Losing Gabriel by Lurlene McDaniel (Review)

26891461 Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Synopsis: Lani Kennedy has dreamed of becoming a nurse since her cousin Arie died of leukemia. Nothing will stop her from getting into the local nursing program.

Dawson Burke hasn’t dealt with his mom’s death, and he’s angry at his dad for moving them to Windemere right before senior year. He grudgingly accepts that he must wait till graduation before he leaves.

Sloan Quentin can belt out a song and knows that her band is her ticket to fame and fortune. When she discovers that her boyfriend—the band’s lead guitarist—is cheating on her, she finds comfort—and revenge—in someone else’s arms.

When the lives of Lani, Dawson, and Sloan become entangled in unexpected ways, reality hits harder than anyone could have imagined.

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

My thoughts: I feel like it’s best to go into this story blindly in order to get the full impact of the emotions that this novel will evoke from you. This contemporary novel follows three vastly different characters as they struggle through their own personal problems that soon intertwine and gripped my heart in a way that I did not expect. I assumed this was going to be a somewhat fun summery novel to read and instead this story took me on an emotional ride that I sped through in one day. Losing Gabriel is a story of love, loss, new beginnings, and bittersweet endings and it is a novel that I highly suggest you pick up. 

One thing I loved  was its pacing. This story took you on a journey through Lani, Dawson, and Sloane’s lives from when they were naive teens to when they matured into strong adults. The author skillfully used time lapses to create a long running story that took place over many years. But I had to admit there were certain points that made me wish the pacing slowed down for me to really relate to the characters and their issues. But I did love all three characters in different ways because they were all unique when compared to one another. Lani was a meek girl who developed into a strong willed woman, Dawson was an angry teen who became compassionate and caring, and Sloane was this reckless girl who learned lessons over time in order to grow. They all discovered themselves on their own and with each other as their stories twined together. 

I don’t know if I was just emotional the day I read this story, but, to me, it made me into a mess. There were so many turns throughout this story that caught me off guard. While I did guess the major plot twist that turned the plot into a different direction, I was still surprised at the problems that arose just when the story was smoothing out at points. There was never a dull moment between these three characters’ lives. It portrayed their issues that they had to face in a realistic and relatable manner that I really appreciated. Although I did have issues with some of the biological points in the novel that were off in the slightest ways (the inner Biology major in me came out) along with some of the insults that were thrown around to certain characters, I really did enjoy this novel. It grabbed my attention, made me care for all three characters, and crushed me when they faced hardships. This is a great realistic contemporary that addresses some serious topics in a very straightforward and respectable way. And if anyone is looking for a book that they can speed right through while getting all the feels, I’d definitely suggest Losing Gabriel.

Book Info: Goodreads | Barnes and Noble | Amazon

*I was given a physical copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*


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