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The Art of Losing

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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-b 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.


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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-b 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.

30 review for The Art of Losing

  1. 5 out of 5

    Warda

    Oh gosh, I loved this. I wasn’t expecting much going into this, which is the best thing I could’ve done, because the surprise of it all was wonderful to discover. This is quite a personal story to the author. She’s had a history with drugs and alcohol to help deal with her anxiety and depression. She’s had experience with going into rehab and finding a support system in that. We have a main character who adores her sister. She finds out her boyfriend cheats on her with her sister. Said boyfriend Oh gosh, I loved this. I wasn’t expecting much going into this, which is the best thing I could’ve done, because the surprise of it all was wonderful to discover. This is quite a personal story to the author. She’s had a history with drugs and alcohol to help deal with her anxiety and depression. She’s had experience with going into rehab and finding a support system in that. We have a main character who adores her sister. She finds out her boyfriend cheats on her with her sister. Said boyfriend of hers was also drunk driving that night. We have a childhood friend of hers, Raf, who has an alcohol addiction and is fighting his own inner demons. They begin to reconnect and fall into this journey of self-discovery and finding out what truly matters to them. I can in no way shape or form relate to the traumas our main characters have faced. But there is something about the storytelling in this book that is very honest and open. Harley has the habit of bottling up emotions which I could identify with. The little traumas in her life formed a wall within her. Her outlet was to reside within herself, books, to not take risks and live life the easy way, because investments meant pain. Raf experiences death and grief at a young age and alcohol and drug abuse became his outlet. This book spoke so beautifully about forgiveness and looking beyond the outer layer of people, the shell they present to the world. There’s a reason. There’s always a reason. Most people aren’t shitty because they want to be shitty. You dig down deep enough and you will find ingrained in them something they haven’t worked through and has now become a manifestation of that something that is eating away at them. But if you can’t recognise it because it has been years and is now, essentially, a part of you, or if you aren’t ready to confront the ugliness that you have to work through, what do you do? How do you deal with it? There’s always a reason. I loved this book for what it was. For presenting us to a group of characters that we’re deeply flawed, but were deserving of forgiveness and love and second and third chances. It really brought to the forefront the fragility of human nature. It’s pathetic how weak we are and how much our mistakes shackle us. But we’re also build with this extraordinary power of being able to heal ourselves and finding that strength within and more importantly, extending that to others. ————————————— Buddy-reading with this one who just decided we should read the book without even asking me! 😒 It’s been a long time coming anyway.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    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

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tucker

    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 drunke 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 seething Now 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 SoHo Teen for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review Bottom Line: 4 Stars: A heartbreaking story of love, strength, forgiveness and redemption. Age Recommended: 14+ Trigger Warning: Injuries, Substance Abuse | Reddit

  4. 5 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    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 drinking 2) the potential risks of any substance abuse 3) the ability for teens and young adults to become addicts

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nadhira Satria

    This book broke my heart. Addiction is something that is very close to my heart. As someone who was in rehab for alcohol and drugs only last year, I know the pain and the heartache it comes with struggling with addiction. Not just the pain I feel but the pain I put on those who are close to me. I remember hating myself for putting my loved ones in such a difficult place. I remember getting so drunk and high on cocaine that I passed out on the floor covered in my own vomit. This book is not prett This book broke my heart. Addiction is something that is very close to my heart. As someone who was in rehab for alcohol and drugs only last year, I know the pain and the heartache it comes with struggling with addiction. Not just the pain I feel but the pain I put on those who are close to me. I remember hating myself for putting my loved ones in such a difficult place. I remember getting so drunk and high on cocaine that I passed out on the floor covered in my own vomit. This book is not pretty, it’s devastating. Just like addictions are. “I have such mixed feelings about rehab,” he said. “I recognized that it helped me, but I resent that I needed it” Raf’s experience with drugs and alcohol is so damn similar to mine. We’ve both relapsed, we both hated ourself, we both struggled with being sober. I understand his emotions and feelings. ”I just don’t want to stay in bed all day thinking about when I can get high and oblivious again. To avoid my parents and the emptiness of the house. Of my life.” This book is about Harley whose sister is involved in a drunk driving accident and it hits home to me. I used to drive when I was under the influence and no I’m not proud of it but I have to admit that I did. And the fact that it could’ve been me that have injured or possibly kill someone really strike a blow to my chest. “But I also crave that escape. That numbness. I just want to get to a point where I feel better, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon. And being numb in the meantime just seems like it’d be so much easier than being patient” “But worse than the hangover was the feeling of knowing that I had betrayed the trust of someone who had no obligation to, but seems to like me anyway” There are so many misconceptions about addicts. Media can paint us in a bad way and I know a lot of people who turned up their noses when they see one. I’ve lost friends because I was too busy snorting cocaine all the time to get away from life. Raf’s experience with losing friends, how he handles life after rehab is something that is so close to my heart. I feel his pain, his misery, and I even understand why he relapsed. I too, have relapsed after getting out of rehab and I understand Raf’s guilt of relapsing. “I’m the one screwing up my life. I am the only one. No one is making me drink. It’s no one else’s fault that I want oblivion so much that I sometimes just want to drink until I can’t function, because it’s easier than being sober. And no one is going to make it better for me” Thank you to the author from the bottom of my heart for writing something so close to my heart. My heart is heavy and full and my tears aren’t dry. And for you who are reading this, thank you for reading a piece of my heart Buddy read with this cutie 💞

  6. 5 out of 5

    Karima chermiti

    Trigger warning : (view spoiler)[addiction, irresponsible drinking, substance abuse, cheating, a loved one being in a medical induced coma (hide spoiler)] The Art of Losing is about making mistakes, accepting things you can’t change, and figuring out when to forgive and when to walk away. But mostly, it’s about loss, especially the loss of the life you expected to have and the terror of realizing you have to reimagine your future. The intentions behind the book a/> Trigger warning : (view spoiler)[addiction, irresponsible drinking, substance abuse, cheating, a loved one being in a medical induced coma (hide spoiler)] The Art of Losing is about making mistakes, accepting things you can’t change, and figuring out when to forgive and when to walk away. But mostly, it’s about loss, especially the loss of the life you expected to have and the terror of realizing you have to reimagine your future. The intentions behind the book are admirable and I honestly feel like shit for not liking it but I just couldn’t get into the story and feel it no matter how much I tried due to many reasons which I’ll be explaining in more details but for now let’s see what the book is about : The book follows Harley Langston as her life takes a turn to the worst when she discovers her boyfriend, Mike and her sister, Audrey hooking up and to make thinks even more painful to her, the two people who betrayed her gets into an accident which puts her sister in a coma. While struggling with her feelings of betrayal and guilt, she reconnects with an old friend, Raf who’s recently gotten out of rehab and still dealing with his struggles. And from there, the book takes us on a journey of loss, love, grief and forgiving while focusing on themes like sisterhood, letting go of the hurt and also Addiction and what it does to the person itself but also to those around that person. You know, from an objective point of view, I think the art of losing is a successful debut novel that deals with a lot of heavy topics in a resonating way. Also it’s a very important book written by someone who knows what she’s talking about. Reading that letter that she included at the start of this book made me appreciate the story and the message behind it, even though I felt distanced from it. It is still an important story to tell and if it helps in any shape or form those who think themselves alone then that’s the best thing ever. But as much as important and impactful the story is, I couldn’t feel when I read it. Every time I was reading a heavy or painful scenes, I was thinking to myself that I should be feeling something here and yet I didn’t and I know why, It’s because I couldn’t get into the writing style, it felt dry and clinical and it lacked emotions. Also, I think I would’ve felt the story more if it has been told from the point of view of Raf or Mike. I would’ve loved to follow Raf as she struggles with his demons after getting out of rehab and how hard it must be for him not to follow temptation and what makes him a strong character who understands what he’s been through and what he’s willing to do not to ruin his progress. I would’ve loved also to follow Mike as he struggles between admitting and denying that he has a very serious drinking problem and how that problem is ruining not only his life but the lives of those who love him while also wrestling with guilt of what he’s done to the sisters. I also think it’s better to have loved and lost, you know? I just think everyone should get to experience that happiness, even if there’s a chance it might lead to heartbreak Don’t get me wrong, we get a lot of discussions about that all but it was not as impactful as it was because the whole story was told from the POV of Harley and I think it diminished the weight of their journeys. Also the fact that it all goes back to the romantic relationship she has with both of them color a lot of her understanding of Mike and Raf struggles. I understand that Harley storyline is so important too but I also wanted to get in the minds of the other characters without any barriers and that unfortunately didn’t happen for me. But speaking of Harley, I appreciated how the author took the time to build her relationship not only with her sister but also with Mike through those flashbacks. We get to witness how deep and precious her bond with her sister is which make their present situation the more heartbreaking. We also get to witness the cracks in her bond with Mike and how it gets worse with time leading to that tragic night that changed everything for them all. I also admired how the author built the relationship with her and Raf slowly and how they become huge parts of each other lives. Although I don’t buy the romance that much, Just thinking about the circumstances of it, him still struggling with what he’s been through as she is struggling with her guilt as well as her feeling of being betrayed makes me feel they just latched on each other so they can feel better. There is nothing wrong with that, I just couldn’t get behind the love story and in any way, they were great as friends and we certainly don’t a love story in a every single book. So, The book is telling an important story, it just the way it tells isn’t that great. But take my words with a grain of salt, cause as someone who didn’t go through anything these characters went through, I couldn’t possible relate to them at all. but I’ve seen of a lot of great reviews out there so maybe I’m missing something here or maybe not connecting to them colored my experience a little bit. Bottom line is give it a try.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nina

    *Book #2 for Summerathon: Read a book with sunrise colours on the cover.* The Art of Losing was a very enjoyable and quick read that showed the possible consequences of alcoholism and addiction. It definitely makes you question whether you understand how dangerous of a drug alcohol can be. And that is great because I feel like most teenagers these days think it's just "cool" to be drunk every weekend and act like it's not a big deal and can't have any proper consequences beside the hangover the next morni/>The *Book #2 for Summerathon: Read a book with sunrise colours on the cover.* The Art of Losing was a very enjoyable and quick read that showed the possible consequences of alcoholism and addiction. It definitely makes you question whether you understand how dangerous of a drug alcohol can be. And that is great because I feel like most teenagers these days think it's just "cool" to be drunk every weekend and act like it's not a big deal and can't have any proper consequences beside the hangover the next morning. This was definitely a great debut and I can't wait to read Lizzy Mason's future novels. instagram || my blog || twitter

  8. 4 out of 5

    Liza Wiemer

    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."

  9. 4 out of 5

    Andi (Andi's ABCs)

    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.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Susan's Reviews

    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 fin 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.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)

    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 driv 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.

  12. 5 out of 5

    PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

    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 s 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.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Hazel (Stay Bookish)

    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.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ksenia

    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!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Madalyn (Novel Ink)

    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!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sofii♡ (A Book. A Thought.)

    Thank you SO much to Soho Teen and Edelweiss+ for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review I 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 that Thank you SO much to Soho Teen and Edelweiss+ for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review I 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 that 3.5/5 Stars You 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 situation The 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 it Then 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 me As 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!!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Triss

    I really liked this book. One of my favorite parts was that it didn't sugar coat relationships as much as many YA books do. This one was pretty real, even the reluctance to get in a relationship with the person you love in the first place because one of you could hurt. And I really loved the characters and how nonchalantly Harley's problems with body and self-image were thrown in. That's how so many people deal with how they look at their bodies, and it was nice to see a book that had self-hate I really liked this book. One of my favorite parts was that it didn't sugar coat relationships as much as many YA books do. This one was pretty real, even the reluctance to get in a relationship with the person you love in the first place because one of you could hurt. And I really loved the characters and how nonchalantly Harley's problems with body and self-image were thrown in. That's how so many people deal with how they look at their bodies, and it was nice to see a book that had self-hate in it, but it was not the focus of the book. Overall, I loved it and the story of troubles with addiction, love, family, friendships, and self-love.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    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 !!

  19. 4 out of 5

    ellie

    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.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    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 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

  21. 4 out of 5

    faith ✨

    So, this was a mess b l o g | s p o t i f y | o s u ! | d i s c o r d

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    As heartfelt as it is heartbreaking, this is a powerful story about mistakes, forgiveness, and the struggle to figure out who you are when you're alone vs. who you are with others. Lizzy has drawn on her own experience of getting clean as a teenager to paint a vivid picture of the ups and downs that happen not just to addicts, but to everyone around them. Harley, Audrey, and all the characters instantly became real, and therefore dear, to me, and I loved how the things they experienced, were nei As heartfelt as it is heartbreaking, this is a powerful story about mistakes, forgiveness, and the struggle to figure out who you are when you're alone vs. who you are with others. Lizzy has drawn on her own experience of getting clean as a teenager to paint a vivid picture of the ups and downs that happen not just to addicts, but to everyone around them. Harley, Audrey, and all the characters instantly became real, and therefore dear, to me, and I loved how the things they experienced, were neither sugarcoated, nor tragic for the sake of tragedy, but instead well-thought to and very authentic.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Erica

    I can't wait to read this book!!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    che

    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 truthf 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,

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nel

    It took me really long to finish this book. Also because I was busy, but also because the first half just didn't grip me enough to make me want to finish it asap. I did end up liking this book though, a lot. I just don't feel like I have too much to say about it? I mean; I laughed, I giggled, I cried, I felt for the characters, yes, but I can't really put all those feelings into words? It's a very heavy story that touches upon heavy subjects though, so don't just dive into this headfi It took me really long to finish this book. Also because I was busy, but also because the first half just didn't grip me enough to make me want to finish it asap. I did end up liking this book though, a lot. I just don't feel like I have too much to say about it? I mean; I laughed, I giggled, I cried, I felt for the characters, yes, but I can't really put all those feelings into words? It's a very heavy story that touches upon heavy subjects though, so don't just dive into this headfirst if you don't really know what to expect and want a light young adult read. This is not that kinda book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kendra

    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.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Gillian

    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 narr 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!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Hallie

    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 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.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kirstysbookishworld

    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 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.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mortisha Cassavetes

    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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