3:00 pm EST, March 28, 2018

‘I Have Lost My Way’ book review: Loneliness will not win this day

By Kristen Kranz | Edited by Donya Abramo

I Have Lost My Way follows three very different young adults as they begin to win their struggles with loneliness throughout one day in the city that never sleeps.

The latest from Gayle Forman has the same heart-wrenching style that I first fell in love with in If I Stay. The protagonists are three incredibly different characters, each coming from circumstances that have caused them to feel alone in the world. Check out the synopsis below and read on for a few more thoughts about this different and important story.

About ‘I Have Lost My Way’

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.

‘I Have Lost My Way’ review

Gayle Forman’s books are never short on emotion. The first time I listened to the audiobook for If I Stay I knew that she would be a dependable source of tear-inducing books for those times when you just need a really good cry. I Have Lost My Way fits into that theme oh so well.

We meet Harun, Freya, and Nathaniel on one of the most eventful days of their lives, the day they find their chosen family. While each enters this day with a problem that feels insurmountable, it isn’t until they meet that they discover what it feels like to escape that loneliness.

Each has their reasons for their solitude. Freya feels like no one truly cares about her, just what her music can do for them. Harun is trying to decide how to tell his family he’s gay while also worrying about the love he’s lost from keeping his secret. Nathaniel is living life as a fellowship of one thanks to some unsympathetic people and a father who couldn’t face the world.

Loneliness is one of the toughest emotions to face. It’s not something you can share easily. You can see it in other people, but it’s hard to quantify exactly what about it hurts so much. It isn’t until these three see their loneliness for themselves and understand what they need to overcome it that they can help each other to fight through the fog in which they’ve been engulfed.

While this book wasn’t a particularly joyous one, it is chock full of profound, incredibly deep thoughts that will have you looking at your own life. I couldn’t stop taking stock of all the things I had to be grateful for while the characters in I Have Lost My Way worked to better their lonely lives.

Each of their backstories is important to the story, but they are all so profoundly sad and heartbreaking that it kept me from enjoying this book to the fullest. I wish I could have seen more joy in their hearts throughout this day of reckoning. We saw hope re-enter their lives one by one, but I wish we could have reveled in the joy of Harun, Freya, and Nathaniel finding true soulmates on this fateful day in NYC.

The audiobook for this was very well done, as the different voices for the different characters made it incredibly easy to keep all the stories straight. I did find myself a little taken aback by the use of third person, but I’m sure that when you’re reading this story instead of listening to it, that probably helps keep the reader in tune with which character they are with at the time.

All in all, this is a story I’m glad I read because it reminded me to be grateful for the support and love that I feel in my life, and reminded me that not everyone is as lucky. If we could all share love with the strangers that cross our paths, or fall into them, maybe the world wouldn’t be such a lonely place.

I Have Lost My Way is available now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Indiebound. Oh, and don’t forget to add it on Goodreads, too!

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