I Have Lost My Way is a little blue bundle of damaged characters, family angst, and emotional destruction.
I had very little idea what this new Forman book was about but I really loved If I Stay (and the movie was also so good?! also #emotions…I do have feelings apparently) and I Have Lost My Way also tugged at those heart strings. So that was GREAT. However it wasn’t quite the perfect book for me, but we’ll get to all those reasonings soon. Patience.
Also SHOUT OUT to the Australian cover because it absolutely resembles my headphones when I put them in my pocket for two seconds.
+ It’s a Told Over One Day™ story!
Which is a trope I both love and hate. LOVE = how it’s short and powerful and I got so so attached to these characters after just seeing them over one day! HATE = how a romance over one day never works for me haha. Maybe that’s just me though considering I usually am not sure what someone’s name is after one day (names are hard to remember ok) so how the heck do you fall in love. However. There was no “WE’RE SOUL MATES” or romantic soliloquies here. So. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It was instalove (in my opinion) but not unbearable! And they were cute!
+ It also has 3 narrators: Freya, Harun, and Nathaniel.
It’s written so their backstory comes in 1st person chapters, but the bulk of the book (set in the present day) is written in 3rd. (Also 3rd person/present tense IS MY LIFE so I loved that!) Even though the book is really short, I felt we got to know these three characters so well. My only negative is that Harun’s narrative didn’t seem to really fit?? He had a great story with a full arc and everything…but you could’ve cut him out and it wouldn’t have affected the plot. #imSorryButISaidIt
- FREYA: She’s a rising-star singer who suddenly can’t sing. We’re never sure if it’s nerves or a medical condition, but just one day she couldn’t sing anymore. She feels SO lost and is terrified that she’ll be fired from her singing contract and forgotten and never loved again. She’s also biracial/Ethiopian and has a sister, Sabrina, who started singing with her but then…#yikes.
- HARUN: He’s from a strict Muslim family and very closely closeted and starts off the book planning to run away from his family due to something he’s agreed with that HE REALLY SHOULDN’T HAVE. He’s just broken his boyfriend’s heart and is totally lost and alone.
- NATHANIEL: He is a very smol sad cinnamon son (WHOM I LOVED THE MOST) who’s very depressed after his home-life falls apart and so lonely. And so soft™ and sweet and will eat anything you put in front of him bless him.
+ They have the best #meetcute ever.
Freya’s on her phone lamenting the loss of her career and she trips and falls off a low bridge and knocks out Nathaniel. He is super concussed. Pukes on her shoes. Harun is nearby and offers to help because he recognises Frey’s fammmmous and thinks hanging out with her might get his boyfriend back. I JUST LOVED THIS. The three end up spending the day together and facing all their devastating tear-filled pasts.
+ It’s definitely got the emotional slap you’re looking for.
I got caught up in the story quite fast and wanted to know where everyone would end up! The themes of loneliness and loss and love where just poured so heartfeltly (shh that is now a word) onto every page.
+ I do have a few problems, because I am a sad egg deep inside.
As much as I like Harun as a person, his story honestly didn’t fit to me. It was completely disposable to Freya/Nathaniel’s story?! And being queer, brown, Muslim, and having the only fully tragic storyline of the three felt…Well, I’m never going to point fingers and say “who gets to write what story” but I wasn’t comfortable with the telling. I think Muslim (especially just featuring the negative parts) and tragic/queer stories should be told by #ownvoices. And also Nathaniel/Freya’s romance was FAST. So fast, mate, so fast. And surely we didn’t need so many POV changes in the one chapter?! And, lastly lol lol, it didn’t feel YA. The characters are 19+ and in college or work and it didn’t have the feel or essence of YA in my opinion.
Overall I did like I Have Lost My Way! It’s a short punch about grief and loneliness and finding people to share your struggles with. It’ snot about “love cures” but more “hey if you’re struggling, people CAN and WILL be there for you”…which is so so important to say! And the ending is SO oPEN and I kind of love it for all the unanswered questions.
THANK YOU SIMON & SCHUSTER FOR THE REVIEW COPY. I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman was published April 2018.
Around the time that Freya loses her voice while recording her debut album, Harun is making plans to run away from home to find the boy that he loves, and Nathaniel is arriving in New York City after a family tragedy leaves him isolated on the outskirts of Washington state. After the three of them collide in Central Park, they slowly reveal the parts of their past that they haven’t been able to confront, and together, they find their way back to who they’re supposed to be.
Told over the course of a single day from three different perspectives, this is a story about the power of friendship and being true to who you are.