cover image I Have Lost My Way

I Have Lost My Way

Gayle Forman. Viking, $18.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-425-29077-4

After being brought together by an accident in New York City’s Central Park, three struggling teenagers form a fast, powerful friendship in Forman’s elegant and understated novel, which alternates between their day together and flashback sections that carefully expose her characters’ losses. Freya, a singer on the cusp of stardom, has lost her voice, her sister, and her father. Harun has been dumped by the boyfriend he’s terrified to tell his Muslim family about. And Nathaniel has landed in New York City alone, leaving behind an unpredictable father incapable of caring for him. Forman (If I Stay) occasionally references the parable of the boiling frog, in which a frog in a pot of water doesn’t notice a gradual increase in temperature and is eventually cooked to death. In some ways, she performs a similar trick: readers may be so caught up in the intensity and warmth of the bond Freya, Harun, and Nathaniel form that they’re caught off guard by their story’s final act. But readers won’t finish the novel lost or bereft; this is a celebration of the lifesaving power of human connection. Ages 14–up. Agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. (Mar.)