On one terrible night, 17-year-old Harley Langston’s life changes forever. At a party she discovers her boyfriend, Mike, hooking up with her younger sister, Audrey. Furious, she abandons them both. 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 now ex-boyfriend 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 her sister slowly recovers, Harley begins to see a path forward with Raf’s help that she never would have believed possible—one guided by honesty, forgiveness, and redemption.
The Art of LosingFeatured
An honest look at teen alocholism/addiction
Seventeen-year-old Harley has been dating Mike for a couple of years, and being his girlfriend gives her a status and comfort level that she's afraid to be without--even though there's a lot about Mike that she doesn't like. His drinking is the biggest issue in their relationship, and when Mike and Harley's younger sister, Audrey, get drunk and hook up at a party, there are life-changing consequences.
Because Harley storms out of the party, Mike is left to drive Audrey home from it, and he's responsible for the accident that lands Audrey in a coma and him physically okay, but in rehab for the addiction that even his often clueless mother can't ignore anymore. Harley struggles with the entanglement of love, anger, and guilt, and she tries to reconcile all of those emotions as she and her parents wait and wonder if Audrey will ever wake up.
THE ART OF LOSING is a book about addiction that looks at the impact drug and alcohol dependence has on friendships, family relationships, and dating. The characters in THE ART OF LOSING have depth and warmth, and the stories of each of their challenges are spot-on. Lizzy Mason has written a book that takes a deep dive into the difference between typical teenage hijinks and alcoholism/drug addiction, and there are resources at the end of the book for any readers who may need them. In fact, most people who pick up this book will find someone in its pages with whom they can relate. The material in THE ART OF LOSING can be pretty heavy, but Harley is a young woman with a sense of humor, and there are plenty of smiles to balance the heartache.
This is the first novel by Mason, and it's a deeply personal one. She's managed to offer many views of addiction with honesty and clarity, and THE ART OF LOSING may serve as a gateway to understanding and recovery as a result.
My thanks to YA Books Central and the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
Characters with depth and warmth