Gayle Forman’s lesson in confronting loneliness
Released earlier this year, “I Have Lost My Way” is the newest fiction book from author Gayle Forman. Most often recognized for “If I Stay,” her novel-turned-movie starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Forman is well-known for her young adult fiction novels that involve young love and self-discovery.
Despite this novel having these same running themes, this novel vastly differs from her other stories in that there are three different points of view that meld into one voice searching for answers instead of the usual one person trying to find himself or herself.
“I Have Lost My Way” follows three young adults who all happen to be in the same place at the same time: Freya, an internet-famous singer who has just lost her voice; Harun, a closeted gay teen with strict, religious parents; and Nathaniel, a lost soul struggling to deal with his rough childhood.
All three happen to land in Central Park (literally, in one case), and although they seek solitude and desire time for self-reflection, they are immediately drawn to one another and refuse to abandon each other as they move around New York City. Through helping one another, each character is able to work through their own loss and discover who they are meant to be.
The novel follows the ever-popular “one day can change everything” plot line; however, it does so by shifting not only from each of the character’s points of view, but also from their past and current situations.
While they all seem to come from drastically different backgrounds and upbringings, it later becomes clear that they each have more in common with one another than they initially realize.
All three characters come from either broken or dysfunctional families, and the shifting points of view reveal that they all deal with loneliness in some way, shape or form.
The dysfunction and loneliness in their lives create a struggle to connect with either their families or society.
Despite this, Freya, Harun and Nathaniel somehow make a connection with one another. Each character reflects on their lives leading up to the present and how certain decisions have forced them to take different paths.
While each truly does not know how to move forward in life, they seek comfort from and rely on each other to figure it out.
The addictive quality of the book leaves the reader wanting to learn more about the characters while also wondering how each of them reached the point they are at in their lives.
Forman wonderfully weaves these vastly different lives into a cohesive tale of newfound friendship in the city that truly lives up to the nickname “The Melting Pot.”
“I Have Lost My Way” begins with the questions “What if ...?” and “How do I move on?”
However, the dialogue gradually shifts into the realization that everything happens for a reason and the acceptance of that logic.
This novel will leave the reader in awe of the power of fate and destiny while serving as a reminder that we are all connected, even if it isn’t obvious at first glance.