The Art of Losing
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.

The Art of Losing Details

TitleThe Art of Losing
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 19th, 2019
PublisherSoho Teen
ISBN-139781616959876
Rating
GenreContemporary, Young Adult, Romance, Fiction

The Art of Losing Review

  • Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
    January 1, 1970
    This one is weird to review because I really enjoyed it but I don't feel like I have a ton to say about it? It was a look at addiction and how alcohol/substance abuse can affect not only yourself but everyone around you and I personally thought it was really well done. 10/10 do recommend if you're looking for a YA book that covers a heavier subject matter but still has some uplifting (and even swooney!) moments.TW: alcohol/substance abuse
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  • Tucker
    January 1, 1970
    Interview with Lizzy:1. What inspired the idea for The Art of Losing?I started writing the scene where Harley walks in on Mike and Audrey the night my ex-boyfriend told me...[Read More]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 wi Interview with Lizzy:1. What inspired the idea for The Art of Losing?I started writing the scene where Harley walks in on Mike and Audrey the night my ex-boyfriend told me...[Read More]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.I was concerned about the 'hooking up' but this was an ARC so I thought give it a try. For those concerned about the explicitly of this story, it is only mentioned and never gone into detail until towards the end. Even then, It's barely mentioned and easy to skip past.On another note, I was actually considering dnfing this because I wasn't loving it. But something happened. You know how when you have cheap candy in the house and your eating it and not really liking it. But you keep eating and then suddenly you realize your actually loving it. That's how this book was.This was written in a then and now style. I really loved reading the last parts. Especially ones with Audrey and Harley. Their relationship is so close. It's a perfect example of how sisters act.So as you know from the synopsis, Audrey is in an accident and she goes into a coma. Harley has to deal with the emotion of being cheated on by herself because Mike is in rehab and Audrey is in a coma.Let's talk about Mike. I hated him from the get go (But I think that's what the author was going for?). He honestly sounded like a horrible person and I was really hoping he would change but in the end He starts drinking again. I was literally seethingNow on to Raf. This the common cliche of child good friends becomes more than a friend. Raf and Harley's relationship was cute and I was really enjoying reading about it. Of course, I was super upset when Raf relapsed. In the end, He finally admits that's he an addict and starts getting the help he needs. So that's good.One more thing, I really didn't like the fact that Audrey's friend's homosexuality was used as a sort of plot twist.Many thanks to for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review| Goodreads | Blog | Twitch | Pinterest | Buy this BookBottom Line:4 Stars: A heartbreaking story of love, strength, forgiveness and redemption.Age Recommended: 14+Trigger Warning: Injuries, Substance Abuse
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  • destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
    January 1, 1970
    DNF @ 64% 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 drinking2) the potential risks of any substance abuse3) the ability for teens and young adults to become addicts4) the fact that so DNF @ 64% 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 drinking2) the potential risks of any substance abuse3) the ability for teens and young adults to become addicts4) 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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  • Liza Wiemer
    January 1, 1970
    Don't miss this one! Make sure to add The Art of Losing to your TBR list!I finished The Art of Losing over a week ago and I can't stop thinking about it. Powerful, emotional, and brilliantly written, this novel will change lives and save lives. Gripping from page one, readers will be drawn into the complex relationship between sisters, Harley and Audrey. When Mike, Harley's boyfriend, drives Audrey home from a party, the consequences of DWI will change these teens' lives forever. This novel asks Don't miss this one! Make sure to add The Art of Losing to your TBR list!I finished The Art of Losing over a week ago and I can't stop thinking about it. Powerful, emotional, and brilliantly written, this novel will change lives and save lives. Gripping from page one, readers will be drawn into the complex relationship between sisters, Harley and Audrey. When Mike, Harley's boyfriend, drives Audrey home from a party, the consequences of DWI will change these teens' lives forever. This novel asks the questions: Can an addict change? When and how does a person forgive another? How do you go on with life when betrayal and tragedy alters everything? Lizzy does an exceptional job with her secondary characters. Readers will appreciate the sweet romance between Harley and Raf, the flawed but awesome parents of Harley and Audrey, and the amazing, caring BFFs in this novel. A story of betrayal, forgiveness, family, friendship, healing and sisterhood, Lizzy Mason takes readers on an unforgettable journey that will remain long after "The end."
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  • Susan's Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    The author, in her forward to this book reveals that she went through rehab as a teen for drug and alcohol addiction, and describes how it changed and saved her life. (Please also read Tucker's excellent interview with this author.)I find it interesting to read books from the perspective of people who have actually endured the issues that are the main focus of a story. This story follows many of the usual YA tropes: many of the characters abuse drugs or alcohol, and just about everyone finds tru The author, in her forward to this book reveals that she went through rehab as a teen for drug and alcohol addiction, and describes how it changed and saved her life. (Please also read Tucker's excellent interview with this author.)I find it interesting to read books from the perspective of people who have actually endured the issues that are the main focus of a story. This story follows many of the usual YA tropes: many of the characters abuse drugs or alcohol, and just about everyone finds true love, etc., in the end, but there are sections of this well-written story that are very instructive and revealing about living with and conquering addiction: hence the 4 stars.Here is what I applaud about this book: many YA, New Adult and contemporary novels refer to "fun"parties where alcohol and drugs are abused to excess: everyone wants to get their "buzz on". I get that these authors are just describing behaviour that is already out there, but I am bothered that these same authors don't include characters in their stories who elect NOT to conform to this type of wild social behaviour, so that this type of behaviour stops being so "hip". Drinking and smoking weed don't bother me, but drinking and drug use to an excess, where the participants pass out and are harming themselves or others - this trope should not be trivialized or misused to increase book sales. Don't get me wrong: I like to read the odd light, airy book just for fun and relaxation, and I get that including a totally out of control frat party or ten in YA, New Adult and contemporary novels is now the norm. Anna Todd's AFTER series is all about drunken choices gone bad and raunchy. (I tried to read a couple of them, but have decided to just watch the movie version instead. Much ado about nothing, was my opinion.)I get that I am being preachy, but addiction is becoming a huge problem. Kids (and adults) often abuse drugs or alcohol to try to "fit in", and we need to send the message through all of our media that you can have a decent, happy, well-rounded life without resorting to pills or alcohol, and that these addictive behaviours can't solve our problems in the long term. We need more books like The Art of Losing. Change is a choice.
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  • Andi (Andi's ABCs)
    January 1, 1970
    I need Goodreads to add about 5 more stars for books I am head over heels for! Honestly I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved this book. It was just so amazingly perfect I want everyone to read it! Seriously, get this on your 2019 TBR ASAP! Review to come.
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  • Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars, rounding to 4 for GR.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 g 3.5 stars, rounding to 4 for GR.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.Thank you to Soho Teen for this copy.
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  • Ksenia
    January 1, 1970
    I was so honored to read an early draft of this and am so thrilled that everyone else will be able to read it. As an only child, I actually do have a soft spot for stories about sisters (when done right), and this one really got me emotional. Three cheers for Lizzy!
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  • PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 STARS 4 STARS FIRST HALF 1 STAR SECOND HALF*Minor nonspecific spoilers*After Harley catches her sister and boyfriend kissing, Audrey and Mike are in an accident that leaves her in a coma. Harley reconnects with her neighbor and first love Raf as Audrey begins her recovery. Themes of addiction and recovery permeate through the story.During the first half of THE ART OF LOSING, I connected with Harley and the story, certain I was reading a five star book. Lizzy Mason prefaces THE ART OF LOSING 2.5 STARS 4 STARS FIRST HALF 1 STAR SECOND HALF*Minor nonspecific spoilers*After Harley catches her sister and boyfriend kissing, Audrey and Mike are in an accident that leaves her in a coma. Harley reconnects with her neighbor and first love Raf as Audrey begins her recovery. Themes of addiction and recovery permeate through the story.During the first half of THE ART OF LOSING, I connected with Harley and the story, certain I was reading a five star book. Lizzy Mason prefaces THE ART OF LOSING with her own tale of addiction, recovery, rehab and twelve step programs. She second half of the book was a heavy-handed ode to substance abuse recovery. Mason clearly had a Very Important Message she wanted to convey substituting plot and character for her message.Here are some of the reasons I didn’t rate THE ART OF LOSING higher: -Instead of insta-love, Harley had insta-therapy. During her first session she opened up with no trepidation showing the insight of someone who has been in therapy for years.-Harley’s monologues to Mike and his mother.-Audrey’s traumatic brain injury recovery was plot driven and unrealistic to the levels at which thinking and memory return.-Love supersedes 12 step program.THE ART OF LOSING is a well-written, well-intentioned book that I wouldn’t recommend to anyone struggling with substances or anyone who wants to date a newly sober addict. Raf and Harley acknowledge the recommendation to avoid relationships in the first year of sobriety, but say screw it, our new love is way more important, even after he relapses. Raf says he’ll risk the pain of a possible breakup, but the reason for not dating is more to focus on sobriety as a priority. Harley decides she’s up to dating him after two AA meetings and a therapy session. Not a good message.
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  • Hazel (Stay Bookish)
    January 1, 1970
    A thoughtful, emotional portrayal about the consequences and struggles of alcoholism and addiction. This one felt so realistic and I loved that all the characters were three-dimensional and genuine. An impressive debut– I'm looking forward to reading more from Lizzy.
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  • Madalyn (Novel Ink)
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed The Art of Losing! I thought this was an excellent portrayal of mental health and addiction. It perfectly captured so many aspects of being a teenager. Loved the focus on relationships of all kinds-- friends, family, romantic. Overall, this is such a promising debut!
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  • Sofii♡ (A Book. A Thought.)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you SO much to Soho Teen and Edelweiss+ for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest reviewI knew that I would run into a book quite strong in content because it touches on topics such as alcohol addiction, and other substances, also as its synopsis says, we came across an accident that could have ended in tragedy, due to these addictions. I enjoyed it a lot, it's a very easy book to read despite its delicate content, and I think it was touched from a very real point, so I apprec Thank you SO much to Soho Teen and Edelweiss+ for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest reviewI knew that I would run into a book quite strong in content because it touches on topics such as alcohol addiction, and other substances, also as its synopsis says, we came across an accident that could have ended in tragedy, due to these addictions. I enjoyed it a lot, it's a very easy book to read despite its delicate content, and I think it was touched from a very real point, so I appreciate that3.5/5 StarsYou can find this one and more of my reviews on my blog A Book. A Thought. The book is about Harley, who being at a party, finds her boyfriend cheating on her with her younger sister, because of this she immediately runs out of there, which is why her boyfriend, (now ex-boyfriend) Mike, is the one who ends up taking her sister Audrey home, and they end up having a car accident, recording that causes Audrey to end up in a coma. Meanwhile, Harley tries to deal with all her emotions, from the rage of treason to the pain of guilt. All this while she begins to reconnect with her childhood friend Rafael, who's a recovering alcoholic. The book is from the very beginning very hard because we see our main character having to deal with a lot of pain because of her sister's accident, but also with a lot of anger for her betrayal, not only her sister betrayal but also her boyfriend's, since he was driving drunk the night of the accident. So we have many mix feelings and thoughts throughout most of the book. I think that for me, all this internal struggle of Harley was very real, I feel that she acted in ways that are quite understandable to her situation and although I don't say that they're the right ways of thinking or acting, I was able to put myself on her situation and feel that internal struggle. I really liked all that, I think that's what the author wanted to convey and although I'm sure that we'll all have different opinions, it's very interesting to see all the states which the main character passes through.The writing style was good, it's difficult to maintain a good pace in a story when you talk about such delicate topics, that can also be so heavy, you know?, but I think the author has achieved it. She has managed to balance the pace of the book very well since I think it's very quick and easy to read, but she doesn't stop focusing on the main topic, which is very hard.The plot is told from the Harley's POV, jumping from present chapters, after the accident, to chapters of many years or months ago. That was interesting I think it was well done because it allows us to build the relationships of the characters better in our heads, and understand a little more the current situationThe characters seemed very real, I can't say that I connected myself a 100% with any of them but they're still good. Harley's a girl with a "normal" life until the day of the accident, despite her unhealthy relationship that we'll discover she shared with her boyfriend, she's a girl with an apparent overweight and this is something that, although she doesn't say it directly at any time, I feel that it affects her, as it refers to her weight in several occasions, for this reason, her may have created a shell around her. You may like this character since she's not the typical good girl, I would describe her as an unlikeable character. I don't have much to say about Audrey, I think she's a very innocent girl and prone to make mistakes, I think that each one of you will get your own opinion on this once you read itThen we have Raf, who's her childhood friend and whom she reconnects with. He's a very good boy, I liked him a lot, was interesting to see his own internal struggle as well, which involves his recovery after the rehabilitation, and the death of his sister. The romance is quite adorable although I enjoy it more towards the end. I quite like Harley's best friend too, Cassidy, she's very fresh and loyal, and I love how much she supports her friend.There's an attempt to introduce a bit of the LGBT+ community into the story and I don't think it is well done, I didn't like that it was just thrown there to justify another action. I don't know, maybe it's something that doesn't bother you, but it was handled very lightly for meAs for addictions, I think it's the central point of the story, so if it's something you don't feel comfortable with I wouldn't recommend reading it, on the other hand, I think it's played in a very real and raw way and it shows the reality of alcohol addiction and other substances and how difficult it is to quit. In addition, the topic is generally spoken with a lot of respect and information.Harley not only comes living with the alcoholism of her ex-boyfriend but also live it with her re-connection with Ralf, who's in recovery. So I would say that the book is about her learning to deal with this and learning to know what to do in certain situations.The relationship among the sisters I think is quite natural too, they fight and love each other as all sisters, so you can feel identified if you have one. I think the whole issue of "betrayal" itself doesn't really have closure as such, they end up having a little talk about it, but it's not big deal. I think most of the healing and transformation was on Harley's part as individuals and within herself. So if you like stories about sisters, about difficult family situations, acceptance, and learning, I think you can enjoy the book, besides as I said, it's very easy to read. If the subject of addictions is something that interests you, this book has it as the main theme so you'll surely like it. Maybe you asking yourself why I haven't given it a higher rating, because, in fact, I think it's a very good book. Well, the thing is that I feel that my rating is very fair and matches perfectly with what I feel towards it. It was a good book and possibly it touched many people, but I feel that it was something that although I enjoyed, I probably forgot with time, was something missing to be incredible for me, but that doesn't mean it's not for you. So if you read it, I hope you enjoy it a lot!!
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  • Femke
    January 1, 1970
    Ik vind de romance in dit boek leuk. I know right?! Wie had dat gedacht. Het is trouwens niet alleen een romance, maar het verbaasde me gewoon even. Wil ook alles van deze auteur nu lezen want wat er stond in “A letter from the author” kreeg ik een brok in mijn keel. Wat een power vrouw. ❤ Ik vind de romance in dit boek leuk. I know right?! Wie had dat gedacht. Het is trouwens niet alleen een romance, maar het verbaasde me gewoon even. Wil ook alles van deze auteur nu lezen want wat er stond in “A letter from the author” kreeg ik een brok in mijn keel. Wat een power vrouw. ❤️
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  • Emily Knosher
    January 1, 1970
    I sat down tonight with the intention of reading 20 pages or so and then going to bed, but then I accidentally read the whole book instead. I think that speaks to how amazing it is. I wasn't really prepared for what I was getting into when starting this book or that it would make me feel how it did, but it was so so good and an important story to be told. Everyone read it !!
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  • Samantha (WLABB)
    January 1, 1970
    Harley was grappling with conflicting emotions regarding what happened that night. After excusing his many slip-ups and bad behaviors, Harley's boyfriend had finally crossed into unforgivable territory by driving drunk and putting her sister in a coma. She could never forgive her boyfriend, but would Harley be able to forgive her sister for what she had done?• Pro: This was a very moving read, and Mason did an amazing job making me feel each and every one of Harley's emotions. I felt her anger a Harley was grappling with conflicting emotions regarding what happened that night. After excusing his many slip-ups and bad behaviors, Harley's boyfriend had finally crossed into unforgivable territory by driving drunk and putting her sister in a coma. She could never forgive her boyfriend, but would Harley be able to forgive her sister for what she had done?• Pro: This was a very moving read, and Mason did an amazing job making me feel each and every one of Harley's emotions. I felt her anger and her sadness, her joy and her shame. Her confusion and anguish over the situation with her sister was probably the most powerful for me, though, and I couldn't even bring myself to pick a side. • Pro: Mason deftly addressed the addiction storyline. I really thought it was fantastic the way she showed how addiction can affect so many people connected to the addict. She also gave us different portraits of addiction - those who accept and those who deny, which I felt really added to giving me a more complete picture of a very complex issue. • Pro: Speaking of complex issues, the relationship between Harley and her sister was super sticky. There was no doubt that Harley held a deep affection for her sister, but she also felt less-than because of her. The battle she fought between her heart and her feelings of inadequacy were rather heartbreaking. • Pro: What an emotional growth spurt Harley experienced! Her sister's accident was a rude sort of wake-up call, but a wake-up call none-the-less. It forced Harley to really examine her relationship with Mike, and to make some tough choices for herself. • Pro: A lot of Harley's truths came to light via flashbacks, which I thought were utilized very well. We see snapshots from her past featuring her sister, Mike, and Raf, which were very telling, and sometimes, very sweet. • Pro: I saved the best part for last - I wanted RafAndHarley to happen from that first cigarette. He was someone positive from her past, who was now becoming someone positive in her present, and then there was that amazing "gesture" towards the end, that just solidified my need to have these two together. Overall: An honest and hopeful story about addiction, family dynamics, trust, forgiveness, and the strength it takes to change.*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS
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  • ellie
    January 1, 1970
    started off promising but derailed SO much by the end. it became a mess of romance/recovery/forgiveness/coming-of-age...so many things. there were so many plots but i was so bored by the third time the mc and the love interest hung out to have basically the same conversation again so...yes. idk. i wish i liked this more.
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  • Erica
    January 1, 1970
    I can't wait to read this book!!!
  • che
    January 1, 1970
    this book tackles substance abuse, and how it can greatly affect the people around you. and i think this had a really great portrayal of addiction.but what i really enjoyed was one of the messages it brought: that you shouldn't try to fix/change people, and that you can't control what others do. usually in romance, when there is addiction it is used as an instrument for mc's to get together, and usually, the sober one of the two is supposed to fix or make the other better. but truthfully, that i this book tackles substance abuse, and how it can greatly affect the people around you. and i think this had a really great portrayal of addiction.but what i really enjoyed was one of the messages it brought: that you shouldn't try to fix/change people, and that you can't control what others do. usually in romance, when there is addiction it is used as an instrument for mc's to get together, and usually, the sober one of the two is supposed to fix or make the other better. but truthfully, that idea is toxic. so i found this really refreshing and it made this more enjoyable. i also liked the main character, harley. i thought she was really mature in her actions. though there were times her emotions were strong, but she thought before making decisions.another thing i liked was how the chapter's alternated between a memory and the present, and that the memory would somehow be relevant or have a connection to the chapter after it.overall, i rec this if you want a mature young adult contemporary.tw: substance abuse/addiction,
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  • Kendra
    January 1, 1970
    A fateful drunk driving accident leaves 17-year-old Harley's younger sister, Audrey, in a coma. The drunk driver was Harley's boyfriend. The story that unfolds is one of forgiveness, guilt, sisterhood, and an intimate look at the psychological twistings of addiction -- even more so as Harley rekindles a relationship with a childhood friend, Raf, who's grappling with his own recovery. This book is so *real* -- charged, exceptionally moving and healing. Nothing is simple and there are no neat answ A fateful drunk driving accident leaves 17-year-old Harley's younger sister, Audrey, in a coma. The drunk driver was Harley's boyfriend. The story that unfolds is one of forgiveness, guilt, sisterhood, and an intimate look at the psychological twistings of addiction -- even more so as Harley rekindles a relationship with a childhood friend, Raf, who's grappling with his own recovery. This book is so *real* -- charged, exceptionally moving and healing. Nothing is simple and there are no neat answers, but Harley and Mason's cast of characters work honestly through painful and difficult feelings toward a kind of grace. I loved seeing addiction, rehab and AA so realistically portrayed in a book for this age group -- loved seeing characters admit, honestly, that they were afraid of intimacy, that they felt like "gold-plated pieces of shit," that they can love someone and still be furious with them. The book is a Rubik's cube of emotion -- watching all the intricate, complicated and sometimes contradictory twistings of human feelings click into place.I think this book will be a tool for many struggling readers, and for all, an enormous gift. Coming early 2019.
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  • Gillian
    January 1, 1970
    In THE ART OF LOSING, much is lost (and, eventually, much gained). This stunning debut novel tackles addiction, first love, and sisterhood. The storytelling is compelling, heartfelt, and masterfully crafted.17yo Harley struggles after a night where her life is changed forever. Woven into the main narrative are flashbacks that give the reader insight into Harley herself, her relationships, and the events that led up to that night. I enjoyed the flashbacks just as much as the main narrative. This In THE ART OF LOSING, much is lost (and, eventually, much gained). This stunning debut novel tackles addiction, first love, and sisterhood. The storytelling is compelling, heartfelt, and masterfully crafted.17yo Harley struggles after a night where her life is changed forever. Woven into the main narrative are flashbacks that give the reader insight into Harley herself, her relationships, and the events that led up to that night. I enjoyed the flashbacks just as much as the main narrative. This is the kind of book that has characters you really get to know and love, and will remember forever. Highly recommended!
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  • Hallie
    January 1, 1970
    The Art of Losing is an important addition to the YA contemporary genre because it so eloquently deals with addiction and new beginnings. Lizzy Mason writes honestly about alcoholism in teenagers and how it has the potential to seep into every part of a person’s life.Harley’s world is turned upside down when her sister, Audrey, is in a car accident with her boyfriend, Mike. The accident was caused by Mike driving drunk and Harley is devastated, not only out of fear for her sister but also becaus The Art of Losing is an important addition to the YA contemporary genre because it so eloquently deals with addiction and new beginnings. Lizzy Mason writes honestly about alcoholism in teenagers and how it has the potential to seep into every part of a person’s life.Harley’s world is turned upside down when her sister, Audrey, is in a car accident with her boyfriend, Mike. The accident was caused by Mike driving drunk and Harley is devastated, not only out of fear for her sister but also because she saw the two hooking up before the accident. Harley’s former best friend, Raf, comes back into town and now he’s all grown up with a complicated past of his own. The reader immediately feels for Harley, who is reeling through so many upsetting life changes. Mason perfectly captures an authentic voice of a teen struggling to make sense of these types of events. I love that she lets Harley be angry at her sister, at Mike, and at the entire situation. She loves her sister and wants her to be okay, but it doesn’t erase the betrayal.Harley was such a well rounded, realistic character. She is a huge comic nerd and there are tons of references to comics in the novel. Harley is secure in who she is and doesn’t hide her love of comic books. She’s fat and she knows that her mother struggles with the fact that she doesn’t look like her “perfect” sister, but she doesn’t apologize for who she is.This book sends the important message that even teens can be alcoholics. It’s so easy for teenagers to write off their vices because they’re still “just kids” or they’ve only been “really” drunk a few times. Mason makes it clear that anyone is susceptible to this disease and there’s no shame in admitting you have a problem. Harley is no stranger to addiction. She knew throughout her relationship with Mike that he was an alcoholic. During their relationship, Mike would say hurtful and mean comments to Harley and then blame it on being drunk. Mike enters rehab after the accident and tries to make amends, but he doesn’t understand the mental and emotional pain he caused Harley. It’s not just the accident that he needs to apologize for. Harley does not romanticize their relationship or allow him to sweep her feelings under the rug. She stands up for herself and provides an excellent role model for teens who need help holding people accountable.Harley also learns that Raf has struggled with addiction in the past. She attends some AA meetings with Raf and they have several discussions about being sober and using drinking as an escape. Harley is nervous to start a relationship with Raf out of the fear that he will start to drink again and their relationship will be just like the one she just got out of. Her budding relationship with Raf is what forces her to fully confront the way that alcohol and addiction have influenced her life. Harley sees how Raf finds community in AA meetings and how he benefits from attending therapy sessions. Harley learns how to prioritize her own happiness and mental health throughout the novel.Lizzy Mason provides such important information within the pages of this novel. She not only gives factual information about AA meetings, sobriety, and relapses, but she also provides hope for anyone struggling. She lets her characters make mistakes and learn from them. She notes that not every recovery journey is perfect and every day is a re-commitment to yourself. In an author’s note, Mason notes being in a rehab program when she was 16, joining AA, and discovering a community. She understands the reality that many teens will turn to drugs and alcohol and it’s important that they know how to find help when they need it.This book has a little bit of romance and a lot of self-discovery. Contemporary readers who like a mix of light and serious moments will love this book. YA collections in public and school libraries should have this important book on the shelf.
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  • Kirstysbookishworld
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of those slice of life stories that I feel impact the people it represents more than it did me. Which isn’t to say I don’t appreciate or feel something towards the commentary of what Addiction does to a person. How life leads you to places and people you don’t always expect and how emotions need to be felt and that it’s okay and it will always be okay to ask for help.Harley is one of those characters you grow to love. She’s far from perfect but the more you know her story the more yo This is one of those slice of life stories that I feel impact the people it represents more than it did me. Which isn’t to say I don’t appreciate or feel something towards the commentary of what Addiction does to a person. How life leads you to places and people you don’t always expect and how emotions need to be felt and that it’s okay and it will always be okay to ask for help.Harley is one of those characters you grow to love. She’s far from perfect but the more you know her story the more you understand why she is the way she is. My favourite part of this story however is Raf and his struggle. That he isn’t perfect but it’s the moment you stop caring that you stop being worth the effort. I liked that he saw Harley in her honest life. I liked that he never let her gloss over the truth of what she was feeling. He never made her feel like emotions didn’t matter, that she didn’t matter. I do feel some parts of this were glossed over. Like parts that could have been emotional and impactful lacked a little luster. Like they were convenient simple plot points. I also didn’t like the fact that Harley continuously said that the fat on someone else’s body made her feel better about her own. Other people’s image should never affect how you see yourself. But then I have to remind myself this is written from the POV of a teenager. But they seem like minor things when I’m enjoyed this book as much as I did.
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  • Lori
    January 1, 1970
    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 like 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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  • Mortisha Cassavetes
    January 1, 1970
    I must be honest in saying I really try to stay clear of reading books about drug or alcohol addictions but I really wanted to read this book because I heard great things about it and I really loved the story. It was very unique and creative! The story follows Harley who just found her boyfriend Mike cheating on her with her younger sister, Audrey. She gets so upset she leaves the party and has now found out that Mike was drunk and was just in an accident with Audrey in the car. Audrey is in a c I must be honest in saying I really try to stay clear of reading books about drug or alcohol addictions but I really wanted to read this book because I heard great things about it and I really loved the story. It was very unique and creative! The story follows Harley who just found her boyfriend Mike cheating on her with her younger sister, Audrey. She gets so upset she leaves the party and has now found out that Mike was drunk and was just in an accident with Audrey in the car. Audrey is in a coma and Mike is fine. This story is how Harley comes to deal with the issues as well as rekindling an old friendship with Raf, her next door neighbor who also is a recovering addict. I do not want to go into the story more as to not spoil it but I highly recommend it.
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  • Bookish
    January 1, 1970
    Lizzy Mason’s moving debut opens at a hospital. Harley’s boyfriend Mike and sister Audrey were involved in a car accident, but no one knows that earlier that evening Harley caught the two making out. Now her sister is in a coma, and her boyfriend is being sent to rehab. There were so many things I loved about this book. Mason’s portrayal of a girl grappling with conflicting emotions rings true, and as a character, Harley is allowed to feel angry, heartbroken, guilty, and relieved all at once. I Lizzy Mason’s moving debut opens at a hospital. Harley’s boyfriend Mike and sister Audrey were involved in a car accident, but no one knows that earlier that evening Harley caught the two making out. Now her sister is in a coma, and her boyfriend is being sent to rehab. There were so many things I loved about this book. Mason’s portrayal of a girl grappling with conflicting emotions rings true, and as a character, Harley is allowed to feel angry, heartbroken, guilty, and relieved all at once. I particularly loved Mason’s exploration of responsibility. Harley learns that she can’t absolve someone else’s sins, she can’t change their behavior, and that it is not her job to to carry someone else’s burden. Her story is an excellent reminder that it isn’t selfish to prioritize your own life and mental health. It’s the kind of message I wish I had as a teenager, and one that I believe will resonate strongly with YA readers. The cherry on top of this reading experience was getting to interview Mason . The Art of Losing draws on Mason’s past, and it’s that openness and honesty that hit me hardest as a reader. It’s a deeply personal novel, and one that makes me excited to see what Mason does next! —Kelly (excerpted from Bookish's Staff Reads: March 8)Lizzy Mason’s powerful debut The Art of Losing follows Harley after her life is turned upside when her boyfriend, Mike, and sister, Audrey, end up in a car accident after leaving a party. Her boyfriend was driving drunk and Harley had seen the two of them kissing earlier in the evening. Harley’s sister is left in a coma for the rest of the summer and Harley has to deal with the aftermath. She realizes that she wasn’t always there for her sister in the way she needed. This book navigates teen addiction, underage drinking, and alcoholism, as Mike attends court-mandated rehab. While all of this is happening, Harley begins to spend more time with her old friend and neighbor, Raf, who has recently gone to rehab. Harley is able to cope with her emotions concerning Mike by learning about Raf’s circumstances and addiction. We don’t often see YA novels that discuss addiction and drinking in a such a realistic way, and I really have to applaud Mason for that. Now that I’m done reading, I can check out Mason’s interview with our editor Kelly! —Dana (excerpted from Bookish's Staff Reads: February 15)
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    A quick read and a solid YA novel centered around drinking and drug abuse but also delving into sisterhood and family, self-awareness, friendship, responsibility, and body image. I had to read it because of the title borrowed from one of my favorite Elizabeth Bishop poems, and it was worth the read.
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  • Jana
    January 1, 1970
    3.5*
  • Zoë ☆
    January 1, 1970
    Loved some parts, did not like some parts, the rest was just meh 🤷🏼♀ Loved some parts, did not like some parts, the rest was just meh 🤷🏼‍♀️
  • Aimee ♥ | Aimee, Always
    January 1, 1970
    I received an advanced copy for review from the publisher via Edelweiss. Thank you so much!
  • Brian
    January 1, 1970
    Our main character, Harley has a lot to deal with. Her boyfriend, Mike is caught smooching her sister Audrey. Mike drives Audrey home drunk and gets into a car wreck, getting her into a coma. Harley has to deal with her feelings of anger towards her sister and her boyfriend as well as her worries about her sister's recovery. This was a serious book with an interesting message and some well written characters. I wish that it had a bit more action, but it was mainly talking.
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