Losing It (Losing It #1) Featured
Bliss Edwards is about to graduate from college and still has hers. Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, she decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible-- a one-night stand. But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half-a-brain would ever believe. And as if that weren’t embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theatre professor. She’d left him naked in her bed about 8 hours earlier.
A New Adult Novel That Actually Deals with Real College Issues
What I Loved:
Of all of the New Adult-labeled books I've read, Losing It is the one that comes closest to being what I ideally want. Though the focus remains on romance, Losing It does actually deal with normal, everyday college stresses. Bliss goes to class and thinks about her future. She has fights with friends and doesn't go through anything incredibly melodramatic. Only the relationship with her professor isn't something an average college student might experience, but even that does happen. Losing It is humorous, romantic, and largely realistic.
At the beginning of Losing It, Bliss has decided she's sick of feeling a freak for being a virgin and that she just wants to get rid of her virginity. This impulse is one that I completely understand. Sometimes it feels like life would be much easier if you could just get that over with, like it's an ordeal to be got through, which really doesn't seem like the ideal motivation for having sex. Still, that's a realistic thought for Bliss to have.
When you're a virgin over twenty for reasons that don't involve waiting for marriage, people like to tell you that "it will happen for you when you meet the right guy." Find him and your brain will shut up, and you'll be motivated enough to work through your issues and eventually have sex. This is the basic premise that Losing It is working from. I do take some issue with the fact that she goes out to a bar once and immediately picks up a hot, British guy, because life is never that easy, at least mine isn't, in which case I would like to upgrade my life now please. However, this is fiction, and such conveniences are what move a plot forward, so I'll accept it.
What I'm so, so grateful for is that, even though Bliss has found the perfect guy who makes her brain shut off, that doesn't immediately make her ready. Garrick may be more than she ever dreamed of, and she feels more comfortable with him than with anyone who has come before, but she still freezes at the prospect of sex. Her issues don't just magically dissipate, like generally happens in fiction. Though she had every intention of having a one-night stand, her brain really isn't wired that way to let her do that, thus why she was still a virgin in the first place.
Of course, for drama's sake, Garrick turns out to be a temporary professor for one of her theater classes. This serves to raise the stakes and create many awkward moments. For a teacher/student relationship, Carmack's done a good job, and I was still able to root for them, since they established a relationship of sorts before he started teaching, but I still would have preferred they wait to really get together until after the semester was over. Teacher/student romances are not my favorite, because the teacher has power over the student and favoritism comes into question. Carmack avoids the grading favoritism question, but Garrick does seem to be largely fair in his treatment of her as a teacher.
I liked, too, the short-lived love triangle that emerges when Bliss realizes that one of her best friends has a crush on her. I've been in this situation before too (well, the friend with a crush, not the sexy British part that makes the triangle), and it is seriously awkward. There are so many feelings in the way that it can be hard to tell precisely how you feel about you're friend. You love them already, but is it the right sort of love? And they're so wonderful that you feel bad turning them down. Plus, what will happen to your friendship if you do or don't? Bliss handles this about as well as can be expected, which is to say that it's messy and uncomfortable.
Garrick and Bliss do seem to fall for one another a bit too quickly, but that's college as well. Every emotion seems heightened, because you have so much free time to spend with people. Friendships and relationships come on quickly in those circumstances. The novel takes place over the course of a semester, so their relationship does take months to grow, even if it feels shorter because of the novel's brief duration.
What Left Me Wanting More:
I do wish, however, that Carmack has skipped the epilogue. Though I was willing to accept the speed and seriousness of their relationship, I feel like the events in the epilogue were over the top. Plus, I'm really unsure as to why it had to be from Garrick's POV. That felt really out of place, and didn't really add anything to the scene.
The Final Verdict:
I have to reward Losing It high points for covering subject matter I've rarely seen touched in fiction and for giving me many feels. Carmack's debut is funny, awkward, sexy, and romantic. If you've been disappointed in the New Adult offerings thus far for not having anything actually to do with the experience of being in college, then you really might want to try Losing It.
Entertaining and Heartwarming Debut
"Sometimes it's the scary things in life that are the most worthwhile."
Kissing, laughter, drama, and heart racing romantic tension, Losing It has it all! I was so excited to have a chance to read this and enjoyed so much about this story, especially main character, Bliss Edwards. She's spent most of her life "in control" but when she meets Garrick, almost all of her resolve flies out the window. (I can't say I really blame her.) Their first encounter starts out well with witty banter and kisses hot enough to make you forget your name but quickly spirals into awkward leaving them both wondering, "What just happened?" Things go from bad to KILL.ME.NOW when Bliss discovers Garrick is her new teacher. (OhEmGee) If the thought of seeing him every day doesn't do her in, the shame of their secret just might.
When her life begins to imitate the art she loves so much, Bliss will have to decide what's worth holding onto and what she needs to let go of. She learns some tough lessons about love, forgiveness, and friendship while discovering that following your dreams is never easy but the things we want most in life are always worth the risk. Always.
Carmack tells the story of one young woman's struggle to live life the best she can with equal parts humor, heartache and romance. Even if you don't agree with everything these characters are doing, you can't help but admire their genuineness. Bliss is funny, beautiful and sweetly awkward making her completely relateable. Kelsey and Cade (I *hearts* him, btw) are the kind of BFF's who occasionally push the limits but who are always there when you need them. Garrick, with his good looks, brains and talent, is the total package. *swoons*
This story addresses the topics of virginity, sexuality and love and I think Carmack handles these with both sensitivity and maturity. *high fives her* In a day and age where one-night stands, random hook-ups and "friends with benefits" have become socially acceptable, it's refreshing to read a story where the characters don't take virginity lightly and often go to hilarious lengths to avoid discussing it. (Humane Society anyone?) Sex should be a physical expression of love between two people, and as Bliss learns, it's kinda hard to love someone you just met. (Love, the real, long lasting kind, takes time.)
Sweet and funny contemporary romance
Bliss Edwards is a control freak. And that's the reason why she is is a couple of months from graduation and a virgin. As every self-respecting control freak would do she decides that enough is enough and she's gonna 'lose it' before the college is over.
When Bliss confesses the horrible v-truth to her best friend Kelsey, she's got the solution for the problem: slutty outfit, popular bar and a lot of tequila. Kelsey is determined that Bliss is going to have a one-night stand and solve 'the problem' tonight.
But in the bar Bliss still does not feel a spark of attraction for anyone until:
"That was when I noticed him. Well, technically, I noticed the book first."
And that's when Bliss, although she has the lamest name ever, won me over completely. Because I knew that I could spot a book in a crowded bar also. :D
As usual, there are a lot of cliches here but somehow Cora Carmack made them work for me. The blushing, the clumsiness... Even the love triangle can be a good thing if you do it right. I could understand why Bliss was stretched between two guys and had trouble choosing. And who-should-I-pick didn't go on and on eternally for the sake of the tension and making the plot more intense. No, Bliss, quickly decides who is the guy she wants.
I also enjoyed humor and awkward situations that Bliss kept falling into. Reminded me of Kristan Higgins or Aisling Grey from You Slay Me. I'm gonna give you a glimpse of what to expect:
"It wasn't until I'd walked halfway across the parking lot that I realized:
1. I wasn't wearing shoes.
A. Or a shirt.
2. I didn't bring my keys.
A. Or anything really.
3. I'd just left a complete stranger in my apartment.
Whoever said one-night stands were supposed to be simple with no strings attached had clearly never met the disaster that was me."
There are a lot of new adult contemporary romance novels flooding the market right now, but Losing It won a place in my heart with a cute love story with a slow build-up, array of quirky side characters and a lot of funny situations that made me chuckle. It's a perfect read for romance fans when they want to kick-back they heals and relax.
I recommend this book to fans of: new adult contemporary romance novels set in college; heroes with a British accent; awkward heroines that keep falling into funny situations; if you ever had fantasies about some sexy professor; if you liked Easy by Tammara Webber; ...
Disclaimer: I was given a free eBook by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for a honest review.