off, it’s Gayle Forman.

In the meantime, If I Stay, I Was Here and a whole bunch of similar titles have found their way onto my TBR.

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