I Have Lost My Way

I Have Lost My Way

by Gayle Forman

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Overview

A powerful display 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 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, Gayle Forman's newest novel about the power of friendship and being true to who you are is filled with the elegant prose that her fans have come to know and love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425290774
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 03/27/2018
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 362,611
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Gayle Forman is an award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author and journalist. She is the author of If I Stay, Where She Went, Just One Day, Just One Year, I Was Here, and Leave Me. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and daughters.

Read an Excerpt

***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected copy proof***
1

I HAVE LOST MY WAY

I have lost my way.

Freya stares at the words she just typed into her phone.

I have lost my way. Where did that come from?

“Excuse me, miss,” the car service driver repeats. “I think I have lost my way.” And Freya startles back to reality. She’s in the backseat of a town car on her way to her seventh—or is it eighth? —doctor’s appointment in the past two weeks, and the driver has gotten turned around outside the tunnel.

She toggles over to her calendar. “Park and Seventieth,” she tells the driver. “Turn right on Third, then left on Seventy-First.”

She returns her attention to the screen. I have lost my way. Eighteen characters. But the words have the undeniable ring of truth to them, the way middle C does. The way few of her posts these days do. Earlier this morning, someone from Hayden’s office put up a photo of her gripping a microphone, grinning. #BornToSing, the caption read. #ThankfulThursday. Really it should read #TBT, because the image is not only weeks old, it’s of a person who no longer exists.

I have lost my way.

What would happen if she posted that? What would they say if they knew?

It’s only when her phone makes the whooshing noise that Freya realizes she did post it. The responses start to flow in, but before she has a chance to read them, there’s a text from her mother: 720 Park Ave, and a dropped pin. Because of course her mother is monitoring the feed as vigilantly as Freya. And of course, her mother has misunderstood. Anyway, Freya hasn’t lost her way. She’s lost her voice.

She deletes the post, hoping it was fast enough that no one screenshot it or shared it, but she knows nothing on the internet ever goes away. Unlike in real life.

Her mother is waiting for her when the car arrives, pacing, holding the test results from the last doctor, which she had to hightail it into the city to collect. “Good, good, you’re here,” she says, opening the door before the driver has pulled to a complete stop and yanking Freya to the sidewalk before she has a chance to give him the ten-dollar tip she’s holding. “I already filled out the paperwork.” She says this like she did it to save time, but she fills out the paperwork at all of Freya’s doctor’s appointments.

They’re ushered straight past reception into the examination room. It’s the kind of service a $1,500 consult, no insurance taken (thanks, Hayden) buys you.

“What seems to be the problem?” the doctor asks as he washes his hands. He does not look at Freya. He probably has no idea who she is. He looks old, like a grandfather, though reportedly he has treated the sort of one-named wonders that as of a few weeks ago everyone thought Freya was on her way to becoming.

She wishes she’d read some of the responses before deleting that tweet. Maybe someone would’ve told her what to do. Maybe someone would’ve told her it didn’t matter if she could sing. They’d still love her.

But she knows that’s bullshit. Love is conditional. Everything is.

“She’s lost her voice,” her mother says. “Temporarily.” She goes through the tediously familiar chronology—“third week in the studio” and “all going flawlessly” and blah blah blah blah—and all the while the phrase I have lost my way goes through Freya’s head, like a song on repeat, the way she and Sabrina used to loop the same track over and over again until they’d dissected it, uncovered all its secrets, and made them their own. It drove their mother crazy, until she discovered the utility of it.

The doctor palpates her neck, peers into her throat, scopes her sinuses. Freya wonders how he would respond if she hocked a loogie. If he would actually look at her like a person instead of a piece of machinery that has malfunctioned. If he would hear her, singing voice or not.

“Can you sing a high C for me?” the doctor asks. Freya sings a high C.

“She can hit the individual notes,” her mother explains. “And her pitch is perfect. Hayden says he’s never heard pitch like that before.”

“Is that a fact?” the doctor says, feeling the cords in her neck. “Let’s hear a song. Something simple for me, like ‘Happy Birthday.’”

“Happy Birthday.” Who can’t sing “Happy Birthday”? A child can sing “Happy Birthday.” A person who can’t sing at all can sing “Happy Birthday.” To show her opinion of such a request, she starts to sing, but in a heavy French accent.

Apee birsday to you . . .” she trills. Her mother frowns, and Freya doubles down on the accent. “Apee birsday to vous . . .”

But her voice is smarter than she thinks. It will not be outsmarted by antics or a bad fake accent. And as soon as the song makes the baby leap in octave, from G4 to G5, she gets tripped up in it. The panic takes over. The breath turns to lead.

Appee birsday, dear . . .” And on the dear it happens. The air shuts off. The song is strangled mid-breath. A stillborn melody.

“Happy birthday to me,” she finishes in sarcastically atonally American deadpan, making a slicing gesture across her throat in case the message wasn’t clear enough.

“Is it paralysis? We heard something like that happened with”—her mother’s voice drops—“Adele.”

Freya can hear the hope in her mother’s voice. Not because she wants vocal paralysis but because she wants to link Freya to Adele. A few years back, she read that book The Path, and she bought into it 200 percent. Dream it, be it is her motto.

“I’m going to send you for some tests,” the doctor says, retreating into the already-familiar jargon. “A CAT scan, a biopsy, an LEMG, maybe an X-ray.” He pulls out a card, slides it over, and gives Freya a look that does not seem all that Hippocratic. “And you might consider talking to someone.”

“We did, but the lobotomy didn’t take.”

“Freya!” her mother scolds. To the doctor, “We’re already seeing a therapist.”

We. Like they’re seeing him together. Like they’re both taking the little pills that are supposed to quell the anxiety that is supposedly stifling Freya’s voice.

“This just happened. Literally overnight. If this were”— and here her mother’s voice drops to a whisper—“psychological, it wouldn’t happen in the blink of an eye like that, would it?”

The doctor makes noncommittal noises. “Let’s schedule a follow-up in two weeks.”

Two weeks is too late. Hayden has made that clear. He called in favors to arrange a visit to the famous doctor, treater of one-named wonders like Adele and Lorde and Beyoncé. He paid the $1,500 consultation fee because this guy, Hayden swore, is a miracle worker—implying that what Freya needs is not overpriced medical care but an actual miracle.

Outside, Hayden’s car and driver are waiting, even though he didn’t send the driver to take Freya here. The driver opens the door and bows slightly. “Mr. Booth has requested I bring you to the offices.”

Freya has spent much of the past two years in Hayden’s offices, but the request makes her feel queasy. Her mother, who still, after all this time, acts like Hayden is the emperor and she the peasant, looks freaked out. She frantically scrolls through her texts. “He probably just wants to know how it went.”

Hayden Booth doesn’t summon without reason, and the reason would not be to gather information. Freya’s sure he received a call from the doctor the minute the door shut behind them. Or, who knows, maybe he had a secret camera filming the entire exam.

If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound? If she doesn’t go to Hayden’s office, he can’t fire her. And if he can’t fire her, her career isn’t over. And if her career isn’t over, people will still love her.

Right?

“I’m tired,” she tells her mother, with a weary wave. “You go.”

“He asked for us both.” She looks to the driver. “Did he ask for us both?”

The driver has no clue. Why would he?

“I’m exhausted from all the stupid doctors’ appointments,” Freya says, going into what her mother calls diva mode. Diva mode befuddles her mother because on the one hand, dream it, be it, but on the other hand, it’s fucking annoying.

When her mother gets upset, she purses her lips in a way that makes her look exactly like Sabrina, or Sabrina exactly like her. “It’s like the genes chose sides,” their old babysitter used to joke. Meaning Freya took after their father—the reddish skin, the high forehead, the telltale Ethiopian eyes— whereas Sabrina looked more like their mother, the hair curly, not kinky, the skin light enough to pass, if not for white, then Puerto Rican.

But then her mother reconsiders, and the prune mouth is gone. “You know what? Maybe that’s smarter. I’ll talk to him. Remind him that you’re only nineteen. That you’ve come so far. That we have so much momentum. Making them wait will only make them hungrier. We just need a bit more time.” She’s back on her phone. “I’m ordering you an Uber.”

“Mom. I’m quite capable of getting myself back home.”

Her mother continues tapping on the phone. Freya’s not meant to take the subway alone anymore. Her mother has a tracker installed on Freya’s phone. She exercises caution even though, like Freya’s diva attitude, this too is premature. Freya is not famous. She is somewhere between buzz and celebrity on Hayden’s scale. If she goes dancing at clubs, or hits the kind of bar or café frequented by up-and-coming Actor/Model/Singers, she’s recognized; if she does an event at a shopping mall (which she no longer does; not on brand, the publicists say), she’s mobbed. But on the subway, amid regular people, she is exactly nobody. But for her mother, every one of her actions is aspirational.

“I’m just gonna walk a bit,” Freya tells her mother. “Maybe go through the park, clear my head, see what’s on sale at Barneys.”

She knows her mother will not refuse the healing power of Barneys. Though Freya still feels mildly uncomfortable in places like that. She’s often followed, and she is never sure if it’s because she’s half-famous or half-black.

“Go find something pretty,” her mother says. “Take your mind off things.”

“What else is on the schedule?” Freya asks, out of habit, because there’s always something and her mother has it memorized. Her mother’s awkward pause is painful. Because the answer is nothing. Nothing is scheduled because this time was allotted to being in the studio. Right now, she’s meant to be finishing up recording. Next week, Hayden is going to some private island for a week, and then he’s back in the studio with Lulia, the gap-toothed singer he discovered busking in the Berlin metro whom Hayden made so famous that her visage smirks from a billboard in Times Square.

“That could be you,” Hayden once told her. Not anymore.

“Nothing,” her mother says.

“So I’ll see you back at the apartment.”

“Well, it’s Thursday.”

Thursday nights her mother and Sabrina have a standing dinner date. It usually goes unmentioned. Freya is never invited.

Obviously.

“I can put it off if you need me,” her mother says.

The bitterness is awful. She can taste it. She wonders if it’ll melt the enamel off her (recently whitened) teeth.

It’s also embarrassing. What should she have to be bitter about where her sister is concerned? Sabrina, who, as her mother says, has sacrificed so much. She whispers the last part the same way she whispers breather when discussing what’s going on with Freya. “You’re just taking a breather.”

(Breather is code for self-immolation.)

“You’d better go,” Freya tells her mother before the bitterness melts away her insides, leaving only a bag of empty skin. “Hayden’s waiting.”

Her mother glances at the SUV, the driver. “I’ll call you as soon as I get news.” She climbs into the car. “Clear your head. Take a day for yourself. Don’t think about any of this. You never know—it might be just what the doctor ordered. I bet if you can go the rest of the day without thinking about this, you’ll feel better. Go shopping. Go home and binge Scandal.”

Yes, that’s exactly what Freya needs. And perhaps a glass of warm milk. And a second lobotomy.

She waits for her mother to drive off before she starts walking, not south toward Barneys but west toward the park. She pulls out her phone and looks at her Instagram feed. There’s another shot of her, standing outside the studio on Second Ave., under a just-blooming cherry tree. The caption reads, #Music #Flowers #Life #BeautifulThings, and the comments are full of nice things that should make her feel better. Nothing more Btiful than U. And NEED NEW VID! And Follow back PLZ!!!!

A car honks, and someone yanks her back onto the curb, sneering, “Pay attention.” Freya doesn’t say thank you, instead walks into the park, where there’s no traffic and she can read the comments in peace.

She toggles over to her YouTube channel. Per Hayden’s instructions, she has not posted anything in months. He wanted the fans to be “famished” for new material so that when the album dropped, and new videos, they’d be devoured. Freya was worried they’d forget her, but Hayden said there were other ways to stay in the public eye and employed a publicist whose job it was to place a series of anonymous scoops about her.

Freya climbs up a hill, onto a small bridge. A group of cyclists whizzes past her, blasting through the air with their shrill whistles, as if they own the park. She opens Facebook. She types Sabrina Kebede. Though she only allows herself this indulgence once a month, Freya knows there won’t be anything there. Her sister’s Facebook page has been all but dormant for the past two years, maybe two or three posts, almost always tags.

And yet, there it is, a fresh post, a few weeks old. A picture posted by someone named Alex Takashida of a man, presumably Alex Takashida, holding up a delicate hand with a small sapphire ring. The caption underneath reads: She said yes!

Even with the face cut off, Freya recognizes that hand.

She said yes! It takes Freya a minute to understand what this means. Her sister is engaged. To Alex Takashida. Someone Freya has never heard of, much less met.

Freya clicks on Alex’s timeline and discovers that Alex Takashida makes his posts public, and Sabrina, though not tagged, is in nearly all of them. There’s Sabrina clinking glasses with Alex at a restaurant. There’s Sabrina and Alex on a beach. There’s Sabrina beaming between Alex and their mother. There’s Sabrina looking not like someone who sacrificed so much but like someone happy.

It makes Freya want to puke. To console herself, she opens the app that tracks what her mother now calls her engagements. She doesn’t even need to see the comments anymore to feel better. She just needs to know that they’re there. That the likes and follows are growing. The uptick of numbers is reassuring. The occasional downtick makes her feel like her stomach’s falling out.

Today, the numbers are going up. Those posts of her in the studio always do well. People are excited about her album. She wonders what will happen when the months go by and there is no album.

Only she knows. At the first meeting with Hayden, he’d told her exactly what would happen.

She opens the comments from this morning’s ersatz post. Love the flowers. Can’t wait 4 the album.������������ She refreshes the page to see if anything else has come in but nothing has, and though she knows it’ll only make her feel worse, she toggles back to the picture of Sabrina’s hand. The cyclists whip by, blowing their awful whistles at her, shouting at her to watch out, but Freya can’t take her eyes off her sister and all that happiness. Can’t escape the sickening sensation that she’s done it all wrong.

I have lost my way, she thinks once more, and understands how true this is. Another cyclist whistles by, and Freya, still staring at the image of her sister’s sapphire ring, jumps back and stumbles, and suddenly she is not just lost but falling, falling off the bridge onto some poor soul below.

- - -

Around the time Freya is speaking to yet another doctor who cannot help her, Harun is trying to pray.

As the men stream into the mosque, taking their places, on the rugs around Harun and his father, he tries to make his intention known to God. But for the life of him, he can’t. He doesn’t know what his intentions are anymore.

He will make for him a way out, his cousin had texted.

But what is Harun’s way out?

I have lost my way, Harun thinks as the prayer begins.

“Allahu Akbar,” he hears his father chant beside him.

And again, the thought: I have lost my way. Harun tries to focus. But he can’t. He can think of nothing but James.

Forgive me, Harun had texted this morning. No response.

Not even a Get the fuck out my life, which was the last thing James had said to him.

There wouldn’t be a response. James never said things he didn’t mean.

Unlike Harun.

When the zuhr concludes, Harun and his father go outside to collect their shoes and exchange pleasantries with the other men. All around, there is talk of Hassan Bahara, who died last week while fueling his car at the gas station.

“It was his heart,” Nasir Janjua tells Abu.

Clucking of tongues ensues. Confessions of high cholesterol levels. Wifely naggings to get more exercise.

“No, no,” Nasir Janjua says. “It was a heart defect, silent until now.”

A defect of the heart. Harun knows a thing or two about those. But unlike Hassan Bahara, his defect isn’t silent. He’s known about it for years.

Abu clasps an arm on Harun’s shoulder. “Everything okay?”

I have lost my way. He imagines telling Abu this.

But that would only break his father’s heart. It was always a choice of whose to break. As for his own, a foregone conclusion. Broken either way. It’s what happens with defective hearts.

“Yeah, Abu, I’m fine,” he says.

“You sure?” he asks. “You don’t often come to mosque.” There’s no reproach in his voice. His older brother Saif started middle school on the day 9/11 happened, and after that he began calling himself Steve and refusing to attend mosque. By the time Harun stopped going, the battle had already been lost. Or won. Depending on how you looked at it. “I figured since I’m going . . .” he trails off. “Amir goes every day.”

“Yes, your cousin is very devout.” Abu ruffles his hair.

“You are a good boy. You have made Ammi very happy.”

“And you?”

“Always.”

It is for the always he’s doing this. To continue the always.

To never lose the always.

They reach the intersection of Sip and Westside. Harun turns left, in the opposite direction from his house and Abu’s store.

“I thought no school today,” Abu says, assuming that is where Harun is going.

There’s never school on Thursdays. Thursdays are the invisible day added to the weekly schedule last year. Thursdays are their day to be together in Manhattan, where they can slip through the streets like ghosts.

In winter, they meet at Chelsea Market, waltzing through the restaurants they can’t afford to eat at while James, who wants to be a chef one day, ogles the fresh pasta, the buttery croissants, the sausages drying from the rafters, and describes all the meals he will cook for them one day. When the weather is warm, they meet under a little arched bridge in Central Park.

They have not missed a single Thursday. Not when a blizzard shut down the aboveground trains, not when James was sick with bronchitis and all Harun wanted to do was get him somewhere warm and dry but for the life of him could not imagine where such a place might be. They’d wound up in a Panera, drinking tea, watching YouTube videos, pretending it was their apartment.

“I’m just going to tie up some loose ends,” he tells Abu.
“I won’t be late,” Harun says, even though before he left the house, he took his passport and the five hundred dollars cash meant for tomorrow’s trip and tucked them into his pocket. It was a rash, last-minute thing to do, but it opened up the possibility of not getting on that plane, of running away for good, in which case he would be very late for dinner.

Coward.

I have lost my way.

He hugs his father goodbye, which isn’t something he often does, and he worries that it’ll arouse suspicion, but it doesn’t, because Abu says only: “Be home in time. You know how your mother gets.”

As soon as Abu is safely out of sight, he texts: Going to our place @ park. Meet me there.

At Journal Square, he enters the PATH station. The smell of the tunnels—musty, moldy, redolent of old garages— makes him ache for James.

Everything does.

He takes the train to the terminus at Thirty-Third Street and walks out past the neon signs of the chain clothing stores. In the early days, before they’d learned the secret public spaces in the city, they’d sometimes stopped in one of these shops, trying on all manner of sweaters and trousers neither had any intention of buying, because they could sneak into the same dressing room and, behind those slatted doors, the discarded sweaters at their feet like a camouflage, steal a kiss. Every so often they’d buy something, like the socks Harun is wearing today. They called it rent.

The phone rings in his hand and Harun jumps, hope rushing in like a rising tide, but it’s not James.

“I was thinking it might be nice to buy some of that hand cream for Khala,” Ammi says, even though there’s already a suitcase of gifts for Khala and Khalu, for the cousins, and of course for the prospective families he’d be meeting. “Are you passing by the Hudson?”

Hudson is a mall not far from their house. “Sure,” he tells her, because what is one more lie on the steaming pile of them?

“And some ginger. I want to make you some tea for the plane.”

“They won’t let me bring liquids through security.”

“Well, until security,” Ammi says. “To keep you in good health.”

His throat closes. He is a coward and a liar and a bad son. He hangs up, and a minute later his phone buzzes with a text and he pulls it out, once again full of hope, but it is Amir.

I will see you soon, Inshallah.
He walks into the park, guided by autopilot and hope, to their spot at the bridge. When he sees someone waiting on top, under the cherry tree that, on that last day, they kissed under, his hope surges again. It could be him, he tells himself, even though the skin is too light and the frame is too small and also it is a woman. If only James were a woman. Ha.

I’m here, he texts.

There is no answer, but that doesn’t stop him from seeing James everywhere. There he is, riding a bike in spandex, though James would be horrified by anyone even picturing him in such a ridiculous getup. There he is pushing a baby in a jogging stroller, though James hates exercise. There he is coming toward him, through the tunnel under the bridge. None of these people are James, and for that, Harun hates them. He hates everything and everyone in this world. If Allah made the world, why did he make Harun wrong? If Allah is love, then why isn’t James the one walking through the tunnel instead of some white boy?

This is what he’s thinking at the exact moment the girl who is not James falls off the side of the bridge, landing with a loud thud on the boy who is also not James.

- - -

Around the time Freya is speaking to yet another doctor who cannot help her, and Harun is trying to pray, Nathaniel is emerging onto a crowded Manhattan street with no idea of where he is.

“I have lost my way,” he says as people stream by him. When no one responds, he isn’t that surprised. He’s been invisible for a while.

He’s followed the directions exactly as the sign at the airport told him to. Walked to the edge of the terminal, climbed on the bus bound for Manhattan. But he must’ve fallen asleep, because he awoke to the hiss of the bus’s pneumatic door and everyone else had filed out.

He tries to focus, but he’s disoriented and bleary. The name of the flight he was on, a red-eye, turned out to be literal.

The night before, as the plane sped past the quilt of a country Nathaniel never got to know, around him people snored away wearing sleep masks and neck pillows, taking pills to trick themselves into thinking they were home in bed. But he hadn’t slept in the past two weeks, so there seemed little chance he was going to sleep on the plane. After take-off, the passenger in front of him tilted his seat back, sending Nathaniel’s knees to his chest. He’d stayed up half the night reading his father’s copy of The Lord of the Rings, and when he could stand that no more, the guidebook he’d stolen from the library. In the dim cabin light, he learned about sights he would not see. The Empire State Building. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Central Park. The Botanical Gardens. He flipped through the index, looking at the piece of paper he’d taken from his father. Their meeting point.

Out in the daylight, Nathaniel blinks and tries to orient himself. Everything is so new and so different. The buildings taller than the tallest trees. The light unrestrained by clouds, the sound so loud he has to close his eyes to be able to process it (there, the thumping bass of reggae music; there, the distant sound of jackhammers; there, voices arguing; there, a baby crying). After so much silence, he has auditory culture shock, if such a thing exists.

He’s jolted back to the moment when someone pushes past him. It’s a rude gesture, a New York gesture, even, but he relishes the human touch. He’s been alone for two weeks, but it might as well be an eternity, and he’ll take what he can get. Still, when another passerby hisses at him to move it, he does. He retreats out of the flow of traffic, under an awning. From here, he can watch. There are people, more people that he’s ever seen in one place, doing everything fast, from smoking cigarettes to having animated conversations on their cell phones. No one looks at him.

He didn’t really consider this. The people. The city. A rush of regret because he won’t have time to experience it. Now, where is he meant to be going again? The subway, an alphabet soup of letters and numbers. His was easy. The A train. According to the map at the airport, the bus should’ve dropped him off right on the corner where the subway was supposed to be. But he’s not on the corner, but in the middle of a long block. He walks to the nearest corner. The street sign reads: Forty-Second Street. Across the street is a park, a patch of green amid the skyscrapers. Which is nice, unexpected—even the park seems surprised to find itself here—but that doesn’t help him figure out where he is and where he’s supposed to be.

“I have lost my way,” he says to the stream of pedestrians. “Can anyone tell me where the A train is?”

But they keep moving, a million-limbed organism rather than individual people, and then there’s Nathaniel, the amputee.

On the plane, in the guidebook, he’d read that Manhattan was a grid, avenues running north-south, streets east-west, street numbers going higher as you go north, the avenues dividing into east and west with Fifth Avenue running down the middle like a spine. If you were lost, the book said, the landmarks could help you get your bearings: the Twin Towers to the south, the Empire State Building to the north.

The Twin Towers, he knows, are gone. It’s a sort of hubris to put something like that in a book as a landmark, a guidepost, to assume it will always be there.

“One day we’ll go to New York City,” his father had promised him, scratching it onto the list on the inside wall of his closet. “One day we’ll go to Mount Denali,” his father had promised him.

“What about the Shire?” Nathaniel had asked when he was too little to know the difference between places real and imagined.

“Sure,” his dad had promised. “We’ll go there too.”

Yellow taxis pass by, looking like they did in the TV shows he and his father used to occasionally watch in between the documentaries. He could just take a taxi to his final destination. He pulls out his wallet, furtively counting the rest of his cash (the guidebook warned: “Be wary of pickpockets and scam artists”). After emptying out the bank account, there had been enough money for the plane ticket, the bus fare to and from the airport, and about a hundred and twenty bucks left over. Part of him had known that going anywhere, let alone New York City, with so small a cushion was folly. But that was just the point. Remove the net. Eliminate the possibility of backtracking.

Still, after so long being prudent and frugal, he can’t completely shed his old ways. He decides against getting a taxi. He has no idea how much the trip will cost. He smells like country, like a rube, and maybe the driver will rip him off. (“Be wary of pickpockets and scam artists.”) And besides, he doesn’t know how to make a taxi stop. He sees how other people do it, stepping into the street, sticking out a hand, but suspects if he did that, the cars would pass right by.

He pulls out his phone, missing his father so much it aches. He dials the number. Three rings before the call goes to voicemail. “Tell me something good,” his father’s recording says.

“Hey, Dad,” Nathaniel says. “I made it.”

He hangs up the phone, opens the guidebook, and thumbs through for the big map in the middle. He finds Forty-Second Street and draws a line across it until he finds a square block of green, amazed, relieved, ebullient, even, that there’s some representation, some proof, of where he is.

The patch of green is Bryant Park. Sixth Avenue, which runs up the west side of the park, dead-ends at Central Park. Central Park! That was one of the places in the book. To the left of the park he sees the big blue circle for the A train. He could walk there. Why not?

He sets off, feeling the same lightness he’d experienced when he’d made the decision to come here. He passes Fiftieth Street, the signs blaring for Rockefeller Center, more people crossing at a single intersection than in his entire graduating class. He passes Fifty-Fourth Street and sees signs for the Museum of Modern Art, and though he’s not visiting it, he feels like he’s seen some of it. (“One day we’ll see the Mona Lisa,” his father had promised, and though Nathaniel is fairly certain the Mona Lisa is not here, it still feels like he has made a little good on that promise.)

He gets to Central Park faster than he thought. Too fast. He can see that the western edge reaches the big circle where the A train is, but he opens up the map in his book again. The park itself runs to 110th Street. He can walk there. Or all the way up. On the bus before he’d fallen asleep, he’d caught a glimpse of the looming Manhattan skyline from across the river just before they’d entered the tunnel. It seemed inconceivable that he could breach such a fortress, but here he is. He can afford to take his time. His father will understand.

Entering the park, he’s surprised by how familiar it seems. It’s an entirely different kind of nature from what he grew up in, but it turns out that trees are trees, flowers are flowers, birds are birds, wind is wind.

Overhead, the sun is a little west of high noon. He knows where he is. He knows which way is north. He abandons the main roadway for one of the smaller paths. He might get a little lost, but the sleep has shaken away from him. He feels more awake and alive than he has in days. He knows where he’s going.

The path winds under a small arched bridge, a tunneled portal into the park. He examines the bricks. They’re so old, the keystone binding the two seams is almost invisible. Under the bridge the air is dark and musty. He holds his breath, like he used to when they would drive through tunnels, his father encouraging him in the longer ones (You’re almost there, buddy).

I’m almost there, he tells his father as he steps out of the tunnel. He feels a rush of air that turns out to be Freya falling, but he doesn’t have time to see that, much less comprehend it, because she has landed on top of him and everything has gone black.

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "I Have Lost My Way"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Gayle Forman.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Young Readers Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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I Have Lost My Way (B&N Exclusive Edition) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
ahyperboliclife More than 1 year ago
“They only just met. They have nearly nothing in common, but the invisible cord is now a tight triangle, connecting each of their hearts, each of their destinies. They don’t understand it. They can’t explain it. But that doesn’t make it any less real.” I always feel like I get more in a contemporary mood as we head into Spring, so I feel like this was a perfect transitional one because there’s plenty of heart and emotional depth along with the beautiful whimsical nature of the plot. I Have Lost My Way is a beautiful story of destiny and finding your people, even in the most unexpected time or ways. Things I Liked This story is really a love letter to friendship and just surviving, even when that seems like the hardest thing. The plot of this story feels like serendipitous sun on a cloudy day - it’s just bright little moments glimpsed in real, hard life. But this story is really all about the characters, and I really like them all. We have 3 POVs - Freya, singer who’s lost her voice, Harun, a boy who’s lost the love of his life, and Nathaniel who has nothing left to lose. They all have tis unifying fear of having to face what you’re not ready for and that made it easy to see their connection to each other and to relate to them as well. I also loved the diversity each character brought to the story. Freya is half Ethiopian, and her Ethionia cultures plays a big part in her music. Harun is gay and the son of Pakistani immigrants. We really get to see him explore his sexuality and what that means to his family and their values. We also really get to see mental health explored from Nathaniel’s POV. Man did this story pack a punch. I definitely felt for the characters on a personal level and cared for them. I became invested in each one of them and their relationship and that’s vital to this story. Things I Didn’t Like On my god these chapters were so long. I swear there were only like 6 chapters in the entire book. Yes there were like subsections within each chapter, but the chapters could have been shorter. Eh, the romance was whatever. I saw it coming from a mile away, and it wasn’t bad but I just cared about the friendship between the 3 of them too much to give a shit about the romance I can’t decide if I liked the ending or not. It was very open and left unfinished. Which I think really works with the serendipitous and fateful nature of the story - it felt freeing, but I would have like a little closure, or a semblance of closure. It worked and I think I liked it, but it was just really open. I’m actually really happy that I had a chance to read this. Give me all the stories that celebrate friendship and I’ll be a happy girl. I Have Lost My Way is a beautiful character story that highlights the powers of friendship in a grounded yet whimsical way. The emotions are real, even if you have to suspend your disbelief a bit. I received a copy of the book from Penguin Teen via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
xokristim More than 1 year ago
I found it very interesting to see how the three main characters lived intersected, it was one of the most unique ways I’ve ever read about. The book was set up in a way that it jumped from each of the points of view of the three main characters. Normally I would find that very choppy, but the way it was written flowed seamlessly.  I loved all of the pop culture references throughout the book, they made it very relatable. There was a lot of diversity throughout that really helped me learn a bit about other cultures. I enjoyed all of the different aspects of each culture that were shown. It showed how the family dynamics were extremely different for each of their cultures, and I found it very eye opening. I love how each tidbit of backstory for each character was thrown in so sporadically, but right when you need to know. Each of the characters have an air of loneliness, even though they are all in different places of their lives. I really enjoyed the whole book. It was very character based, which I love and they each seem to be defining their sadness is unique and meaningful ways. It’s so interesting to see completely different points of view and I will definitely be rereading this one again and again. It was such a moving book!
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
I listened to this audio and I felt that the story was over before I knew it. It was a sweet story, a story that felt unbelievable at times yet you didn’t want it to go any other way and a story where the unexpected happens. The beginning of this story was unique. It begins with Freya literally falling off a bridge and landing on Nathaniel, who was standing down below. Harun, is a bystander who witnessed the incident and immediately, he becomes a part of the picture. I found it amazing how civil these three individuals handle themselves after this event. Minutes before Freya’s fall, each of these individuals were already pondering major issues. Now, facing a new peculiar crisis with complete strangers, they have something else to add to their minds. As they come together, they find comfort in one another and that perhaps, this was no accident. That perhaps the answer that they have been searching for, is right there in front of them. As I listened to this audio, I found some scenes too unrealistic for me. I did like the friendships that evolved and how the characters grew. How everything occurred in one day was a miracle but I guess, it could happen. 3.5 stars
laurgrant More than 1 year ago
This book was so good. I have loved some of Gayle's other stories, such as "If I Stay" and this one was no exception. I was super interested when she announced this newest book and I expected to really like it. I was not disappointed and I'm super happy to report that I loved it! It was a wonderful book that I can't wait to reread again sometime soon! I sat down and started reading this book, thinking that I would only read a few chapters that day and ended up reading it all in one sitting. It was fantastic and I loved every second of that binge. I think reading it in one day definitely helped with my enjoyment of the story as the book itself only takes place across one day, so it was nice to have that time comparison. I really enjoyed Freya, Harun, and Nathaniel. My favorite would have to be Nathaniel, but I also loved Harun just because of how resilient he was in face of his obstacles.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As soon as I picked this book up I was immediately drawn in. So much so that I read right through the entire book in just one day! Throughout the novel the author dropped hints of each character's past without getting too deeply involved. This technique worked so well for the narrative; even though each character had depth and darkness in their lives, the reader "watches" them learn not to be sunk down by it, just as the reader is not allowed by the author to sink into the rich darkness of each of their pasts. It was so refreshing to me that the author could take such heavy issues, address them all and still make the reader feel this was a lightweight read. It was nice to have touched on these issues without the politics that are usually involved. It was really cool to stop and realize that the actual present of the entire book takes place within 24 hours (I was so impressed with how the author did that!). The only reason I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 is because I became so invested I was hungry for more details- there were times where the vagueness was a little frustrating.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed Gayle Foreman's books in the past, and this was one was enjoyable, but I definitely think I may have outgrown her writing. It's easy to understand and is emotionally effective, but it does not hold the same weight for me as it has reading books of hers in the past. I would recommend this to people who enjoy emotional stories. The three main characters were all fairly intriguing, but I definitely guessed the twist pretty early on in the book. It's fairly heavily alluded to, and for me it took away some of the weight of the ending with all of the obvious foreshadowing. The diversity in this book was awesome, the three main characters all have interesting lives and back stories, but I wish I had gotten more.
Bookapotamus More than 1 year ago
"To be the holder of other people’s loss is to be the keeper of their love. To share your loss with people is another way of giving your love." The three people that this story follows have all lost their way. They are all kinda of a Hot Mess too! I read a chapter sampler of I Have Lost My Way that I picked up at BookCon and really enjoyed it. The way that Freya, Harun and Nathaniel meet is a little bit scary but pretty hysterical as well. Freya is a singer recording her debut album and thisclose to being a star, when suddenly, she cannot sing. Harun, recently dumped and struggling internally with a lot of issues, is about to run away from everything. Nathaniel arrives in New York City just that day, with nothing. But his plans are pretty big. The story unfolds in the span of just one day. They meet and the day unfolds in a series of events that has them finding they just may be able to help each other though their problems. I enjoyed the story a lot as I was sucked in immediately. I found myself rooting for them all and curious to see how things would turn out. Which was a bit abrupt, and you don't get many answers, but it's ultimately satisfying. It's a tale of young love, both losing it and finding it - while also being a story of friendship and family and how they both can help or harm you. But in the end - it's a story of finding yourself and who you want to be, and how it is a struggle for almost everyone to get there.
Savingsinseconds More than 1 year ago
I received this book free from the publisher; opinions shared are mine. I started this book 3 times and never made it past the first five pages. Finally, on the fourth attempt, I forced myself to keep going. So glad I did! Ultimately, it was a wonderful story that touched my heart. I wasn't really interested in Freya's situation until it affected Harun and Nathaniel. The overall theme of human connectedness was so emotionally charged. It made me look at strangers in a whole new light.
TippaBooks More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading the first look of this book so much that I ran out to my library the next day and picked it up so I could finish it. The story is about three 19 year olds that come from very different backgrounds and different family life. By what seems an accident they run into each other one day and that chance meeting gives them each the courage to change their lives and face their fears. It's very well written and the characters are all so endearing with the way they treat and interact with each other. All three of them are broken and alone in their own way but each gives the others the strength to move forward and see a future even though they feel trapped with their own secrets.
TippaBooks More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading the first look of this book so much that I ran out to my library the next day and picked it up so I could finish it. The story is about three 19 year olds that come from very different backgrounds and different family life. By what seems an accident they run into each other one day and that chance meeting gives them each the courage to change their lives and face their fears. It's very well written and the characters are all so endearing with the way they treat and interact with each other. All three of them are broken and alone in their own way but each gives the others the strength to move forward and see a future even though they feel trapped with their own secrets.
Bookish_Kat More than 1 year ago
This really was such a good book! I have become quite the Gayle Forman fan! I love If I Stay and it's follow up Where She Went. I've also read her book I Was Here and it too was really good! I've really enjoyed her characters and the dramatic, emotional stories that she tells... So to be honest, I had high expectations for this book! And let me tell you, it did not disappoint! I'm not always a huge fan of books with multiple perspectives, especially if the author can't write the voices different enough to really distinguish the characters. I Have Lost My Way was told from the perspective of 3 characters and their stories were told really well. I didn't have trouble following and I thought all their voices sounded realistic. The story was emotional, exciting, touching and heartfelt. I really, really enjoyed it! If you enjoy Contemporary YA books, you should consider checking this one out!
Katie__B More than 1 year ago
Three strangers drawn together after an accident find they might have more in common than they think. Freya, loses her voice while recording an album, Harun has plans to leave NYC, while Nathaniel has arrived in the city with just a backpack and a desperate plan. While the three of them might feel like they have lost their way, they might soon discover that helping others just might help themselves. This is one of those books in which I was a little bit uncertain at first where this book was headed and if I would even like it. Thankfully, it all seemed to come together by page 100 or so and it was a real pleasure to watch the three main characters bond and help each other out. Loved how fate brought them together when they needed help the most. The action takes place over the course of a day with flashbacks showing how each character got to the present day. I thought the pacing was just right and would recommend this book to anyone who likes young adult fiction. Thank you to First to Read for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy! I was under no obligation to post a review and all views expressed are my honest opinion.
JenBibi23 More than 1 year ago
I have loved all of Gayle Forman's books so far, and I wasn't sure if I would like so many POVs at first, but it totally worked for this book! It sucked me in and I wanted to be part of the group. It was great how all their backstories filled you in over time and ultimately fit together. Three people who all felt lost, randomly met, and found strength in each other to recover, and move forward together. It makes you think their meeting wasn't so random after all. It made me laugh; it made me cry. In the end, I felt hopeful. I also want more!!! I've been in a stand alone mood lately but this book had me crying out for a sequel! I want to see them grown together and see where it goes. Do they ultimately get what they've always wanted, or has that changed now that they've found each other! MORE!!!I have loved all of Gayle Forman's books so far, and I wasn't sure if I would like so many POVs at first, but it totally worked for this book! It sucked me in and I wanted to be part of the group. It was great how all their backstories filled you in over time and ultimately fit together. Three people who all felt lost, randomly met, and found strength in each other to recover, and move forward together. It makes you think their meeting wasn't so random after all. It made me laugh; it made me cry. In the end, I felt hopeful. I also want more!!! I've been in a stand alone mood lately but this book had me crying out for a sequel! I want to see them grown together and see where it goes. Do they ultimately get what they've always wanted, or has that changed now that they've found each other! MORE!!!
vickeyu More than 1 year ago
This Book Gives Me Hope For Humankind! The first glance painted a pretty grim picture for three lost souls from totally different backgrounds. Within the first few pages I deeply cared about what would happen to each one of them. The book does an excellent job of letting us know that everything you think about the people in your life may not be true. What you see may not be what is really going on. The author reminds us that we, as a human race, can make a huge difference by just caring, by just being there and by looking at the world through another's eyes. I laughed, I cried and I was there with each character in the end. It may sound like a cliche but this really was one of the best books I have read this year. It may be classed as a YA read but it appeals to anyone with an ounce of humanity and the belief that we are all different but still the same.
Storm992472 More than 1 year ago
I Have Lost My Way is my first time reading a book by Gayle Forman. I have lost my way was a very quick read, I read it in one sitting. I really enjoyed how diverse this book was. Three different people from different walks of life all met and helped each other out. There were so many different states of mind, one person lost their voice and couldn't sing, and one lost the love of his life and could possibly lose his family and one person that lost everything his home, family and everyone he has ever known. They meet in NY on a chance encounter this story takes place over one day as they try to help each other they don't realize how much they are helping themselves at the same time. Their individual struggles and their growth together made this book very enjoyable. I didn’t want the story to end, I would love another book to follow up on where they went from here. I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I Have Lost My Way is the story of three young adults who are all trying to figure out their next step. We have Freya, a rising online sensation who is desperate for love; Haroun, a boy of Middle Eastern descent struggling to come out to his family; and Nathaniel, who has come to New York all alone with just the stories from his father. The three meet by accident (literally, it was an accident) and end up realizing they can't let the other two walk away from them. Over the course of a day, they begin to accept that maybe they have not lost their way, maybe they are finally on the right path. The story is told from all three characters' point of view and mixes in flashbacks as well. This, and the changing perspectives (sometimes mid page), can get a little confusing- especially for younger readers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Freya, Harun, and Nathaniel all come from very different backgrounds. Freya feels distant and overlooked by her mother and sister, both of whom chase money and fame, but using Freya's powerful singing voice to do it. Her singing talent was nurtured by her father, a man who abandoned them to create a new family when Freya was a child. Harun comes from a large family, where lack of love isn't the problem—but the colossal, claustrophobic weight of that love and expectation IS. Nathaniel, whose father has been more friend than parent, chasing wild experiments that resulted in Nathaniel losing an eye. One fateful day, as Freya hurls herself from a bridge, landing on Nathaniel, everything changes. The divergent paths of three strangers explosively meet, braiding into each other. Nathaniel, who has never known care and well-being, is taken by Freya's ministrations. Harun, recently dumped and still in the closet, sees this opportune meeting with Freya as a way to get his boyfriend, a diehard fan, back. Freya, who fears Nathaniel will sue her for his injuries, and fears that Harun has recorded her fall, throws herself into looking after Nathaniel. I absolutely loved the multi-POV, especially because the voices were all distinct enough to matter individually as well as working incredibly well in tandem. I’m so many books, the characters all seem to be written in the same style and voice, which can make it difficult to empathize and care about the characters as much as I would need to in order to totally fall for a book. The three points of view worked really well for this novel, and I particularly enjoyed seeing how everyone came together. Longer POV chapters were blended with shorter, punchier ones, giving us a quick look into the other characters in the scene without giving the impression of head-hopping. Usually with multi POVs, I identify with one over the others, but in this book, I definitely connected with all three voices. Freya, helpless in her anger and grief; Harun unable to turn to his family with his deepest secret; Nathaniel, torn between loving and hating his father for never growing up to be the parent he needed.
BooksDirect More than 1 year ago
Freya is an up-and-coming singer who can longer sing. Harun is gay and struggling to come out to his Muslim family. And Nathaniel has just arrived in New York and is feeling very alone. The three teenagers meet under unusual circumstances in Central Park, each one thinking, “I have lost my way.” For varying selfish reasons, they decide to stick together for the day, but they soon discover that they need each other in order to find themselves. Freya puts it perfectly when she says she “does not believe in anything resembling destiny. But at that moment, it’s hard not to believe that the three of them were meant to meet.” The book takes place over the course of only one day, alternating between the present told in the third person and the past told in the first person by each of the three narrators. Each character takes us back in time and slowly reveals their story of loss. The writing is simple and direct. There are no flourishes or literary devices here. Yet, it is compelling, raw, and honest. "I Have Lost My Way" is an emotional ride, and I was bawling my eyes out by the end. This is my first Gayle Forman book. Readers are saying it’s not as good as her others. In that case, I’m off to get every one of her previous books right now. Warnings: coarse language, sexual references, LGBTQ themes, suicide references. I received this book in return for an honest review. Full blog post (8 May): https://booksdirectonline.blogspot.com/2018/05/i-have-lost-my-way-by-gayle-forman.html
Jenea Whittington More than 1 year ago
I Have Lost My Way follows three young adult who are just shuffling though the live they’ve been given. Each has their own troubles to work on and work through, after a chance encounter brings them all together, it might be just what they all needed. Our three narrator take us through each of their stories. First, Freya. She has lost the one thing that she loves the most, her voice. As a person who grew up singing in the chorus at school and and at church, this is something I couldn’t imagine going through. Music certainly makes the world go round, at least for most. Nathaniel, our second, just seems lost in the world around him, but with a father like he’s grown up with I can understand why. He needs to find his way again. Lastly, Harun. He’s been keeping his sexuality a secret from his friends and family. His families religion is important to them, and sexuality goes against their beliefs. So, Harun feels like hie is living a lie keeping it to himself. You love who love, and I just wanted him to find some peace and happiness with this love. The bond between these three forms quickly and their is a sweet relationship that blooms between Freya and Nathaniel. Sometimes the people you need the most just appear at the right time and they might not be who you’d ever expect either. Maybe even a completely stranger, who happens to understand what you’re going through. This was such an emotional story, and so completely captivating. I started and finished this in one sitting because I just couldn’t put it down, I wanted something good to happen for all of them so badly. My daughter will be starting this soon and I am looking forward to seeing what she thinks of it too. I Have Lost My Way was a poignant story of love, forgiveness and finding yourself through the world we live in today. Another wonderfully written and beautiful story from Forman…
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gayle Foreman is an author who is known for being able to break your heart through her writing. The cover didn't initially draw me in and neither did the actual synopsis but the book is so much more than the cover and the synopsis. I urge you to pick it up and see for yourself. Harun, Freya, and Nathaniel are all exceptional characters that will definitely be imprinted on my mind for awhile to come. I love the fact that this book is written over the course of a day because you don't see many books do that. Some of them manage to feel too rushed or make you say "There's no way all that happened in one day" but Foreman has always managed to make that writing style work for her. The story is told through flashbacks and what happens throughout the day that the three kids meet one another. It's a bittersweet and sad book that I think I may pick up again!
CaitlinAllen More than 1 year ago
Thank you to Penguin Teen and Bookish First for the free review copy. All opinions are my own. This young adult book follows three teens as they collide in New York City. This novel takes place in one day, but feels very believable. All of these teens are struggling with where they belong. I think that the idea of losing one's way can be related to by most teenagers. At some point in a teen's experience, they are going to feel lost. Foreman captures this feeling perfectly. I also enjoyed how she tied together different cultures and experiences. She hints at mental illness without giving too much of a stigma. She also explores the 'forbidden love' theme, and how being accepted by family is difficult, but even more so when they are already trudging through adolescents.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This wasn't my favorite from this author, but the ending reminded me of why she is one of my favorites. Honestly, I probably could have just read the last few pages and called it good.
caslinj More than 1 year ago
I received an advanced reader's copy in exchange for a fair review. I Have Lost My Way features three characters who still teenagers but are dealing with very adult problems and situations ranging from parental abandonment to mental health issues. Freya is a rising star in the music world but has been abandoned by a beloved father who encouraged her to sing in the first place, and her relationship with her sister was fractured on her way to fame. Harun is a young Muslim man who has fallen in love with another young man and is planning to use a wife-finding trip arranged by his family to flee instead of telling them the truth. Nathaniel probably would have been the stereotypical jock , middle class white kid if not for his parents split leaving him with a dad who is definitely unhinged, but is revered by Nathaniel. They run into each other in New York City after a strange accident and spend the entire day together, recognizing they have things inside and out that need to be fixed, and learning from each other how to do that. My initial assumptions about the book - that Freya was a shallow brat, that Nathaniel would be one-dimensional - were certainly wrong. Harun wanted to be a commercial pilot but hid that dream along with his sexuality because of his religion, his name, and the color of his skin. I flew through the first half of the book and had to put it down for a few days and all I could think was "I need to know what happens to them!" I was making up stories in my head about each of them, particularly Nathaniel, who was definitely not so one-dimensional after all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I appreciate how diverse the characters were in this story. All three of the main characters in the story come from different upbringings and life experiences/cultures. This book encompasses everything wonderful about diversity. The summer after my freshman year of college I worked at a summer camp where i worked with people from across the country with very different upbringings and communities that they resided in. While we had our differences of beliefs and opinions, we were able to find beauty in the other individual's point of view. This story reminds me much of that. We all have faced trials and tribulations in our lives. However, it is how we handle and arise from those that makes the most difference in our futures.
Caroles_Random_Life More than 1 year ago
Have you ever lost your way? I have. I don't mean those times when I needed to stop and ask for directions when I was trying to find a location although I have certainly been that kind of lost. I am referring to the kind of lost where your life has hit a point and you can't think of what to do next. Those times that you have no idea where you can even go from where you are. I have lost my way. More than once. I am happy to say that each time I have been lost, I have been able to eventually find a new direction to go. I have very little in common with the characters in this book but I was still able to relate to them. I understood Harun's need to please his family and his fear of losing their love if he shows them who he really is. I also understood Freya's fear of losing the one thing that is such an important part of her identity. I understood Nathaniel's need to not be a bother to anyone while living his life under the radar because "it's all good" anyway. I haven't been in the situations that Freya, Harun, and Nathaniel find themselves in during this story but I found each of their characters very easy to like and I really wanted to see them find what they needed in life. I really did enjoy reading this book. This is the first of Gayle Forman's books that I have had the chance to read so I wasn't really sure what to expect when I started. I have to tell you that I loved her writing style. I sat down to read just a chapter of this book because I had things around the house and the next thing I knew it was 200 pages later. I was drawn in by the words and the images that they painted of these characters. I really liked that the story was hopeful. These three characters are all at a low point in their lives and meet through a chance encounter. It turns out that meeting each other is exactly what they needed. I enjoyed watching them come alive and reach out to each other. Their bond developed very quickly but it felt completely authentic. I knew that they would be able to find their way together. I would recommend this book to others. This is a pretty quick read that packs a punch. I wanted to know exactly what brought them to the point where they feel lost and cheered them as they started to connect with each other. I can't wait to read more of this talented author's work in the future. I received an advance reader edition of this book from Viking Books for Young Readers via Bookish First.