Sorry For Your Loss
Printz Honor winner and William Morris Award finalist Jessie Ann Foley’s latest YA novel is a comitragic coming-of-age story about an awkward teenage guy who, after the loss of his brother, finds healing and a sense of self where he least expected to.As the youngest of eight, painfully average Pup Flanagan is used to flying under the radar. He’s barely passing his classes. He lets his longtime crush walk all over him. And he’s in no hurry to decide on a college path. The only person who ever made him think he could be more was his older brother Patrick, the family’s golden child. But that was before Patrick died suddenly, leaving Pup with a family who won’t talk about it and acquaintances who just keep saying, “sorry for your loss.”But when Pup excels at a photography assignment he thought he’d bomb, things start to come into focus. His dream girl shows her true colors. An unexpected friend exposes Pup to a whole new world, right under his nose. And the photograph that was supposed to show Pup a way out of his grief ultimately reveals someone else who is still stuck in their own. Someone with a secret regret Pup never could have imagined.

Sorry For Your Loss Details

TitleSorry For Your Loss
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 4th, 2019
PublisherHarperTeen
ISBN-139780062571939
Rating
GenreContemporary, Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult Contemporary

Sorry For Your Loss Review

  • Jessie
    January 1, 1970
    The inspiration for this book came partially from a piece I read about Leonard Cohen's final press conference before his death in 2016. When asked by a reporter about where he drew his inspiration from, Cohen gave this beautiful answer about how we create art as a way of articulating the emergency inside of us. I have been in love with that notion ever since.I decided that I wanted my main character, Pup, to be a kid who is experiencing a serious emergency inside of himself, and who, because of The inspiration for this book came partially from a piece I read about Leonard Cohen's final press conference before his death in 2016. When asked by a reporter about where he drew his inspiration from, Cohen gave this beautiful answer about how we create art as a way of articulating the emergency inside of us. I have been in love with that notion ever since.I decided that I wanted my main character, Pup, to be a kid who is experiencing a serious emergency inside of himself, and who, because of who he is and the kind of family he comes from, has no way of articulating it. I wanted his discovery of photography to arrive like a life raft. I wanted him to fall in love with art, and in doing so, find a way to articulate his emergency and help him begin to heal. Thank you so much for picking up this book and giving it a chance! xo JAF
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  • Samantha (WLABB)
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! All I have to say isSorry For Your Loss was such an exquisite portrait of a family caught in the throes of grief. The emotions, at times, were so palpable, I actually found myself rubbing my chest, because my heart physically ached.Pup, my dear sweet Pup. As the youngest of the Flanagan clan, he was often overlooked. You had the sister moms, his older sisters, who were so much older than him, they never even lived under the same roof. And, then there was the second wave of kids - Annemarie, Wow! All I have to say isSorry For Your Loss was such an exquisite portrait of a family caught in the throes of grief. The emotions, at times, were so palpable, I actually found myself rubbing my chest, because my heart physically ached.Pup, my dear sweet Pup. As the youngest of the Flanagan clan, he was often overlooked. You had the sister moms, his older sisters, who were so much older than him, they never even lived under the same roof. And, then there was the second wave of kids - Annemarie, Patrick, and Luke. Though Pup enjoyed a closer bond with his three younger siblings, there was only one, who really saw him - Patrick, which was why Patrick's death was such a profound loss for him.Pup was floundering in his grief, and continuing to let all these people in his life sort of treat him as an after thought. But, then he got a little nudge, and that push Pup needed came from an unlikely source. After almost a year of trying different artistic mediums, Pup's teacher put a camera in his hands, and Pup was able to finally find his voice. It was really wonderful the way he was able to see things and share his feelings and pain via his art. I loved that this was part of his story for many reasons. One, because I really wanted Pup to find his thing. Two, because the drama with his unrequited love was awful, and he needed something to feel good about. Three, because it brought Abrihet into his life, and she was phenomenal for him.This was definitely the story of Pup's coming of age, but it was also about family. The Flanagans were stuck in their grief. Some seemed ok, but many were suffering and dealing with the loss in unhealthy ways. It was Pup, with his newfound voice, who pushed the family to take those steps towards "getting through". Some of the things he was forced to do were excruciating, but necessary. His family may have been very avoidant, but the one thing they didn't lack was love for each other, and there was a lot of warmth in this story because of it.I was so touched and impressed by this book, I immediately went to the library to check out more books by Foley. She did such a beautiful job painting these characters and crafting their story, and I know I am grateful to have had the opportunity to take this journey with Pup and his family.*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    A straightforward story that touches on undealt with grief and loss. I love how therapy plays such a crucial part of the story and how many teen boy tropes are expertly navigated. Plus, I appreciated how art was used as a tool of healing.Some moments I struggled to connect with, which is why this wasn't a total homerun for me. But I absolutely enjoyed this story overall.
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  • Gillian French
    January 1, 1970
    Jessie Ann Foley blew me away with this story--truly, the warmth, humor, and sincerity will enfold you like a much-needed hug, and baby, does it FLOW. The narrative is so friendly and inclusive that you literally can't put it down until you've made sure that all of your beloved Flanagan clan are going to be okay in the end. Right from Chapter 1, Pup Flanagan had my love forever; he is such a real teenage boy, gangly legs and all, so earnest and bursting with untapped potential. This is the kind Jessie Ann Foley blew me away with this story--truly, the warmth, humor, and sincerity will enfold you like a much-needed hug, and baby, does it FLOW. The narrative is so friendly and inclusive that you literally can't put it down until you've made sure that all of your beloved Flanagan clan are going to be okay in the end. Right from Chapter 1, Pup Flanagan had my love forever; he is such a real teenage boy, gangly legs and all, so earnest and bursting with untapped potential. This is the kind of book which should be taught in schools, advertised in all major publications and news outlets, and pushed hard by the publisher to get it into the hands of every reader, because it makes you want to be a better person. To face the world with an open heart and mind, to forgive your loved ones for not being perfect and sometimes failing you. I just finished the last page, and now I'm crying again, so I'll sign off--but do yourself a favor and read this one. Then share it with everybody you know.
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  • Madison
    January 1, 1970
    Gritty and deeply emotional, Sorry For Your Loss is, unsurprisingly, about grief. But it’s also about love, brothers, big drive-you-crazy families, finding your voice and learning to remember while also letting go. With an honest and realistic teen male protagonist, Sorry For Your Loss will appeal to older teen readers who enjoy moving books. Pup is the youngest of eight. His family has been floundering, silently, since the death of one of his older brothers. Parents and siblings who won’t speak Gritty and deeply emotional, Sorry For Your Loss is, unsurprisingly, about grief. But it’s also about love, brothers, big drive-you-crazy families, finding your voice and learning to remember while also letting go. With an honest and realistic teen male protagonist, Sorry For Your Loss will appeal to older teen readers who enjoy moving books. Pup is the youngest of eight. His family has been floundering, silently, since the death of one of his older brothers. Parents and siblings who won’t speak about Patrick, a brother who is losing himself to alcohol and Pup himself who is sinking - in his classes, his relationships and in the deafening silence at home. When his art teacher hands him a camera in the desperate hopes he can redeem his failing art grade, Pup is presented with a whole new lens with which to view the world, and maybe even the chance to bring his family together again.I really loved Pup. The youngest of eight, plus uncle many times over, he knows the chaos of a big family. He also knows his place. But as he witnesses the decline of his family through grief and struggles with his own sadness, Pup has to challenge what he thought he knew about his parents, siblings and even himself. Pup has such a realistic and down-to-earth voice. He narrates the story and readers are welcomed into his world. He is 100% teen guy, but also one of those awkward, nice ones who doesn’t quite fit into his body and certainly hasn’t worked out how to talk to girls or why they would want to talk to him. Relationships, school, family - Pup is facing it all, from old friendships and stagnant crushes coming to an end to the blossoming of a new romance, and reconciliation and understanding his siblings. And maybe even passing art.Sorry For Your Loss is a wonderful YA title that explores grief, family and finding your place. It will appeal to readers of all genders with its honest and raw narration, diverse characters and heartwarming story. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library
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  • grieshaber.reads
    January 1, 1970
    Sorry for Your Loss is Pup’s coming of age story. Every bildungsroman features a character that faces challenges, but Pup suffers more challenges than most. This poor guy is trying to discover himself while being the oops baby in the very large, working middle class, suburban Chicago Flanagan family. As the youngest of eight siblings (seven years separate him from his next youngest sibling), Pup has always felt loved but under the radar. The entire, huge family (the sibs, the sibs-in-law, the ne Sorry for Your Loss is Pup’s coming of age story. Every bildungsroman features a character that faces challenges, but Pup suffers more challenges than most. This poor guy is trying to discover himself while being the oops baby in the very large, working middle class, suburban Chicago Flanagan family. As the youngest of eight siblings (seven years separate him from his next youngest sibling), Pup has always felt loved but under the radar. The entire, huge family (the sibs, the sibs-in-law, the nephews and nieces) have Sunday dinner every single week. EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK. Pup says family vacations are planned around Sunday dinner. In his seventeen years of life, Pup has never missed a Sunday dinner. This is the kind of family we’re talking about. Except they are a grieving family that doesn’t grieve. And instead of eight siblings, there are now seven. It’s been almost three years since Patrick died, but no one talks about it. Each is left to grieve in his or her own way, sometimes with disastrous results. Pup’s manner of grieving is to stay invisible and inwardly boil over the image of the fat, cherubic, baby angel his mother used to replace Patrick’s 8th-grade graduation picture on the wall of the Flanagan children’s 8th-grade graduation pictures. It’s through his unexpected gift in photography, his new friendship with fellow photographer and North African immigrant, Abrihet, and, eventually, therapy, that Pup begins to find his own identity and truly, properly, and healthily grieve his brother.As a longtime high school librarian who devours 200 YA books per year, I have read plenty of books that include dead family members. These books have become more poignant for me after losing my mother three years ago. Something I’ve noticed since then that I don’t know ever really resonated with me before is just how differently people grieve. Read the rest of my review on the Librarians Lit Books blog! https://www.librarianslitbooks.com/si...
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  • Jamie Hernandez
    January 1, 1970
    Jessie Ann Foley has managed to slide herself into my “I’ll read anything you write” category!
  • Jessica Lyn
    January 1, 1970
    Review closer to publication date...But ugh my heart.
  • Erin Quinn
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump for awhile - reading, but the books I was reading were just okay, not the kind of books you’d stay up late to read, or to sneak a few minutes between tasks to get a chapter in. And then came Sorry For Your Loss, by Jessie Ann Foley. Sorry For Your Loss follows Pup (which is a nickname; his real name is James) and his huge family of 26 - he is the last of 8 brothers and sisters. The story follows Pup as he tries to come to grips with life a few years after hi I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump for awhile - reading, but the books I was reading were just okay, not the kind of books you’d stay up late to read, or to sneak a few minutes between tasks to get a chapter in. And then came Sorry For Your Loss, by Jessie Ann Foley. Sorry For Your Loss follows Pup (which is a nickname; his real name is James) and his huge family of 26 - he is the last of 8 brothers and sisters. The story follows Pup as he tries to come to grips with life a few years after his brother Patrick suddenly passed away. Pup’s family isn’t one to talk about uncomfortable things, and so Patrick’s name is never mentioned, and his high school graduation photo on the wall going up the stairs was replaced by an image of a baby angel. And because Patrick’s never mentioned, everyone in the family deals with his death on their own, leading often to catastrophic results. Pup seems doomed to a life of mediocrity as he numbly fights his way through life, but then one teacher, Mr. Hughes, his art teacher, takes a chance on him and one stunning photograph he’d taken. And in this one chance, Pup’s life begins to change.Jessie Ann Foley is masterful with words and in immersing you in the lives of her characters. They feel so real. This made the experience of living with Pup for a bit feel like a delicious dip in someone else’s world for a while. Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperTeen for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Teenage Reads
    January 1, 1970
    Plot:Pup Flanagan does not have any talents in front of his ageing parents' eyes. With a seven-year age gap between Pup and is next sibling, Pup is used to being regarded as a nephew to his siblings rather than their brother. At least to some of them. Patrick always saw Pup as his brother, someone he had to protect, share knowledge with, and to keep their older brother Luke from picking on him too hard. Or at least, that how it used to be before Pat died. It has been two years since Pat died, an Plot:Pup Flanagan does not have any talents in front of his ageing parents' eyes. With a seven-year age gap between Pup and is next sibling, Pup is used to being regarded as a nephew to his siblings rather than their brother. At least to some of them. Patrick always saw Pup as his brother, someone he had to protect, share knowledge with, and to keep their older brother Luke from picking on him too hard. Or at least, that how it used to be before Pat died. It has been two years since Pat died, and Pup’s family still is not the same. His mother is now quieter, does not do anything that could make her upset even in the slightest way. Luke drinks, a lot, so much so that Pup has no idea how he is supposed to pass the bar exam for law school. Their Sunday night dinners in which every member of the family shows up, are for polite talk and for the sister-mom, the sisters who have kids, to brag up their child, yet no one dares to speak about Pat’s death, Luke’s drinking, Pup failing art grade, or their mother quietness. The only person Pup could talk to would be Izzy, his best friend since freshman year, and the girl who stole his heart at the same time. Izzy though was preoccupied with her boyfriend Brody, who to Pup is the worst type of person ever. Pup met Izzy in their Bereavement Group, which they nicknamed the Pity Party, and is a group of students who does group therapy to talk about the loss of their loved one. In the group, Izzy was the only one who also lost a sibling, and thus the two of them became a friend over their shared grief. Yet, as much as Pup loves Izzy, she is not going to help him pass Studio 1 Art. Failing painting, drawing, pottery, Mr. Hughes gives Pup one of the school’s cameras and for his final project he needs to take a picture of something expresses himself, otherwise, he will fail the class. Panicking in the dark room leads Pup to submit the picture of Luke passed out on the roof in the early morning light, which not only gives him a passing grade, but one of the selected students to represent the school at the Illinois High School Association Art and Design Competition. Realising his photography skills can actually lead to something, Pup began to piece together the pictures of his future, Izzy, the girl he loves, and his Patrick family, and post-Pat family. Thoughts:This story hits you in your feelings in your least suspected way. Jessie Ann Foley wrote this story from the perspective of the youngest child. Therefore he lived with Pat, had solid memories of his older brother, but was still too young to deal with details of Pat’s death like arranging the funeral, asking Mom to pull the plug, and donating Pat’s college books. Yet, the loss of Pat also hit him the hardest, due to him having least amount of time with Patrick than the rest of them, being the brother Pat tucked under his wing, and the one he had so many future plans with. Foley writes quickly, making the plot move fast, and take turns that you do not expect to happen, leaving you to hope everything turns out right for Pup. The sweetest part was when Abby, Pup’s photography friend, tells Pup her real name, and Pup tells her his (shockingly these people did not actually name their child Pup), to which after that point these characters refer to the other by their real name. You only wish that Foley would have written Pup to be less awkward, but I guess that is part of his charm. Where you witness Pup letting characters walk over him, Pup unable to defend himself in situations, to which you beg Foley to let Pup say the right thing for once, and for her only to disappoint you. The main story line, where is not unique it is beautiful as it deals with different types of grief from different characters, as the whole family struggles with the loss of a brother/son.
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  • Patrick
    January 1, 1970
    The night before my father died, I sat with him overnight in the hospital. My father had suffered a perforated bowel a week before, and he was obviously septic. He had been fading for months, the ravages of old age, dementia, and years of refighting the Korean War in his sleep. I spent the night telling him about all the things that I knew because of him, all the things I was because of him, and all the things I aspired to be because of him. I drifted off somewhere before dawn, and the nurse cam The night before my father died, I sat with him overnight in the hospital. My father had suffered a perforated bowel a week before, and he was obviously septic. He had been fading for months, the ravages of old age, dementia, and years of refighting the Korean War in his sleep. I spent the night telling him about all the things that I knew because of him, all the things I was because of him, and all the things I aspired to be because of him. I drifted off somewhere before dawn, and the nurse came in at the shift change and told me to go home. I remember walking out of the hospital that morning, the cloying early morning air was full of the promise of a humid August afternoon, and the haze difused the rising sun in such a way that when they called less than an hour later that my father had passed away, I thought for sure I should have recognized it as an omen.The hospital representative concluded her call by saying, "Sorry for your loss." The absurdity of the language we use in the news of a death struck me hard that day and in the week that followed at the wake, the funeral, and the burial. On the way from the gravesite to the car, my mother whispered to me that she had no interest in living without my father. She died 350 days later. After 52 years of hearing my father snore and growl and scream in his sleep, she said that the silence at night kept her awake. Her grief was palpable, powerful, and all-consuming. It is one of the truths of human life that grief is a powerful force, and Jessie Ann Foley has written a beautiful novel to demonstrate that force. There was a moment as I read when Luke confesses to James in the alley behind their house that I found myself thinking of that walk across the too green grass of the cemetery, my octogenarian mother gripping my arm, remembering the sound of grief that haunted her whisper, and tears came to my eyes. Such is the power of Foley's prose to capture life in all of its ugly joy and beautiful misery. This is Foley's third novel, and her most relatable to date. The Flanagans are sloppy and petty and mean and perfectly drawn to make you wish to share a bowl of Bolognese with them on any given Sunday.At times funny, at times tragic, but always, always, always written with a voice that knows these characters, knows Flanland, and knows the truth. I can't recommend this novel highly enough.
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  • Kris
    January 1, 1970
    I’m a huge Jessie Ann Foley fan. A new book from her is always a gift. I loved her Neighborhood Girls and The Carnival At Bray. Sorry For You Loss is a story that is just as wonderful. Pup is the youngest of eight children in an Irish Catholic family in Chicago, He lost his brother, Patrick a few years ago. His family is still reeling from that loss in different ways that are not always obvious to each other. Pup’s brother Luke has a drinking problem and Pup feels he constantly needs to cover fo I’m a huge Jessie Ann Foley fan. A new book from her is always a gift. I loved her Neighborhood Girls and The Carnival At Bray. Sorry For You Loss is a story that is just as wonderful. Pup is the youngest of eight children in an Irish Catholic family in Chicago, He lost his brother, Patrick a few years ago. His family is still reeling from that loss in different ways that are not always obvious to each other. Pup’s brother Luke has a drinking problem and Pup feels he constantly needs to cover for him. Pup is part of a grief support group at his school. That is where he meet Izzy, the object of his unrequited crush. Pup is also struggling in his art class and his photography project is the only thing between him and failure, This is the story of Pup dealing with the painful impact of losing his brother, his feelings about girls and discovering a new talent he didn’t know existed. Jessie Ann Foley is a master at creating a cast of characters I root for and I enjoy following their journeys. After I read the moment with Pup and Patrick’s baseball hat, I had to put the book down and cry. This is a great book for both teenage boys and girls. It has appeal factors for both. Adults will love it too. This is a summer book you won’t want to miss.
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    To say I wasn’t expecting this would be to pretend like I had any expectations to begin with; it was just another book picked up off my pile. And yet I stayed up until 2 a.m. reading it, so deeply engrossed in Pup Flanagan’s story that there was no way I wasn’t going to finish it in one sitting. This book had me putting it down and sighing. I said, “Oh that was lovely,” aloud more than once. I shook my head and said damn damn DAMN a few times. And at the end, I cried like a baby. Books like this To say I wasn’t expecting this would be to pretend like I had any expectations to begin with; it was just another book picked up off my pile. And yet I stayed up until 2 a.m. reading it, so deeply engrossed in Pup Flanagan’s story that there was no way I wasn’t going to finish it in one sitting. This book had me putting it down and sighing. I said, “Oh that was lovely,” aloud more than once. I shook my head and said damn damn DAMN a few times. And at the end, I cried like a baby. Books like this are rare: small gems with characters who make you love them and ache for them and hope for them. YA publishers love to comp books to THE SERPENT KING, and I’ll be honest that it never clicks - until it does. Pup is just the most wonderfully average and yet extraordinary young character with the weight of the world on his skinny shoulders, and the way he’s written gave me so many Dill in THE SERPENT KING moments. The details of his family and his relationship with his two brothers - one dead, one trying to atone for something that isn’t his fault and nearly killing himself in the process - was just exceptional. And holy hell that ending. All the tears.
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  • Brittany
    January 1, 1970
    I've never felt comfortable saying "sorry for your loss" after someone has died. Loss implies there is someone/something to blame or that there is still potential to be found and I don't find that comforting. And this book needed nothing but a giant hug. Pup and his family are messy and complicated. As the youngest of eight kids, he's learned that listening and observing is his best mode of survival. He's also dealing with the death of one brother, the out-of-control spiraling of another, an unr I've never felt comfortable saying "sorry for your loss" after someone has died. Loss implies there is someone/something to blame or that there is still potential to be found and I don't find that comforting. And this book needed nothing but a giant hug. Pup and his family are messy and complicated. As the youngest of eight kids, he's learned that listening and observing is his best mode of survival. He's also dealing with the death of one brother, the out-of-control spiraling of another, an unrequited crush on a friend and a failing art grade. Somehow all these elements combine to help Pup find his voice and his place within his family. There is so much heartache wrapped up in this, but also a lot of love and a really good look at the effects of therapy. I loved this big, chaotic family and thought Pup had a heart of gold. There's some light romance and even though the main character is male, this still reminded me a lot of Sarah Dessen's newest book about to come out.
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  • Rebeka
    January 1, 1970
    This book was full of emotion, dreams, and pain hidden but coming to light anyway, and a youngest son's road to self-discovery in light of the death of his older brother, which is something no one in his family talks about. A large family, an underdog, and a message of being able to forgive yourself for what you could have done differently but didn't? I'm in.Pup Flanagan is someone that I'd want to have as a friend. He's the classic pretty-cool-but-just-doesn't-see-it type. I really loved how op This book was full of emotion, dreams, and pain hidden but coming to light anyway, and a youngest son's road to self-discovery in light of the death of his older brother, which is something no one in his family talks about. A large family, an underdog, and a message of being able to forgive yourself for what you could have done differently but didn't? I'm in.Pup Flanagan is someone that I'd want to have as a friend. He's the classic pretty-cool-but-just-doesn't-see-it type. I really loved how open he was to learning more about Abrihet and her culture- and that it was included in a sort of complementary, yet vibrant, way to Pup's. I stayed up until well past midnight just to finish this book, that's how amazing it was. :)
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  • Bridget Quinlan
    January 1, 1970
    Beautifully written, I loved this book and inhaled it in one sitting!Pup's family is so relatable and the story is so real- heartbreaking, funny and hopeful.My heart ached for the Flan Clan and I cried like a baby, but I was also filled with so much gratitude for the power of love and family. Foley is a master at capturing real human emotion and has an amazing way of immersing you in her stories; making you feel like you are experiencing everything right along side her characters.
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely loved this book! It’s truly insightful as we follow the main character, a high school student named Pup, struggle with the pressures of being a teenager *and* with the recent loss of his older brother. Foley is able to articulate the inner thoughts and emotions of a boy who is unable to easily express those ideas himself, reminding me that the inner lives of teens are so much more complex than they ever let on. I highly recommend this book to both adults and teens!
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  • Danielle
    January 1, 1970
    This is a young adult novel centered around a teenager named Pup who is barely squeaking by in his life and is just trying to hide from everyone after the death of his popular older brother. In order to not fail is photography class he is forced to work with someone who helps him see his world in a whole new way. There is a lot of really good stuff about grief, loss, and family in this book with some teenage romance as well.
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  • Courtney
    January 1, 1970
    This packed a punch! This was such an amazing portrayal of the many different ways people deal with loss and grief...or how they don’t deal with it. It was a heartbreaking story with so many beautifully developed characters for such a short read. I went through so many emotions reading this and by the end just wanted to hug the entire Flanagan family. Especially Pup and Luke...oh poor Luke! His self destruction was so raw and so true and so real. His confession at the end to Pup broke me.
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  • Caitlin R.
    January 1, 1970
    Pup, the youngest in an eight-sibling family always felt forgotten in his family. Except when it came to his older brother Patrick; that is, until Patrick died unexpectedly. Through his bereavement group, old friends, new friends, and a newfound talent, Pup explores the healing process of himself and his family members. Jessie Ann Foley beautifully delivers a family-centered drama focusing on the loss of a family member; the ups and the downs, denial, the hidden grief. And she somehow makes it e Pup, the youngest in an eight-sibling family always felt forgotten in his family. Except when it came to his older brother Patrick; that is, until Patrick died unexpectedly. Through his bereavement group, old friends, new friends, and a newfound talent, Pup explores the healing process of himself and his family members. Jessie Ann Foley beautifully delivers a family-centered drama focusing on the loss of a family member; the ups and the downs, denial, the hidden grief. And she somehow makes it easily consumable to a YA-audience (although, I thoroughly enjoyed it myself too). I thought there were so many good parts in this one; I even have *gasp* SIX DOGEARED PAGES because I want to return to them sometime down the line. As someone who has been through a huge family loss right around the same age as Pup (14, my dad), so many of the passages about death spoke to me. [I will post one of these at the bottom, you can ignore if you want to read this book]I think this is a read that could potentially help a young person going through a similar situation, because it really spoke to my teen-angst-cynicism when every keeps saying "sorry for your loss" (seriously, that part actually made me laugh out loud). This one will be on sale June 4th! Thank you so much to Harper Collins Canada/HCC Frenzy for an advance copy of this book for an honest review!"What he wanted to say was that he wished everyone would stop calling it "loss". When you lose something, there's a chance you might find it again. Keys, a missing homework assignment, a few extra pounds. But Pup would never find Patrick. He couldn't feel him anywhere. There was no rainbow, no old familiar song, no ghostly scent floating in the air. Pup had never even seen his brother in a dream. He finished his peanut butter sandwich in silence, knowing it would hurt everyone's feelings if he just told them the truth: that Patrick wasn't lost. He was just dead."
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  • Nora
    January 1, 1970
    I absolutely loved this story of Pup, the youngest kid in a large Chicago family. Jessie Foley does such a great job of making every character three dimensional, and she captures the functional dysfunction in Pup’s family with such authenticity. She paints a vivid picture of the shattering effects a loss can have on a family, but she also captures the amazing capacity people have to heal. I want to read more about Pup and Flanland.
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  • Jennifer Wrage
    January 1, 1970
    FYI: I won this book on goodreads.com.This wasn't at all what I expected. It drew me in right from the start. It is a masterful mix of personal struggle, family drama, and working through loss. I was left feeling better than when I began. Easy, quick read!
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  • Bella
    January 1, 1970
    So much love for Pup and this story of big families, brotherhood, and the power of art. What a delightful read to follow HOW TO BE LUMINOUS, which focuses on art and sisters (!).Lingering questions about a few minor storylines and choices, but still highly recommend.
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  • Cristina
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, intense. Like, stay-up-until-2AM-reading-while-ugly-crying intense. It is also so. very. good.
  • Tegan
    January 1, 1970
    4.5
  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    A powerful and ultimately uplifting exploration of family and grief and love and forgiveness. Pup— er, James— and the rest of the Flanagans are going to stay with me for a long time.
  • Ariel
    January 1, 1970
    Hilarious, brilliant. YA at its best.
  • Haley
    January 1, 1970
    I cried a LOT.
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