Sunday, June 10, 2018

I Have Lost My Way

Title:  I Have Lost My Way
Author:  Gayle Forman
Publication Information:  Viking Books for Young Readers. 2018. 272 pages.
ISBN:  0425290778 / 978-0425290774

Book Source:  I received this book through the Penguin First to Read program free of cost in exchange for an honest review.

Opening Sentence:  "I have lost my way."

Favorite Quote:  "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."

Three young people. One day. A series of coincidences. Their lives will never be the same. Freya is a singer who is on the brink of stardom but has lost her voice. Harun's life is taking him in a direction that may take him far from his family. Nathaniel is new to town and lost in more ways than one.

Below the surface, each one carries with them their secrets and their griefs. A coincidence introduces them to each other. As with Leave Me, at this point, I have to suspend my disbelief as a reader. To follow this story of friendship, I have to believe that the instant bond between these three young people occurs.

Although the circumstances of each are completely different, they see reflected their own sadness and loneliness in each other.

Freya is a solo artist signed by a big name manager in the industry. She is in the process of recording her debut album. In the past lies the fact that she was part of duo with her sister, and they achieved some success on their own. What lies between those two facts is the sadness of Freya's life.

Harun is part of a large and loving family. Part of who he is, however, may never be accepted by his family; love may have its boundaries. Therein in lies Harun's sadness. Does he deny who he is or does he risk his family's reaction?

Nathaniel has only just arrived in New York; he is seeking a new beginning. In his past are the place, the people and the secrets he thinks he left behind. Those secrets hold the key to his loneliness.

As they learn about each other in this day, the three discover in each the courage to face their own dilemmas.

What I appreciate most about this book is the diversity of the characters. It is purposeful but not forced. The "diverse" point is not the forefront of these characters; it is naturally and simply a part of who they are. The diversity of the characters is a reflection of New York City and this nation itself. That is who we are.

The plot is based on coincidences, but the emotions are real. It is the feelings of being lost and lonely and alone that draws these three very different people together. It is their common bond even though their lives couldn't be more different. That is what makes this book work for this is a feeling many people can relate to not matter how different they may be from these characters. Most people at some point in their lives have felt lost and alone. Someone or something - a book, a song, a movie, anything - that reflects that emotion and says that you are not alone can make a huge difference in a life.

The news these days brings what seems like daily messages of a person felt so alone and desperate as to end their life. In such a time, the message that no matter what the trouble, you are not alone is such an important one. That is the question to ask. If the stars had not aligned and these young people had not met, how different would their story be? How would their stories end?

Please share your thoughts and leave a comment. I would love to "talk" to you.

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