Gayle Forman is one of those authors that I will read anything she writes, and I can’t say that about too many authors, especially those who write books for young adults. She’s just a great storyteller, and if you haven’t read her, or read a young adult bool before, try this one. It’s short, only 272 pages, and it moves. The writing is beautiful, the characters interesting and believable, and the story spans out over the course of one day. It explores themes of friendship and empathy, love and kindness and family.
Freya is supposed to be the next big thing, a young singing sensation. She and her sister started out creating their own YouTube videos, but were discovered by a “star maker” who quickly ditched the sister and took over Freya’s life. For two years he’s been building up her reputation and now she is poised to become “it.” Except for one tiny detail; she’s apparently lost her voice while recording her first album. Not simply a case of laryngitis, but something more primal and psychological is at play here.
To avoid being fired, Freya takes off for a walk through Central Park where she accidentally stumbles off the edge of a bridge, landing on a young man below. His name is Nathaniel, and he is recently arrived in the city with some scary plans of his own. Nathaniel has been knocked unconscious, and Freya grabs hold of another young man, Harun, who was walking by at that moment.
Harun recognizes her at once; his boyfriend was a huge fan. Or ex-boyfriend, as the case may be. Harun is hurting. James was his first boyfriend, and he fears that his parents, immigrants, would not understand or approve of his homosexuality, so he is keeping it secret and the secret is killing him.
These three teenagers have all lost their way in life, and at their age that is a scary thing indeed. They end up spending the day together and doing a lot of growing up. I don’t want to give away anything else, just know that I fell in love with these people and read their story in one afternoon. I loved it.
4/18 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
I HAVE LOST MY WAY by Gayle Forman. Viking Books for Young Readers (March 27, 2018). ISBN 978-0425290774. 272p.