Title: How I Lost You by Janet Gutler
Publishing Date: April 23, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Audience: Young Adult
There are a few things Grace Anderson knows for sure. One is that nothing will ever come between her and her best friend, Kya Kessler. They have a pact. Buds Before Studs. Sisters Before Misters. But in the summer before senior year, life throws out challenges they never expected. And suddenly the person who's always been there starts to need the favor returned. Grace and Kya are forced to question how much a best friend can forgive. And the answer is not what they expected
I actually bought this book without even looking at the back of the cover for once. I wanted to just randomly pick up a book and so this is the one that ended up at my hands at the bookstore. I picked it mainly because the title screamed romance. I mean, come on! How I Lost You could easily be a story about a love that was lost and maybe found or not found and so forth. What I didn't expect was that this story was way more than that. It was about friendship, and what you do when it's finally time to let go.
Being an army wife, we move so often that I mostly don't have any friends in the real world. Before I was married, I was a social butterfly. I was always the one that talked to the entire room, I smiled, I made friends, I was friends with pretty much everyone. That completely changed the year I got married. My newlywed husband was always at work, and when he was at work, I was alone at our newly owned house with our 8 week old puppy, in a new town where I was to terrified to navigate. Then came the hard part, he left for a month to train for deployment. By then, I was newly pregnant with our daughter and I was alone for most of it, until he kind of introduced me to his friends wife. He told me they had a young son together and that she loved to read and that he thought we would hit it off. Honestly, he was right. She was my best friend. The one that I always cried to and that had a shoulder to lean on. She was my right hand. I protected her fiercely, as she did me. Flash forward a year+ later and our friendship was over. It was bitter, it was anything but a clean break. This book took me right back to that.
Grace is our lovely narrator. The story is told through her and she has such a voice. You could completely tell how fiercely she took care of her best friend. She defended her with her own reasons, reasons that she could not even tell their other best friend. She's always been there to help her through whatever was going on. She was Kya's voice of reason. She always put her before even herself. Maybe that's exactly why I liked Grace so much. She had this selfless attitude. She cared about people and was always such a level headed person. The first paragraph hooked me in. I just can't get past all the emotions and feelings.
I don't usually care for sports, well other than running. I just don't understand the dynamics, or the strong bond between teammates. I'm a total individual sport person. So when we're introduced to Kya's and Grace's world of paintball, it took me by surprise. To be fairly honest, I didn't even know there could be such a thing as a tournaments and any national teams and such for this. Also, when people say paintball, I always picture guys. Almost never a female. You have no idea how happy this made me! I love strong female characters. Introduce a kick butt dual like them and I'm a complete goner. The way that they know how they each play and know their moves before they even make them is kind of amazing to me. You have to be so in tune to a person to do that. To know where a person will be and what a person's moves are. That's what made Grace and Kya so great together.
The one thing that I absolutely loved most about this book was that there was no insta-romance. It was a background type of love and didn't take center stage like I expected it. Levi was this boy that she just met at her fathers paintball facility and they became friends. He was her shoulder to cry on when things between Kya quickly spiraled out of control. It was definitely one of the cutest things that I read. I longed to hear about their conversations and he completely took my breathe away. I honestly can not explain how cute that was.
Let me also introduce you to parents that are present! I can not tell you the amount of books where I have read that the parents don't care or they leave them to fend for themselves. Grace's parents are what I wished my own parents would have been like and what I hope I will be like for my own daughter. They cared and were always so in tune with their daughter. They knew when something was wrong before she even knew herself. You could clearly tell how much they loved their daughter. Their love poured throughout the pages. It never let up, if anything it intensified.
The only thing that I didn't like was that I knew exactly how the story would play out. Although, it was predictable, I really enjoyed it. I loved the characters, I connected to them in more ways than one. By the end of the novel, I wanted to know more. I wanted to find out answers to some of the questions that the book left off with. That right there shows me that at some point in the book, I was completely over taken by these characters. I began to care about them and even as I'm writing now, wonder what happened to them.
Leaving my review with that, I definitely recommend it unless you don't like predictability. This book was a fresh glass of water in the YA world and I can't wait to see more of it.
Comment Question of the Blog:
Have you ever had a fall out with your best friend or ex best friend? Lemme know in the comment section below!
That Chick That Reads