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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

A brand-new, heart-wrenching novel from the bestselling author of If I Stay and I Was Here, Gayle Forman. 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.…

I Have Lost My Way

by Gayle Forman

Overall Book Review:

I Have Lost my Way is the one-day story of three young adults who having seemingly lost their way in this world and are struggling to find where they are and how they belong in both their personal world and the world around them.

The characters in this book are straight forward.  Only three main characters and the story focuses solely on them.  While there are some ancillary characters, don’t expect them to be well-developed or to have a lot of depth.  They really exist only to prop up Harun, Freya and Nathaniel.

This book is a quick read.  It is told from a third person perspective and takes place all in the span of less than 24 hours.  The chapters are a little choppy in their division, but the book essentially reads like it has no chapters, so you may not even notice.  Expect a lot of jumping back and forth in timeline as the main characters recall or reminisce about their past and what shaped their perception of the current event.

The final few pages button up the story line tightly, although at times it did seem a little rushed.  Throughout the book there are subtle hints and nuances that would lead you to believe an event has occurred and the event is explained in the final few pages.  Not necessarily a happy ending per se, but an ending that brings closure to the characters and resolution to their lost status.

Review of an Advance Reading Copy from the Publisher

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  1 religious exclamation, 7 mild obscenities, 1 religious profanity, 7 derogatory names, 11 scatological words, 6 anatomical terms, 22 f-word derivatives.

Violence/Gore:  Multiple references to family member dying from illnesses; girl falls off bridge and lands on boy resulting in concussion and bloody head wound; 2-page description of how boy was injured and lost eye with graphic detail of eye injury; girl cuts foot on glass resulting in bloody gash; boy finds father on floor deceased as result of suspected suicide; boy contemplates suicide.

Sex/Nudity:  Boy remembers kiss between himself and another male; boy fantasizes about self and another male; girl held/led by elbow; two instances where young males are recalled having sex without detail; reference to minors having sex; crude comment regarding spreading of leg; reference to erections twice; kiss; caress of face.

Mature Subject Matter:

Racial, gender and religious conflict, death, suicide both contemplated and completed, divorce, separation, abandonment, mental illness, gender/sex identify issues, homosexuality, robbery.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Adult drinks wine at dinner.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I am a full-time mom, full-time wife, and overtime reader. I have been an avid reader for as long as anyone can remember. It must run in the family because both my mother and grandmother are also voracious readers and often pass books back and forth. Almost any genre can spark my interest, but I often go in streaks, reading a bunch of books from one genre, then switching to another for a while and back again.