Thursday 21 March 2019

Review: The Art of Losing by Lizzy Mason

The Art of Losing is a compelling debut that explores issues of addiction, sisterhood, and loss.
On one terrible night, 17-year-old Harley Langston’s life changes forever. At a party she discovers her boyfriend, Mike, hooking up with her younger sister, Audrey. Furious, she abandons them both. 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 now ex-boyfriend 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 her sister slowly recovers, Harley begins to see a path forward with Raf’s help that she never would have believed possible—one guided by honesty, forgiveness, and redemption.

Review: I have really mixed feelings about this book. I love what it says about addiction in teenagers, about loyalty to family and about the different ways that grief can affect you. However the book itself really dragged for me. I didn't feel invested in the characters for some reason. I did really want to know how it all panned out and so I was always going to finish it but it took me a while to do so and I did pick up other books in the mean time. 

Harley is a likable character in the most part. She isn't particularly rebellious but still likes to go out and have a good time with her friends like a lot of young people. She has a difficult relationship with the people in her family including her sister who is in the hospital. We see her go through a break up at the start of the novel which would usually make me feel sorry for a a character but I didn't really sympathise with her a great deal because of this dishonesty that surrounded the break up and her what it had to do with her sister. 

Cassidy was a character I really enjoyed getting to know over the course of this novel and someone I would love to find out more about in a spin off novel or sequel. She and Harley have a lovely relationship that reminded me of mine with my best friend. There is also a budding romance in this novel which again I kind of felt luke-warm about. I was excited to see it happen but I could also see that it was at the wrong time for the characters and I feel like it got very serious and very dependent very quickly so I really would like to see where this went when the novel ended. 

As I mentioned, this book deals with addiction, grief, peer pressure and also a little bit of body positivity,. The body positivity seemed to come out of left field all of a sudden, I would have liked to have seen more of that in this novel or else for it not to have been mentioned. I do think that this book shines a light on addiction in teens and how it can affect different people in different ways. How there isn't a one size fits all approach to treatment and I think that this is something that isn't shown enough in books, particularly in YA. 

Overall I enjoyed this book but the pacing was a little slow and there were a few problems with it that I struggled to get over. If you are looking to read about teen addiction then I definitely think that this book would be good to pick up. If you are just looking for a strong contemporary young adult novel then I would give this one a miss. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US 

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