Genre: YA


Monday, March 26, 2018

An Emotional 24 Hour Journey: I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman

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An Emotional 24 Hour Journey: I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman
I Have Lost My Way
Gayle Forman
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Publication date: March 27th, 2018
by Viking Books for Young Readers

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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.

3.5 Stars
3.5 Hot Espressos

The Intersectional Feminist Anthology We Need: The Radical Element edited by Jessica Spotswood

The Intersectional Feminist Anthology We Need: The Radical Element edited by Jessica Spotswood

Posted by on 03/09/2018 • 0 Comments

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…

All Five Stars: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

All Five Stars: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Posted by on 03/08/2018 • 4 Comments

I am a finnick-y asshole when it comes to rating books 5 stars which isn’t necessarily because I don’t love books but I want to reserve that 5 stars for a book that is something that I am going to remember for a long time after I close the last page shut. The Poet X is just one of those books you are gonna come out of feeling something. I don’t share the same identities as the main character and yet the way Xiomara navigates her diaspora completely moved me. The way her story was told made me feel seen and validated.

The Poet X is told in verse and yet it tells an overarching story that I am not sure prose could have done justice to. Acevedo is incredibly talented to…

Blog Tour: Between the Lines by Nikki Grimes

Blog Tour: Between the Lines by Nikki Grimes

Posted by on 02/23/2018 • 0 Comments

Occasionally, when a book is written in verse(partly in this case) and I need to review it, I break out my incredibly rusty poetry skills and write a review in verse too. I usually try to imitate the style of verse in the book but you know, it isn’t always successful.

This Book

Between the Lines follows the story

of eight teens.

It seems like a lot and is occasionally overwhelming 

and yet . . . 

Nikki Grimes has somehow found the balance so it isn’t

too much.

Between the Lines is so ordinary and yet extraordinary in the way it tells the story of

eight different children and how they come to embrace the power

of poetry.

The story of these eight different children is bound

to take you…

Not What I Wanted: #PrettyBoy Must Die by Kimberley Reid

Not What I Wanted: #PrettyBoy Must Die by Kimberley Reid

Posted by on 02/21/2018 • 3 Comments

I wanted to love #PrettyBoy Must Die and I did NOT. It’s not even entirely easy to pin point where it went wrong and why I am not here salivating over its goodness? It’s got a teen CIA agent who is undercover, a mystery and some twists. My issue was that even though so many exciting things were happening in the story. I was not invested in the happenings. I did not care about the main character or the secondary characters and I didn’t really care about what was going on.

I didn’t passionately dislike or like the book so I basically have no idea how to rate it. Objectively, its not a terrible book but I do think that the writing might be part of the reason why I…

To Be Savored, Not Devoured: Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

To Be Savored, Not Devoured: Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

Posted by on 02/20/2018 • 2 Comments

Tess of the Road is not an easy book to read. At 544 pages it is long and those pages don’t fly by. In the traditional sense at least. Here is the thing about Tess though, it is a long book, it is winded and yet, I wouldn’t really have it any other way. The slowness can at times be exhausting but the book isn’t really about a big adventure that Tess takes. It’s about Tess’s character arc and her trauma. This book would NOT work if it was a speedy read you could flip through. It is a painful read but there is so //much// that Tess has internalized that it makes no sense if we could uncover her and her experience in a mere handful pages.

Tess is not…

Vaguely Narnia Vibes + Unicorns: The Unicorn Quest by Kamilla Benko

Vaguely Narnia Vibes + Unicorns: The Unicorn Quest by Kamilla Benko

Posted by on 02/07/2018 • 0 Comments

I love middle grade novels and I love discovering new ones. As far as I can see, The Unicorn Quest is shaping up to be a major middle grade release this year and it synopsis sounded up right up my alley. The vaguely Narnia vibes along with unicorns sounded like it would be an enthralling read.

Here is what I can tell you. The Unicorn Quest is an adventure of the best kind. We get sucked into a new world from the get-go and like the MC, we kind of have to assimilate to the new world we find ourselves in. This is great because we experience the world alongside the MC which allows us to form a special bond with her but it also means that it takes…

Review + Giveaway: The First to Know by Abigail Johnson

Review + Giveaway: The First to Know by Abigail Johnson

Posted by on 02/06/2018 • 12 Comments

Abigail Johnson is a new-to-me author so I had no idea what to expect but The First to Know blew me away. It’s a heartfelt family drama and totally worth it.

Dana Fields just wants to do something nice for her dad for his birthday. What starts off as a heartwarming gesture soon turns into Dana’s worst nightmare. In her search for her father’s family, Dana discovers that she has a half-brother her age that no one knew about.

When she confronts her half-brother, he wants nothing to do with her. With no one she can really turn to, she does what she really shouldn’t, she turns to her half-brother’s cousin (she and the cousin aren’t related by blood.)

I know, I know. This all sounds like…