The Art of Losing

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 26 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

There's nothing at all wrong with The Art of Losing — in fact, it has a lot going for it! — but I don't have a lot to say about it in this review. I mean, the characters are enjoyable, the writing is solid, and the author takes a long and honest look at a lot of really important themes that affect teens in a big way, such as:

1) the effects of irresponsible drinking
2) the potential risks of any substance abuse
3) the ability for teens and young adults to become addicts
4) the fact that society tends to not hold young men in authoritative positions (i.e., white cishet star athletes) to the same standards that their marginalized counterparts would be held to

(There's also some great representation involved, such as the fact that our main character Harley is plus-sized and her love interest is Latinx!)

All of that said, I had a hard time really connecting to The Art of Losing (which surprises me, since substance abuse and addiction is something that hits very close to home for me after having many related experiences with family members) and just never seemed to find myself compelled to keep reading. I tried both the eARC and the audiobook, and neither was ever able to "hook" me. I'd give this a solid 3.5 stars, though for Goodreads' sake, I'll round up to 4.

Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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You know a book has your attention when you literally cannot put it down! A powerful and extremely realistic story that is told with drive and passion!
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This was a moving book about relationships and the sacrifices people make. It was realistic and true to real life issues. I personally could not relate, but I found that I was invested the whole way. It was an emotional rollercoaster that made me truly feel for all Harley had gone through.
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I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The book is about a tragic main character who experienced a tragic accident. Harley's life changes after an accident. Harley's life changes after an accident that happened to her ex-boyfriend. Just saying, there's content of alcohol abuse in this book as well as mentions of adult-ish topics so watch our for that if you're a young reader. Going back, I enjoyed how the book was well done but in my opinion I wasn't completely hooked y the writing style because I personally don't enjoy books with flashback. I mean that's just me so it really depends on you, so I din't enjoy the flashbacks scenes. But apart from that the book was pretty good. It's a great contemporary book that tackles the realistic issues of being a teenager.

Furthermore, the book even included romance and it was very well paced. It even included stories of friendship, sisters, and trust. I enjoyed this book and I don't know how to express it in the right way so I guess that's why this review is so short 😅😂. I highly recommend this book to fans of Adam Silvera, Samira Ahmed, and F.H. Batacan. And especially if you love reading contemporary books!
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Great story about the complexity of love and relationships. The characters were well developed, and the story had some nice nuggets of depth to it. Definitely worth a read.
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The Art of Losing is a story of hope, love, and sacrifices. It gives us an insight into what might happen to us if we became an addict and at the same time, what might happen to the people we love. Also, it tells the people who suffered from addiction that there are people out there who cares and understands what they are going through.
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I found the characters to be the standout in this novel. All seem balanced and well drawn throughout. Each has their flaws, their good points and their challenges. The relationships also seem similarly balanced, showing multiple parent/child, sibling and romantic relationships with equally as many outcomes both positive and negative. I also valued the strides this novel could make in dispelling the stigma of therapy and rehab..While not sugar coated as easy, these things are presented as healthy steps and nothing to be ashamed of.
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Thank you Netgalley for providing this digital arc in exchange for a review.

Harley is dealing with extreme loss and a million other mentally and physically exhausting trials in this YA book. Written with many flashbacks to add an interesting layer, I found myself unable to connect with the MC. I can’t put my finger on the exact reason why, but she fell flat on the page and annoyed me. The storyline was interesting, but again, something about it kept me at a distance. Unfortunately, if I don’t connect with the characters or at the very least get sucked into the world and storyline, I have a difficult time reading a book. I stuck with it to the end, and while it wasn’t terrible by any means, I found it to be just okay.
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I received a free ARC from Net Galley in exchange for opinion. This YA book focuses on the gray area between guilt and innocence, seeing multiple sides to a story, and forgiveness. Some parts were predictable, but it was interesting and engaging, and definitely made me reflect on the way over thought about and treated people. Solid book and I'll be putting it on my classroom "to buy" list.
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The Art of Losing was an amazing look into addiction and how it shapes lives. This is a powerful book that shows our MC grappling with her alcoholic boyfriend, her addict childhood first love, and the consequences of one of their actions. We get to see Harley grow more confident in herself and tackle a whole slew of issues such as body image, standing up for herself, and letting herself be angry. 

Addiction isn't cut and dry and I really loved seeing Harley grapple with what it means and what it does to those she loves. There's a lot of misconceptions about addiction and I think could help people see it from a different side. There's just a lot of issues tackled in this book but I loved it. It never felt weighed down or too heavy. These issues were very real and very natural in Harley's life. It was a perfect setting to explore them. A little childhood romance rekindling never hurts either. 

This isn't an easy, fluffy YA but it's a fantastic story that needs to be told.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.*
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What an emotional roller coaster.. My teenage years were years ago, but Harley was so well written and multidimensional that I felt like I was back in high school trying to navigate anger, guilt, love and forgiveness all over again.
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Harley's life is turned upside down when she walks in and finds her boyfriend getting together with her sister. Mike drunkenly drives Audrey home and is involved in an accident which leave Audrey in a coma and Harley facing up to her now ex-boyfriend's alcoholism.
Harley has to deal with her anger and guilt as she starts to work out who she is outside of her toxic relationship and reflects on how events in the past have led to the present.
Harley is also reconnecting with childhood friend and neighbour, Raf, who is dealing with his own demons.
This is a thought-provoking and sensitive book about addiction, family and relationships and mental health. Harley loses a lot in the novel, but the reader is left with a sense that what she gains is far more important.
A thought-provoking, sensitive read that I really enjoyed.
Thanks Lizzy Mason, Soho Press and Netgalley for the advanced copy in return for an honest review.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the ARC of Lizzy Mason’s The Art of Losing that I was given in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I’m just going to say it: it’s been a good book year. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the last dozen or so that I’ve read and I’ve been incredibly impressed by the willingness of the authors to build complicated, interesting characters and take on dark, innovative plot lines. I’ve read some books that I would call great and many, many that are solidly good.

So maybe The Art of Losing never had the same chance it would normally have. Maybe I’m comparing it to all those great books in my head. It’s not like I hated the book. It’s not even like I disliked it. It was easy to read and it entertained me all the way through. I felt like Harley was a decently well-developed character and there was something about her that compelled you forward in the text. Her voice was just engaging. 

To me, though, the rest of this book was just meh. I read a lot of other reviews that talked about the importance of this book and how it will stay with them and I couldn’t help but wonder... why? Is it just the subject matter? Yes, teenage alcoholism is real and relevant and a concern that we all should maybe talk about more. Yes, there are real risks and from a medical standpoint, those risks are handled well in The Art of Losing. Is that all it takes, though? A good topic that’s written about in a mediocre way? 

The only topic that is addressed in a way that felt valid and reflective was body image. I felt Harley’s self consciousness about what she perceived as her own imperfections. I felt every awkward lift of her shirt, the embarrassment about her legs, the pain in comparing herself to people thinner than her. That part resonated with me and I can see where it might be really nice for a young girl with similar insecurities to see how common her struggle really is.

The alcoholism..... SPOILERS.

What’s the message here? Harley can’t date one alcoholic, but she can date another? I get it, I get it. Raf is an appropriate partner because he has accepted he has a problem and wants to change. He is also kind. Mike is mean and doesn’t see her problem. Still, I really think what we have is a young girl who simultaneously has a savior complex and wants a savior and who is jumping from one codependent relationship to another. I don’t think it’s healthy and, while I don’t think a book needs to be a moral guideline (so it’s fine that the relationship is unhealthy as that’s reality sometimes) all the book really has going for it is its status as kind of a warning to the youths and it fails there. Ultimately, this is a meh book. There are a lot of books that address this same topic and do it much better. This one is fine and nothing more than fine.

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Heartbreaking and hopeful. I flew through this one. I loved the mix of past and present stories that gave depth to the issues Harley was dealing with and never felt like the flow of the book was disrupted by the change. I also absolutely adored the best friend relationship in this one. Such a realistic representation of true best friends who don't always agree but are always supportive and honest with each other. The romance was okay for me, probably the lowest on my list in terms of what I liked but I did appreciate the way it was approached and how it developed. I can't speak to the addiction representation itself but it was dealt with in a responsible way and definitely didn't clean it up or the struggle addicts go through. Overall, I thought this book was really well done. The ending was a little heavy handed for me but with such serious topics to discuss, it's not entirely out of place. If you're a fan of YA realistic fiction, you should put this one on your list.
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How can you hate someone who has paid for their sin? When Harley runs out of the party she believes she will never forgive her sister for her betrayal. But her act of running away forced her sister to accept a ride home with Harley's drunk boyfriend and the worst happens. Audrey ends up in a coma and Harley is left feeling guilt and shame and anger with nowhere to turn to talk about it. Then one night while smoking a cigarette, her childhood friend Raf appears and the reignite their friendship and is there something more...

This was a book meant for teenagers and is written very much with teenagers in mind. As an adult I enjoyed the pace, the dialogue and the idea of the story but I couldn't connect with the angst (rightly so!). This was a very well written book, a great story idea and I would definitely recommend to all teenage girls.
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I really enjoyed The Art of Losing! It was really enticing and I didn't want to put it down. The story is perfectly woven around Harley's ability to navigate through her past and current relationships. Along the way, Harley has to decide exactly who she wants to be and how she wants to be seen. The book takes an honest look at when to put yourself first and when to put others first and if you can do both. But most importantly, it deals with forgiveness and redemption.
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I found this book to be fresh and hard to put down. The situation in which the heroine finds herself is realistic and the book is written in a way that makes the reader really care to find out “what happened?” I loved the supportive “former childhood friend” neighbor, who was a great character with his own story to tell while helping our heroine find her way forward. YA fans won’t regret reading this book.
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While I am probably in the minority, I just didn’t feel much for this book. It took a lot for me to get interested and it lacked any sort of adventure, twist and turns, or action. It does deal with alcohol issues, but I just found it bland and overdone.
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I can't wait this book! I have already pre-orderd two copies. This is the most anticipated book of 2019. I really liked it. Really!
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