(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Published by Random House Children's Books on June 14th 2016
Genres: Death & Dying, Family, Friendship, General, Social Issues, Social Themes, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction
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.
Despite its majorly predictable plot twists I found that I really enjoyed this book.
Losing Gabriel is told from three points of view… Lani, who has lived in Windemere her whole life and upon the death of her cousin, knew that her calling was to be a nurse. Dawson, newly arrived to Windemere and unhappy that he has to spend his Senior year of high school in this tiny town and Sloan who’s one love is singing and performing.
The story itself spans about four years or so and the three characters’ lives intertwine in ways that are, as I said, a bit predictable. When Sloan’s boyfriend cheats on her, Dawson, who was drawn to her from the first time he saw her, can’t help but offer comfort and their relationship develops from there.
Lani, who has crushed on Dawson from afar since he arrived, watches as the two become closer and closer and eventually finds out something that will change both Sloan and Dawson’s plans for their futures.
I’m trying to be spoiler free here, but it’s practically impossible. So, that’s all I can say about that.
I mentioned that the story spans several years, and it was interesting to see how McDaniel made that work. While there are some time jumps, it was pretty seamless and worked perfectly for the story.
I think my favorite thing here were the relationships. Specifically, the sister/sister relationship between Lani and her sister and especially the father/son relationship between Dawson and Franklin. Franklin was an amazing father… again, I can’t say much about why, other than I loved how he loved and supported his son, and I loved that he stepped up as a parent in every single way that was necessary for his son.
Overall, if you can get past some of the predictability, I think you will really get invested in these characters and their stories. I can see fans of Sarah Dessen really enjoying this, if you’re looking for an emotional read, filled with moments of heartbreak and hope get your hands on this one when it arrives.