BOOK CLUB: I Have Lost My Way

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Author: Gayle Forman
ISBN: 978-1-4711-7372-1
RRP: $19.99
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

Gayle Forman is a bestselling author of novels for both adults and young adults. I am only a relative newcomer to he work, and I haven’t seen the blockbuster movie adaptation of If I Stay. I have read Leave Me which I thoroughly enjoyed.

I Have Lost My Way is a powerful tale of loneliness, connection and finding the courage to be true to yourself. We meet three very different teens whose paths cross randomly in the park and we spend 256 pages getting to know their innermost selves. We still don’t know much about them on a superficial level but we know what makes them tick, we know what broke them and we’re learning how they’re going to put themselves back together.

Freya is a musician on the verge of celebrity, about to have her career take off. The problem is that she’s inexplicably lost her voice in the midst of recording her debut album. She’s seen doctors and specialists to be poked and prodded and tested but nothing seems to be the problem.

Harun is miserable because he’s lost the love of his life and isn’t sure how to fix things.

Nathaniel has lost everything, and his story is the one that takes the longest to unravel. He is a complex and intriguing character who had me wanting to get to know him better.

These three teens couldn’t be more different, but still they find themselves on common ground. Their meeting is unconventional to say the least, Freya accidentally falls over the side of a bridge and her fall is broken by Nathanial, Harun is a bystander who just happens to see the accident unfold.

Nathaniel is a little worse for wear and rather than allow him to wander off on his own, on his first day in the city, Freya and Harun decide to have him checked out by a doctor. The three meet at the perfect moment, when each of them is at their most vulnerable and in need of a connection to another person, a real connection, and for some reason they actually see one another.

A common refrain by many of us is that ‘it’s all good’ when everyone knows things are far from good but it’s the answer that says you are not obliged to do any more for me. Nathaniel spouts his common refrain but Freya and Harun hear past his words and stick around. Their connection is something tenuous, something they don’t understand but it’s a connection they have all been craving so they work at finding reasons to remain together.

All three said early in the story that they had lost their way, they weren’t sure how to find it again and they were struggling to find the strength. The three were all feeling totally isolated and alone but in a real sense it was only Nathaniel who had no-one, Freya and Harun were surrounded by people but feeling very alone and very isolated due to their circumstances.

I Have Lost My Way is a novel that plays out over one short day, and it gives us all we need for a complete and rounded story with complex and three dimensional characters that you don’t always get to know so well over weeks and months.

The story-telling tools employed are captivating, the perspective jumps mid-scene almost in the middle of chapters but it’s actually a smooth change and I found that I worked. Sometimes that kind of jumping around grates but I thought it worked here.

The troubles these three are facing don’t have easy answers and I don’t think they’re looking for easy answers but some connection and the feeling that someone’s on their side when they face their demons is important; it lends strength.

I want to say I loved everything about his book but that’s not altogether true, I wasn’t fond of the fact that it just seemed to stop quite abruptly and there is more that I would like to know, questions I would love to have answers for.

The stories are relatable and they are touching. They are issues many of us have faced, and many more will face. Forman shows us that we are not alone. She takes her characters to the very edge of their limits. This is a story of finding your tribe, even if it’s small; finding your personal truth and discovering the best way to be true to that and it’s a story of learning the hard lessons of love by sharing loss. It was a beautiful and touching story that I’m very glad I was able to read and I look forward to hearing what our readers had to say.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster 10 of our Beauty and Lace Club members will be reading I Have Lost My Way so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

I Have Lost My Way is available now through Simon & Schuster, Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Gayle Forman can be found on Facebook, Twitter and her Website.

 

9 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: I Have Lost My Way

  1. I HAVE LOST MY WAY
    Thankyou Beauty and Lace and Harper Collins for the opportunity to read I HAVE LOST MY WAY by Gayle Forman.
    Freya, Nathaniel and Harun, three young adults from different walks of life have had traumatic life experiences through no fault of their own and have all lost their way.They are feeling very much alone and at their lowest ebb when an incident brings them all together….
    I enjoyed reading about these three likeable characters and how they bounced and grew off each other and all very similar. I found it hard to put the book down And was impatient to learn if they found their way. It was a very good read but would have liked a bit more detail in the ending.
    I will be looking out for more reads by Gayle Forman.

  2. I Have Lost My Way is a touching story about three strangers whose paths cross in the most unlikely of circumstances and who recognise in each other a need for company, friendship and support. The different strands of the story are woven together cleverly and the writing style is enjoyable. I would have loved to read more about their future.

    I’d recommend this young adults and older, as it explores important themes of family, identity, diversity, acceptance and love. Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Gayle Forman for the opportunity to read and review ‘I Have Lost My Way’.

  3. I Have Lost My Way was a lovekly book to read. It tells the story of three unrelated strangers who meet in a most unpredicted way. All three are going through difficulties and by meeting they each find comfort and support in each other. An easy read and one I have passed on to my teenager to read.

    Thank you for the opportunity to read this book.

  4. Thank you Beauty and Lace and Simon and Schuster for the opportunity to read and review “I Have Lost My Way” by Gayle Forman.

    This is a wonderful poignant book about three teenagers’ Freya, born singing, about to break into the big time with a recording contract, who inexplicably loses her ability to sing, Harun, a Muslim boy, attempting to deal with his sexuality; and loss of the boy he loves and Nathaniel, invisible, but who will tell you he is fine if asked. The only thing they have in common is that they all feel they have lost their way.

    Their worlds collide, literally, when Freya falls backwards off a small bridge in a park, landing on Nathaniel as he stands underneath and Harun, who is there in the vain hope that his love will appear, witnesses the incident, and against his better judgement goes to help.

    The decision to seek medical help for Nathaniel thrusts the three of them together, and slowly as each of their secrets begins to unravel they begin to realise that the secret to dealing with their own issue lies in helping the others deal with theirs.

    I loved everything about this book, from the cover with the scribble around the words, to the development of the characters as they battle with the angst of being teenagers and learning to deal with love and loss, to Forman’s sensitive dealing with issues of sexuality, diversity and parent’s attempting to live their lives through their children. This was not a tale of happy endings and happy families but a tale of growth as young people find others to support them in their journey to be who they are.

    This is a book that should be left in an obvious place in a home with teenagers for them to “find” and “choose” to read, it contains powerful messages of hope, with a strong dose of reality and relatability thrown in.

    I would recommend this as a book to read for all young adults, and their parents and grandparents.

  5. A deep and well delivered story of three people whom stumble across each other all going through different things in their lives, but needing new direction, acceptance and friendships.

    The characters all had depth and definition, we can see them from the inside out, very likeable characters, and certainly well delivered by the author . We can see their struggle and the three of them each help each other to head in the right direction and deal with their circumstances.

    Told from each POV we can relate and see into their stories, lives. A very different kind of story written by this author, but non the less it shows us key points in how fate can bring three very unlikely people together to form a friendship and bond .

    Freya, Harun and Nathaniel are strangers who meet one day in a park in a day all find that they lean each other to move forward,. We see some heartbreaking moments, and the struggles within each character are so very real, they build strength from each other and the only thing they can do is move forward. I really enjoyed some of the quotes also put forth in this novel .

    “To be the holder of other people’s loss is to be the keeper of their love. To share your loss with people is another way of giving your love.” ( I personally found this very strong and heartfelt but so very true. )

    Not your usual story from this author but it certainly delivers what is intended and makes it a strong story of life, friendship and moving forward despite the things that have happened.

  6. This story amazed me the way the author was able to perfectly intertwine these three characters. Their lives and backgrounds were completely different, but in one moment they were brought together and became fast companions
    Each had their own hardships they were facing and somehow they banded together after a pivotal moment in their lives and helped each other.

    A great read that was fast paced, interesting and easy to get through. Loved it

  7. I enjoyed this book, it was filled with amazing characters and twists and turns. This was a book filled with amazing characters….Freya meets Nathaniel after falling off a bridge and landing on top of him…Harun is a witness to the fall and so the friendship between the three of them begins… although a bit wild that anyone would ever meet this way… they did in the book! I love that you can suspend all judgement when reading – one of my favourite things.

    The friendships between the three main characters Freya, Harun and Nathaniel are gorgeous to witness and they are characters that I was happy to meet.

    Recommend this to lovers of young adult fiction.

    Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read and review.

  8. Freya has lost her voice, while recording her debut album. Harun is looking for the boy that he loves, and Nathaniel arrives in New York City after a family tragedy leaves him isolated. These three people meet in an accidental way, and their worlds collide.

    The story is set over one day, and follows Freya, Harun and Nathaniel. Over the course of the story, you get a real insight into the lives and personalities of each character. Freya is in the middle of recording her debut album, after being discovered on YouTube. Harun is still figuring out how to tell his family that he is gay, and Nathaniel is alone after his father passed away.

    Freya gets distracted on her phone after leaving a doctor’s appointment, and falls off a bridge. She lands directly on Nathaniel, as Harun is walking nearby. Freya is practically unscathed, but Nathaniel is knocked out and left with a concussion. After seeking medical help, the three of them spend the day together, getting to know each other, and feeling more connected than ever.

    This book is amazingly well written. It flows really well, and really allows you to delve into the story. I felt my head ache when Nathaniel was injured, I felt Harun’s heartbreak when thinking about his boyfriend, and I felt the pressure that Freya was under.

    As things unfolded, I found myself cheering the characters on, especially Harun. I wanted so badly for everything to work out for him with his family. The way things unfold is both joyful and heartbreaking.

    I have read another book by Gayle Forman – If I Stay. I didn’t enjoy it much, and until this point had no plans on reading any of her other books. However, I’m really glad that I read this book. I really enjoyed it!

  9. I have lost my Way

    This was an enjoyable tale about three complete strangers each dealing with personal issues, who find each other.
    Recommend this to lovers of young adult fiction.

    Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read and review.

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