Losing Gabriel: ARC Review

Publication Date: June 14th, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Series: None
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Source: Publisher

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 to Netgalley and Delacorte Press for granting me access to this title in exchange for an honest review. 

I don't know what exactly I was expecting when I started this, but it definitely wasn't what I got. I honestly figured this would be another lame YA Contemporary Romance with your typical high school cliches. Thank goodness it was not that! I was blown away by this story, and seriously invested in it. 

The characters with the exception of Sloan were wonderful. Dawson and Lani were so full of emotion and I was able to connect with both of them. At the beginning Dawson was your typical good looking high school male, self absorbed and wanting the hottest girl around. But that quickly changed when certain events happened in the story. He went from a cocky, teenager to a responsible adult in no time. Lani was pretty much responsible for the entirety of the book, but once those events happened, she went into overdrive protective mode. You can tell that she really cared for certain characters, and the emotion was palpable. Sloan on the other hand, was horrible. I know she had a rough upbringing and possibly PPD, but that doesn't excuse her behavior. She was so obsessed with wanting to become a singing star, that she shut everyone else out, including the person that would need her most. Plus, I thought her relationship with Dawson was extremely superficial and one sided. You could tell that she didn't really love him, she was just using him to get out of her crappy situation with her mother and ex. Even though she was slightly redeemed at the end, I didn't care for her. Too little, too late. 

I was expecting emotion based on the title alone, but I wasn't really prepared for it. Dealing with loss is hard enough, but when it's personal, it really tears you up inside. I felt all the emotion from all three characters. 

Based on the synopsis, you would expect a love triangle, but there was not one. Lani had a crush on him from senior year on, but he never knew she existed. 

The writing style drew me in because although this was a YA book, it felt much more mature because of the content, which was necessary because you don't want it to feel too juvenile, or it wouldn't be taken as seriously. 

The beginning and the end were the strongest parts of the story, where the middle tended to drag a little bit. I didn't really enjoy the time jump, because I feel like it left too much out that should have been said. 

All that being said, I really enjoyed Losing Gabriel. It was an emotional story filled with loss, heartbreak, love, forgiveness, and redemption.

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