Review: I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman

I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman 
Release Date: March 27, 2018 
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA Contemporary 
Source: ARC won from Bookish First 
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A brand-new, heart-wrenching novel from the bestselling author of If I Stay and I Was Here, Gayle Forman Around the time that Freya loses her voice while recording her debut album, Harun is making plans to run away from home to find the boy that he loves, and Nathaniel is arriving in New York City after a family tragedy leaves him isolated on the outskirts of Washington state. After the three of them collide in Central Park, they slowly reveal the parts of their past that they haven't been able to confront,and together, they find their way back to who they're supposed to be. Told over the course of a single day from three different perspectives, this is a story about the power of friendship and being true to who you are. 


I can't even begin to describe the excitement I felt when I found out that Gayle Forman was releasing a new book in 2018. Gayle won me over all the way back in 2009 with the heart-wrenching and beautifully written If I Stay. Since then she's become one of my go-to authors, aand each of her books I've read has managed to become a winner. I went into I Have Lost My Way with hope and anticipation, and as luck would have it, I wasn't disappointed one bit. 

I Have Lost My Way contains three POVs: Freya, Nathaniel, and Harun. On the surface they couldn't appear any more different. Freya is quickly reaching celebrity status with her song writting and singing; Nathaniel is stepping into New York City for the first time ever, looking for peace and purpose after a sudden death of a loved one; and Harun is torn between fulfilling his family's expectations while also being true to himself. However, while they're all dealing with their own set of problems and struggles, they all share one thing: they've lost their way. 

I found all three characters to be incredibly relatable as well as lovable. I liked the way in which they were brought together, and while sometimes it did seem slightly far fetched, I didn't let myself dwell too much over it, because together Freya, Nathaniel, and Harun were the ultimate trio. They gave and they took. They helped each other see new things and willingly and unwillingly helped them overcome their fears and setbacks. I can't say I have a favorite out of the three. I found each to be interesting, and I loved how different they were. Gayle Forman addresses so many challenges teens as well as adults face everyday through their characters. It's hard not to find at least some common ground. 

There's not much action and suspense here. Sure, Nathaniel, Freya, and Harun are dealing with their own issues, some of which are resolved and some that aren't, and sometimes that brought about curiosity but not in on-the-edge-of-my-seat kind of way. Instead I Have Lost My Way is an incredibly character driven book. Gayle dives into relationships and personalities, the events that can make or break a person, and the driving force that makes someone whole again. The narrative switches between now and the past (a.k.a. the times that lead them to this point), and Gayle does such a wonderful job of bringing it together. Like with her past books, Gayle utilizes a simple yet captivating writing style. I love how she made the most simple events here so incredibly life-changing, and how she addressed a common feeling (loosing one's way). She has such a way with words, especially when it comes to bringing about emotions and life observations. Honestly, this book gave me all the feels - happiness, sadness, anger, hope, etc. 

Overal, I Have Lost My Way is another 5-star book from Gayle. It's a quick book, less than 300 pages, yet it covers a lot of ground. It's sad yet hopeful. It has the ability to break your heart that put it back together again. Better yet, it gives the kind of ending I love - an ambiguous yet hopeful one, allowing you to make your own decisions on what happens next. 

5 stars!! 


Waiting on Wednesday (170)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Dare You to Lie by Amber Lynn Natusch 
Release Date: September 4, 2018

When her FBI agent father is framed for murder, Kylene is forced to move in with her grandfather, back to the small town that turned its back on her, and the boy who betrayed her.

All Ky cares about is clearing her father’s name, but someone won’t let her forget the photo scandal that drove her away two years ago. As the threats gain momentum, Ky finds an unlikely ally in the rookie FBI agent sent to keep an eye on her.

Determined to expose the town's hidden skeletons, Ky unwittingly thrusts herself into a much bigger plot. They thought she’d forgive and forget. They’re about to learn they messed with the wrong girl.

I stumbled upon this one in Tor's Fall 2018 catalog and it instantly caught my eye. I'm always in the mood for a new mystery read, and Dare You to Lie sounds like it'll definitely fit the bill. Small towns are also a favorite of mine, and I'm a curious about this rookie FBI agent - will they be a love interest? 


Blog Tour: Finding Felicity by Stacey Kade (Review & Giveaway!)

Finding Felicity by Stacey Kade
Release Date: March 20, 2018 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA, Contemporary 
Source: ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review 
Felicity meets Fangirl in this contemporary novel about a young woman who must leave behind her fantasy life—inspired by her favorite WB show from the 1990s—and create a real one at college.

Caroline Sands has never been particularly good at making friends. And her parents’ divorce and the move to Arizona three years ago didn’t help. Being the new girl is hard enough without being socially awkward too. So out of desperation and a desire to please her worried mother, Caroline invented a whole life for herself—using characters from Felicity, an old show she discovered online and fell in love with.

But now it’s time for Caroline to go off to college and she wants nothing more than to leave her old “life” behind and build something real. However, when her mother discovers the truth about her manufactured friends, she gives Caroline an ultimatum: Prove in this first semester that she can make friends of the nonfictional variety and thrive in a new environment. Otherwise, it’s back to living at home—and a lot of therapy.

Armed with nothing more than her resolve and a Felicity-inspired plan, Caroline accepts the challenge. But she soon realizes that the real world is rarely as simple as television makes it out to be. And to find a place where she truly belongs, Caroline may have to abandon her script and take the risk of being herself.


Between 2017 and now I've been seeing more and more books featuring a college setting, and I couldn't be any happier. I wish they were around four years ago when I was starting my freshmen year! 

Finding Felicity is quirky and heartwarming. Stacey Kade perfectly captures the feeling of not only freshmen year but also starting anew. 

When Finding Felicity first begins we're quickly let in on Caroline's big secret: she's created a fake friend group inspired by the old 90s show Felicity to appease her mother. It started innocently enough - her mom was upset that she wasn't fitting in at her new school - but over the last few years it's morphed into something huge: one big fat lie Caroline was hoping she could run away from once she started college. 

I think everyone has felt like Caroline at some point in their lives: feeling the need to reinvent yourself because you don't particularly like who you are. Caroline's always been the quiet girl, the girl most like to fall into the background. Sure, she has acquaintances and club-friends, but she's never found her "group," her second family. As someone who took a while to find their friend group as well, I could definitely relate to that area of her life. Sometimes it's hard to find people you click with, especially when you're in a new setting, and while most of us don't got to Caroline's lengths of reinvention, I feel like readers will definitely be able to relate and understand her overall feelings as well as actions. Additionally, I loved seeing Caroline slowly grow comfortable in her own skin - making friends, engaging in those horrible orientation ice breakers (they still give me the chills to think about four years later!), experiencing her first frat party, and, most importantly, finding comfort in the unknown and unexpected. It had me reminiscing back to my freshmen year of college, and given the realistic feel, I think it will give college bound readers a tease of what's to come. 

In addition to Caroline, a wide variety of other characters were introduced. I found the majority of them to be lovable (with the exception of Caroline's long-time crush who was a jerk), and I enjoyed getting to know them. Out of the bunch, Lexi, Caroline's moody roommate, was my favorite. At first I didn't know what to make of Lexi. She was such a wild card, and not a very nice one at that; however, over the course of the book, she truly grew on me. Like Caroline, she's trying to find her place as well after a tumultuous year, and once again I found her story and voice relatable as well as realistic. 

Finding Felicity is more of a character-driven novel than action-driven, but never once was I bored, or wanting to put the book down for long periods of time. The exact opposite in fact - I read this book in one sitting! As I've mentioned before, I loved Felicity's coming of age. It drove the book at a nice speed, and once again, I felt that the college setting was well constructed as well. While I do wish it would've been a little longer - I felt that the ending came way too soon but then again I wasn't quite read to let go of Caroline and her friends just yet - and even a tad more developed (more info about her friends, her relationship with her parents, etc.) I was happy overall. 

Overall, Finding Felicity is a heartwarming tale of one girl's new start featuring the good, the bad, and the oh-so-awkaward parts of freshmen year. I can't wait to read more by Stacey! 

Last but not least: you don't need to have watched Felicity to understand the book completely. Caroline does a great job of summarizing the key points, and as someone who has never watched the TV show, I wasn't lost one bit. 

4 stars!! 

About the Author:
The daughter of a minister and a music teacher, Stacey Kade grew up reading Harlequin romances on the sly in the basement. Kade is the author of two young adult series (The Ghost and Goth trilogy and the Project Paper Doll series). Her first adult contemporary romance, 738 DAYS, was released earlier this year.

Prior to writing full time, Kade worked as an award-winning copywriter for several Fortune 500 companies. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, Greg, and their two retired racing greyhounds.
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Prize: 1 finished copy of FINDING FELICITY by Stacey Kade
Starts: 3/14
Ends: 3/29
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