Sunday, May 29, 2016

Losing Gabriel by Lurlene McDaniel

This emotionally-charged novel about three high school seniors who in the midst of planning their futures after high school are instead faced with present circumstances that force them to grasp what it means to make choices, take responsibility, and truly become an adult.
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.



Thank you Penguin & Random House Kids for the ARC! 

Losing Gabriel wasn't at all what I expected. I think in the back of my brain I expected the cliche contemporary read with a roller coaster romance and an immature plot. However, McDaniel gave us a complex story with twists and turns, emotional turmoil, life struggles, and heart ache. The premise felt very mature and the overall outcome was quite beautiful. 

Lani, Dawson, and Sloan... They all went to school together yet never knew how much their lives would intertwine. The book starts with a brief intro to each character and then focuses on the romance between Sloan and Dawson. She wants to be a rockstar. He has college plans. All that changes though when something big happens between them. Eventually that something big tears them apart only to bring them together again. Enter Lani, the nursing student who finds Dawson attractive and Gabriel adorable. It is her job to protect them and when tragedy strikes her heart is shattered. It takes self exploration and forgiveness to put her back together again. 

The concept was great and overall I really enjoyed Losing Gabriel. I did however feel that the beginning and end were the strong points. The mid section was a tad slow and I didn't enjoy how the story jumped so much time. I also felt that the subject matter could be triggering to anyone who suffered abandonment or infertility. Sloan is a tough character to read about. Her behavior is despicable at times and truly, I never really grew to like her. Besides those minor things I think it is suitable for readers 15+ that enjoy books about life's struggles.

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