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Friday, October 26, 2018

REVIEW: The Art of Losing by Lizzy Mason @soho_teen @LizzyMason21

The Art of Losing
by Lizzy Mason

Thank you to Soho Teen for this copy! A great message on the tough subject of addiction.

Publisher: Soho Teen
Publish Date:  February 19, 2019
336 Pages
Genres:  YA, Contemporary

On one terrible night, 17-year-old Harley Langston’s life changes forever. At a party she discovers her younger sister, Audrey, hooking up with her boyfriend, Mike—and she abandons them both in a rage. When Mike drunkenly attempts to drive Audrey home, he crashes and Audrey ends up in a coma. Now Harley is left with guilt, grief, pain and the undeniable truth that her ex-boyfriend (who is relatively unscathed) has a drinking problem. So it’s a surprise that she finds herself reconnecting with Raf, a neighbor and childhood friend who’s recently out of rehab and still wrestling with his own demons. At first Harley doesn’t want to get too close to him. But as Audrey awakens and slowly recovers, Raf starts to show Harley a path forward that she never would have believed possible—one guided by honesty, forgiveness, and redemption.

My Review:

I feel like once you hit a certain age, you begin to forget what it's like to be a teenager.  Life was so different then - not so many cares in the world as when you're an adult . At seventeen I was working my first job, going to high school and just trying to figure out where to go to college.  I couldn't imagine being Harley - who caught her long-term boyfriend cheating on her with her sister.  Then abandoning her in rage just for said boyfriend to drive drunk to get her sister home and getting into a car accident he walked away from... but that put her sister in a coma. PHEW!

The best part of this book is the author's notes and how she takes her own experiences to put us in Harley's though processes as she deals with a variety of emotions - anger, guilt, love and forgiveness.  Her relationships with Mike and Raf - both addicts dealing with their addictions in different ways. The influences that shape how they feel and act.  How addiction never goes away.

As a YA novel, this didn't delve into so much of the nitty gritty though it was definitely a bit of a somber read.  The message is clear.  The actions of one person irrevocably affects each and every person around them.  The loneliness and solitude addicts feel during recovery is real - giving up all their friends who can trigger them can lead to a solitary life that can also trigger them.  It's a hard ride to take but a necessary one.  The positive spin is that it is NOT the end of the world. Things DO get better and everyone, including the people who are the support system, need to take things one day at a time.  All so much easier said than done.

The ending got a little too "after school special" for me, but I absolutely appreciate the story and the author's courage to put her experiences into a book that can help readers who may be going through the same thing.  I'm not sure YA books about addiction really are the books for me, but for those who like these kinds of reads, this is one to put on your list.


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