ARC Review: The Art of Losing by Lizzy Mason


Title: The Art of Losing
Author: Lizzy Mason
Publisher: Soho Teen
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Hardcover, 336 Pages
Publication Date: February 19th, 2019

Summary: When 17-year-old Harley’s boyfriend drives drunk, an accident leaves her sister Audrey with amnesia. Audrey has no memory of what she did with Harley’s boyfriend or of how they betrayed her. But Harley can’t forget it. While Harley tries to forgive her sister, she reconnects with Rafael, an old friend who’s fresh out of rehab and full of advice. With his help, Harley starts to understand addiction as she works through her feelings and tries to let go of what happened. But when Rafael disappoints her too, Harley learns when to accept the things she can’t change…and when to fight for what she wants.

I met Lizzy Mason and got a signed ARC of The Art of Losing during BookExpo this year, and I'm so glad that I did, because this book ended up being one of the best that I read this summer, and I've been recommending it to everyone I know!

As the summary explains, Harley's little sister, Audrey, ends up in a coma after getting in the car with a drunk driver and getting into an accident. The driver is Harley's (now) ex-boyfriend, Mike. Why were they driving together? Because Harley caught the two of them hooking up at a party. So Harley is already heartbroken after what happened between Mike and Audrey, but then she's struggling to handle her anger at her sister when she's laying in the hospital and fighting for her life. In addition to those struggles, Mike doesn't want to admit he's an alcoholic. Harley's neighbor, Raf, is almost in the same boat, having been sent to rehab for addiction. But although Raf and Mike have the same struggles at their roots, the way they choose to acknowledge and handle them is different in each boy, and Harley witnesses it all while also trying to help her younger sister fight for her life.

So, yeah. Definitely some heavy stuff.

What I loved most about this book was Harley's character and the way that she interacted with the people around her. Her strength is something that I admire and always strive to have, and seeing it in her character definitely inspired me to pursue it further. I really appreciated the way she didn't brush Mike's wrongdoings under the rug and just let it be after him getting out of the hospital. While she acknowledges the fact that she's grateful he's okay, she's still not giving him a pass for the terrible things he's done, which definitely would've frustrated me if I read that. So seeing her not do that had me cheering her on even harder. Especially through all of the shit Harley's been through, she manages to keep a level head and keep pushing forward.

Another character that I really enjoyed in this story was Raf. He was sweet and kind and artistic, and I really enjoyed his interactions with Harley. (Well, most of his interactions -- I'll leave you to figure that out when you pick up the book yourself!) The fact that he's also struggling but handling it in a totally different way than Mike does made me appreciate him even more. It definitely demonstrates the fact that there is no one type of addict, and even if they seem to be the "better" addict and making good changes, relapses are absolutely possible, and people are far from perfect. 

One of the most inspiring parts of this entire book was the opening author's note. In it, Lizzy Mason explains that she was an addict herself growing up, and then she had a lot of struggles that she needed to work through in order to get to the position that she's in today. This book isn't just an author trying to pretend what addiction or pain is like, writing from the outside. Lizzy makes it clear (in completely blunt words, which I appreciated) that she's lived it. She's experienced it. She knows what those types of struggles are. And as someone who has never been in that position, I really appreciated the insight and knowledge that I learned and was exposed to in this book.

Overall, I absolutely loved this book and I've already gone through on Goodreads and recommended it to everybody that I know in my contacts list. I gave it to my sister to read right after I did, and she stayed up all night to finish the entire book in one sitting. This book was absolutely one of my favorites this summer, and I wish I could read it all over again and experience it again for the first time. I don't come across a lot of books that touch me in this way, so it was such a refreshing and amazing feeling!

If this book isn't on your TBR yet, I can definitely confirm that you're missing out. I'm definitely excited to read more of Lizzy Mason's work in the future, because her writing in The Art of Losing definitely has me hooked!






2 comments

  1. Oh WOW I don't think I realized how much tough stuff this book dealt with! My goodness, talk about going through a bad time of things! And I love that the emotional struggle seems so complex- because can you even imagine it personally? I love books like that! And wow, the author's note sounds like VERY powerful stuff. And frankly, I don't think we see enough of that kind of story written by women, so that makes me want to read it even more. Definitely adding this one to my TBR, fabulous review!!

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  2. Great review! I was already going to add this book with that gorgeous cover and title and all and you further fuelled my interest <3

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