There was once a time when while reviewing an anthology, I would review every single story within it. I don’t do that anymore because 1. I am lazy but 2. I don’t think anyone really wants to read a review of EVERY SINGLE short story in an anthology because thats a lot to read and most people will pick an anthology up even if it has a couple mediocre short stories. Also, like, I do want to say I am definitely appreciative of the people who do review every single story and you guys are great. ANYWAY. The Radical Element is chockfull of some of the best YA writers right now and it ups the ante from A Tyranny of Petticoats. Tyranny certainly won my heart in 2016 but we still needed a…
I Have Lost My Way
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Publication date: March 27th, 2018
by Viking Books for Young Readers
A powerful story of empathy and friendship from the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of If I Stay.
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.
An emotionally cathartic story of losing love, finding love, and discovering the person you are meant to be, I Have Lost My Way is bestselling author Gayle Forman at her finest.
-A copy was provided by Viking Books for Young Readers for review-
I Have Lost My Way was my first book by Gayle Forman even though I’ve wanted to read a book by her for the past 5 years. I guess I am just going to have to go back and read more because I am in love with her writing style. I finished I Have Lost My Way feeling satisfied and warm gushiness from the good vibes in the book. However, upon hours of reflection, I can see that this book is not perfect for a number of reasons.
For starters, I was slightly uncomfortable with the way Forman wrote Harun’s story. Harun is a gay Pakistani-American. Throughout the book, we see his struggle with those identities and I felt like that struggle wasn’t really Forman’s to write about? I felt like she did handle it with care but she also seemed to rely on certain stereotypes that again, aren’t hers to write about.
There also just aspects of the story that felt unresolved and I craved resolution even though I was satisfied by how Forman wrapped things up. Out of the three stories we followed, I felt like Freya’s was the only one that got real closure. Harun’s story did have something that resembled a conclusion but Nathaniel’s didn’t really have much of anything.
Nathaniel was perhaps the most mysterious character of the three, his story laced with artifacts from his past but not much from his present.
Freya, Harun and Nathaniel have lost their ways. They meet when Freya falls on top of Nathaniel and Harun witnesses this incident. None of them really have a place to be and keep finding excuses to spend more time with each other. Over the course of the day, their tentative acquaintanceship transforms into friendship. They spend the day helping each other find their way and confront their past and problems.
I Have Lost My Way not only tells the story of these three individuals but it tells the story of empathy and friendship. It is deeply cathartic in someways to see these three strangers come together despite the odds and help each other find their ways in a changing world. I think it is absolutely worth the read even if its not perfect because at one point or another, we have all lost our way.