Cover Image: Lose You to Find Me

Lose You to Find Me

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Member Reviews

I really really loved this. Tommy is a great lead in telling the story, all of his flaws and poor reads of the room made sense and were believable while I still got to call him a stupid doodoo head. The full cast was strong, this is such a pro Ava Al Brad James Roni household. I don't think sequels are Erik's style at present, but if a sequel were to come out, I would eat that shit up.
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I was super excited to receive this arc because I loved All That’s Left In The World, & couldn’t wait for what was next from Erik. 

This story was wonderful. It has a bit of a reunited vibe due to the main characters having known each other as kids & then not seeing each other for years; reuniting at their after school job working in a retirement community. The catch? Only one remembers the other. 

I loved the theme that ran throughout the story of learning to recognize the difference between doing what you think you want to do, or doing what you know you want to do. Pretty much every character struggled with their future, the pressure we put on ourselves to succeed, to make others proud, to live up to some unknown expectations. 

Another thing I loved was the idea of knowing your worth. Sometimes we settle for what we think is the best thing for us, & try to force that square peg into the round hole. It’s only when you stop & take a look around do you see what was in front of you all along. 

I loved watching Tommy’s journey. He tries so hard, & pushes himself constantly, & cares so deeply. I loved watching his self-discovery & the realization that he’s worth more than he’s getting. 

This was a wonderful coming of age story & I’m sure I’ll be rereading it again.
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“All Thats Left In The World” author Erik J. Brown returns in this second chance teen romcom. After the masterclass in YA Brown wrote in his previous effort, it was an immediate yea when the opportunity to review this arose. Again, Brownnis able to lift a conventional YA romcom out of its expectations and deliver a genre defying, moving coming of age story. Gabe and Tommy getting a second chance after a misunderstanding id running the mill, but where the story progresses’ and ultimately ends…in an unexpected HEA…is where the story shines. A stellar cast of side characters, which if these two novels are anything to judge by is par for the course for Brown. A delightfully unexpected 5 star read
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Lose You to Find Me by Erik J. Brown is quite a different story than his other book, All That’s Left in the World, a personal favorite. OMG!  I was so excited to read this book. It gave me all the feelings! When Tommy met Gabe at summer camp, he realized he was gay when he liked Gabe more than a straight guy would. Gabe reappears in his life when he is assigned to train him as kitchen/ hosting staff at his workplace, Sunset Estates Retirement Home. Drama ensues after Tommy and Gabe kiss because Gabe fails to tell him that he already has a boyfriend. This coming of age story includes the culinary arts, best friend fights, work drama, crushes and coming out. Thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins Children's Books/Balzer + Bray for the ARC.
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After reading Erik J. Brown’s debut novel in one sitting, I have been craving to read his sophomore book, and boy, did it not disappoint. If you were a fan of his debut book, or Robbie Couch’s The Sky Blue, I am confident that you will love this book as well.

Erik J. Brown’s Lose You To Find Me is a romantic, heartfelt, coming-of-age novel that explores toxic relationships, friendship, finding yourself, and the pressure of college and what your next steps in life will be. 

The romance aspects was very well-written and I was happy with the overall outcome of this book because it was exactly what I was rooting for. I do wish the Erik J Brown ends up writing a sequel for this book because I would love to see more of this relationship and Tommy’s college life. 

I would highly recommend this book, and I can’t wait to get a physical copy in my hand. 

Rating: 5/5 Stars ⭐️

Thank you HarperCollins, Blazer & Bray, and Netgalley for the eARC!
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This story follows the friendship/relationship between Tommy and Gabe. Tommy is a senior in high school who wants to graduate and go to a cooking school that his deceased father attended. He and Gabe had been friends while they were children and when Gabe had to move away suddenly Tommy realized that Gabe was his first crush. 
Gabe returns to town and gets a job at the same retirement facility restaurant that Tommy now works at and they renew their friendship. Just as Tommy begins having romantic feelings for Gabe again, Gabe tells him that he already has a boyfriend. Their friendship has a lot of ups and downs after that and ultimately this book ends with a satisfactory ending for them both.
I enjoyed this book for the depiction of the idealization of first love and the warning signs/red flags that we ignore when a potential love comes back into our lives.
I enjoyed this book and give it 3.5 stars. I enjoyed the authors first book as well and will continue to read more books by this author. 
Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and my review for this book will be posted on my social media accounts after the HC Union strike is resolved.
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This book was another amazing book by Erik J. Brown. I loved everything about it from the characters to the struggles that the characters had to go through. This wasn't;t just another love story, it had twists that were unexpected but made the story so much better. I am of course referring to Brad. I loved his character so much. The reality of the characters being out to some people in their lives and not others rings so true. This was as realistic as realistic fiction gets and I honestly think it would make a great movie. We also need prequels for Brad, Al and Gabe and a sequel for Brad and Tommy.
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This is what I call a ~quiet book~ - it's more about the journey than any destination. It follows Tommy over the course of his senior year. He works at Sunset Estates, a senior living center, in food service. He'd love to be a chef there - it's his career goal to be a chef in general - but that's an 18+ job, so he serves tables instead. He works with his best friend, Ava, and they have a good amount of other friends at work, both the elderly patrons of the cafeteria, and their coworkers.

Gabe de la Hoya starts working at Sunset Estates, which is of particular note to Tommy, because he was childhood friends with Gabe at camp before Gabe mysteriously stopped coming. When they are reintroduced at Sunset Estates, they kind of aren't, because Gabe doesn't remember Tommy. Which kind of sucks, because Gabe was Tommy's first crush on a boy, the one that helped him realize he was gay. But they become friends too (as Tommy tries to make it more)

The gang endures a year's worth of events: pregnancy scares, cheating, college woes, hooking up with closeted dudes, exciting work stuff, secrets, lies (that might just be hiding truths), arguments... We sort of just follow along with them, and primarily Tommy, as life happens.

A thing of note: NO OLD PEOPLE DIE!!! It was certainly a concern of mine finding out Tommy worked with the elderly but there is no character we get attached to who later croaks. The only mention of any deceased is an old lady sort of making a dark joke about a lady who used to live there before passing away.

Tommy's mom also works at Sunset Estates, although she works in a different department. She is a very easy going parent and she and Tommy have a really good relationship, but he hasn't told her that he's gay. He isn't necessarily worried she won't be chill, he just doesn't really want her to see him any differently. He had a great relationship with his dad, who also cooked and is where Tommy got influenced to start cooking, but his dad died 4 years prior to the book. This isn't a book about grief, which I like. Tommy has generally finished the initial grieving period far before the book begins - but he still grieves his dad in moments, and misses him hard in certain situations. I think it's a good portrayal of life going on after a loved one's death, when lots of YA tends to focus on the immediate life changes (which are important too!)

There's definitely diversity within the immediate group - Ava is Black, and I don't know that it said Gabe's nationality, but I'm pretty sure he's Mexican based on his last name (I'll correct this later if I'm wrong). There are some queer residents at the senior living center as well.

This book is also a sweet little love letter to gay culture - there's mentions of Dead by Daylight, Trixie and Katya's UNHhhh, Divine, and just other little tidbits here and there that feel very realistic to what goes through a gay boy's head (source: lots of my friends are gay boys lol)

This is not a romance book, but there is certainly a romance in it, and I am very very pleased with the outcome of it, believe it or not.

This book is very different thematically from All That's Left in the World, but it's pretty similarly written - Erik J. Brown has quite an effortless humor about his writing and it makes for a very fun reading experience. If you are worried that you won't be able to enjoy a contemporary from this author after reading his dystopian, those worries are unfounded, I'm please to share

ALSO I tweeted him and asked him if this is set in the ATLITW universe and he said no so luckily the Sunset Estates crew does not get wiped out by the superflu <3 (it was pretty obvious lmao but my peace of mind needs the certainty)
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This was so freaking good

"Lose you to Find Me" is a queer coming of age. We follow Tommy who wants to become a chef and currently works at a retirement home. As a kid he met a friend Gabriel, until one day he Gabe disappeared. Now 10 years later Gabe is a back and working at the retirement home.

This book was truly just incredible. The characters were all fun and despite their flaws you feel compelled by them. I heavily enjoyed Tommy's development with Gabe and this novel reminds me alot of "Felix Ever After" By: Kacen Callenger in the way it talks about queer related issues and relationships. Really well done, definitely recommend.
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Thank you to NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  I read Erik's earlier book "All That's Left in The World" and it quickly become on of my favorite reads for 2022.  So I was eager to get the opportunity to read his follow up "Lose You to Find Me".   And it was quite a fun read with interesting characters and I adored the setting in a retirement home cafeteria.  However it doesn't quite stand up with the author's first book and I think that is solely because the unique near-apocalyptic world felt so unique especially for the YA LGBTQ+ genre.  This new book is more contemporary fiction but it is solid in its own right.  I really like the main character Tommy and his friends at the retirement home.  The stories about the residents were cute and I enjoyed his journey to cooking school.  This book stands out a bit in how it handles the romance aspect of the book.  The plot sells us on the fact that Tommy was close friends (and had a crush on) with Gabe when they were much younger.  Gabe left without saying goodbye and Tommy has spent years building him up in his mind and wondering about where Gabe ended up.  Then one day Gabe shows up as a new employee of the cafeteria and doesn't seem to remember Tommy at all.  So Tommy awkwardly pretends the same.   That was not the main plotline of the book in my mind.   That actually gets resolved somewhat early in the book.  But it still creates an interesting dynamic between the two boys and I actually loved how it played out and won't spoil it.   The writing is wonderful and I will continue to look for future books by this author.
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Brown is two-for-two on making me stay up way past my bedtime to finish one of his books. 

I adored this. Tommy is such a likable character- I was instantly on his side and want only the best for him always. I loved watching him navigate work, graduation, and figuring out college. 

Setting part of this book in a retirement community was SUCH a fun aspect. I loved all the "old folks" and it's so incredibly important for young queer kids to see happy, elder queers. It was a joy to read. 

A must-read, queer, coming-of-age novel.
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Given how much I loved Brown’s first book All That’s Left in the World, I was really excited to see a new book by him on NetGalley! With no cover or blurb I had no idea what to expect, I assumed it was another speculative fiction book but this is a very good YA contemporary!

Tommy works at a nursing home and the book spans his senior year of high school as he and his friends prepare college applications. Tommy is passionate about cooking and hopes to go to a prestigious culinary school. One day his childhood crush who he lost contact with makes a sudden reappearance working at the same nursing home and Tommy has a chance to rekindle old feelings but things are more complicated than they first appear. 

I loved several things about this book, Tommy’s fun narrative voice, Ava’s strength of character, the lack of homophobia, etc. But what I REALLY loved is how much character growth and maturity the characters gain. It really feels like a natural transition from teenagers to adulthood by the end, their goals shift and change and the things they thought would make them happy are understood to be different in reality from what they built up in their minds. Growing up isn’t easy and the journey to this sort of clarity is fraught with speed bumps but I just loved the way the characters all had moments where they stepped back to reevaluate the things that mattered to them and were open to new possibilities. Lovely book, I’ll pick up anything Erik J Brown writes going forward!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with an Advanced Reader Copy!
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Thank you to netgalley and the publishers/author for this ARC in exchange for my honest review!! 

Okay, I’m in love with this book. It doesn’t even have a cover or a description and I’m in love! This was funny, sweet, heartwarming, and just beautiful to read. I so want to read Erik’s first book now. 

This is a story about Tommy, a teenager who wants to get into the culinary school his late father attended. He works as a server in a retirement home because he wants to get kitchen experience. One day a new boy starts at his job and he has to be his mentor. It turns out the new boy was his first love, a kid he went to summer camp with who disappeared one day. Tommy wants to reconnect with Gabe and his crush is reinstated. 

I loved all the characters here. James was a fave. I couldn’t stop laughing at him. Himbo king energy. We need more dudes like him out there. And Ava and Morgan were such awesome friends. I liked the honestly and open talk about abortion and teenage pregnancies. There was a lot there that people need to hear. Ava’s talk about now knowing your future and finding yourself was so refreshing. We don’t have our lives together at 17. I’m 10 years older then then and I sure don’t! Brad was so cute throughout this too. I love a good gay hockey bro. 

Willa and Al’s characters were also my favorite. The advice they gave Tommy was so inspirational and telling, even though it isn’t what teenagers want to hear. I imagined them as the grandparents every kid had always wanted. Al was so freaking sweet. The way he gave Tommy money for every holiday had big grandpa energy. The other residents in the home were also so fun and it kinda made me want to work at a retirement facility even though I know for a fact I would not take to it like the characters here did. 

This book went in a completely different direction than I thought. The beginning was so adorable with Tommy and Gabe watching movies together. I awwwed a few good times. I’m glad that this didn’t end how I expected and Tommy got his happy ending. 

I can’t wait for an official cover to pop up. I just know it’s gonna be adorable. Don’t skip out on me Erik! This was a very cute, hilarious, and heartwarming book. I recommend highly.
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Thank you, Harper Collins Children's Books, for allowing me to read Lose You to Find me early.

Lose You to Find me is such a fantastic story! It's hilarious, cute, and so vividly written. Just like with All That's Left in the World, Erik J. Brown pulled me into the story and I couldn't let go. I loved Tommy and his friends and the Retirement Community's residents. I constantly smiled when Al was talking. Such a great idea to mix teens and older people (Oh no, I'm not allowed to say that) in a story. I can't wait for Erik J. Brown's next book!
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Thanks Netgalley and Balzer + Bray for this eARC, these opinions are my own. I adored this book! It’s quite charming and so funny! Thomas is getting ready for his senior year of high school, which also means college applications. When he asks his boss at the retirement community he works for to give a recommendation she agrees but requires that he earn it. Part of that requirement means working with his first love, who doesn’t seem to remember him. Can he manage is working relationship with Gabe, all while feeling the old feelings? Will he get his recommendation? Erik J Brown gives all the warm fuzzies again with his upcoming book! This book was every bit as good as the last one! Thomas was such a cute character! And I was laughing throughout the book! I’m still chuckling at some of the lines from the book! The jabs between George and Al are absolutely the best! And who doesn’t need a pair of LGBTQA+ grandparents! The book was full of lovable and complex characters! I highly recommended this book, especially if you like contemporary rom com ya books with LGBTQA+ mcs! I can’t wait for this to come and so I can read it again!
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Remember All That’s Left in the World? The scary dystopian story that was also witty, cute, and exceptionally written? Erik J. Brown is back! This time with a coming-of-age Rom-Dramedy (Erik’s words). 

I’m in love! Again! Rom-Dramedy is the perfect word for this book. If I had to compare Lose You to Find Me to other books, I’d say The Sky Blues: funny, heartfelt, cute, uplifting and serious at the same time. Even though Lose You to Find Me has a romantic undertone, it’s not a romance; the story is about figuring out life at seventeen. About the choices you make or not. About friendships. About crushes and falling in love. About healthy relationships. About all the messiness and the drama AND fun, you can have at seventeen.

When I started reading Lose You to Find Me, a smile immediately grew on my face, and a glow of warmth spread through my chest. I loved Tommy and his friends and their interactions with the residents of the Retirement Community. Al was just, OMG, Al. Adored him and Willa, and their friendship with Tommy so much. Ava was such a powerful girl, and I laughed out loud at James with all his nicknames and remarks about the McKinsey scale. Tommy was the main character to root for, and Gabe and Brat … well, if you want to know more about them, I’d suggest reading the story yourself. I highly recommend it and am already eagerly waiting for Erik’s next novel!
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This was okay, but I felt that the plot was overall rushed and I also didn't really connect with the story or the characters.
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This was genuinely amazing. I found the writing to be so lovely and enchanting, with characters that jumped off the page. I think that anyone that loves character driven stories would really enjoy this.
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I really enjoyed Tommy and Gabe, they were interesting characters and worked in this setting.  I really had a great time going through this plot and enjoyed each part of the journey. The characters were really well done and was what I was hoping for. Erik J. Brown has what I was looking for in this type of book and am glad I read this.

"My throat felt like it was closing up, and my face got so warm I was worried it would bake the makeup and make it flake, exposing red specks of my embarrassed flesh. Gabe told his boyfriend we kissed. Wait, he told his boyfriend that I kissed him—which, yes I did, but he did kiss me back."
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Tommy is a high school senior with a passion for cooking that he inherited from his father, who passed away several years earlier. While working his after-school job in a retirement community, he's shocked to find Gabe, the first boy he had a crush on, who he hasn't seen since summer camp in the sixth grade, on the training schedule. Tommy's mildly evil boss tells him that she'll only write him a letter of recommendation to culinary school if he successfully trains his crush, passes a secret test, and completes a secret third trial. With culinary school on the line, Tommy does train Gabe and along the way Tommy develops a complicated crush-friendship with him while simultaneously hooking up with a closeted player on the school hockey team. There's a lot going on for Tommy on his senior year journey.

This is a developmentally important book for teens, largely because of how the complicated aspects of Tommy's love life resolve. The theme of it being absolutely okay to not know what you're doing with your life at 17 or 18 years old is a recurring one and honestly one of the most important things that teens can hear right now. At the end, when Tommy and his friend Ava make their final decisions about colleges, the message could not be more clear. The relationship/non-relationship issues that Tommy struggles with throughout the book are applicable to any teen, but the issues follow a pattern that is in some ways unique to queer boys and the portrayal of those issues and the conclusions that Tommy reaches about them is healthy in a way that is rarely seen for that specific group of teens. It was also very nice to see a portrayal of supportive family and friend dynamics that wasn't perfect but was overall very positive - and the relationship Tommy has with the older queer characters at the retirement home was beautiful. There are so many other brushes with big, important topics that are handled so well too.

Overall I would recommend this book to any high-school-aged teens who enjoy contemporary romance. Adults are likely to be very hit or miss on this title - this is an excellent example of good, important, enjoyable YA written for the teens themselves and not the ideally secondary adult audience..
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