Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 555
Covers a great deal in its 336 pages and does it well
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
WHAT I LOVED:
Our narrator Sam is in a pretty terrible place. Her brother is addicted to her pain pills, her sister is persona non grata except for therapy sessions for a while, her dad is a bit checked out, and her mom is... Well, she's dead from the same car accident that badly broke Sam's leg and caused Sam to fall in a months-long pit of depression. Heck, it's still ongoing, causing her to use crutches most of the time, and she'd like to feel much less than she does. Then she meets Eliot, a guy who can't feel any pain whatsoever, when he's bothering Anthony, current posh drug dealer and former friend to Sam.

Oh, speaking of Anthony, I predict that if he were a real person, he'd grow up to kill someone. The red flags were all there and waving wildly in the wind.

As you'd expect, Sam indulges in some ableism when she admits to being jealous of Eliot's plight, but she realizes how wrong she was and gets better from it. The Art of Feeling isn't just about Sam getting better and making friend's with Eliot. It's just as much about her family, their attempts to fix what's broken between all of them, and the circumstances that led to the car crash. The prose is strong, the emotions among Sam's family are palpable, and it's all bound to bring tears to your eyes at some point.

You're also going to cry because the Herring family's precious dog Tito dies. You can fuss about spoilers all you want, but THIS IS SOMETHING PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW. Because no one warned me, it messed me up for the next day or two. I'm still really raw from the passing of my cat Kai in May 2017, so a surprise dead animal in fiction is not something I want to encounter.

WHAT LEFT ME WANTING:
Eliot is a more complicated character in a not-necessarily-good way. Initially, he's reminiscent of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. I happen to despise that show and all its characters. Naturally, I despised Eliot for it. His character improves as the novel goes on, but it was tough to keep reading for a while solely because of how irritating he was.

Also, I'm calling Eliot's character queerbaiting because stuff he says is almost word-for-word what ace people might say to come out to someone, especially if they're an alloromantic ace. But the word is never used and I don't like Word of God rep.

His quote, coming when Sam tries to kiss him toward the novel's end: "I don't... I'm not... I've never felt... like other guys do, Sam. I've never been... interested in the end result of kissing." (Unfortunately, I can't cite a page because this is coming from my eARC and my attempts to confirm it online have been fruitless.)

That's a really, *really* alloromantic asexual thing to say! It clearly expresses you like kissing and lovey stuff but not the physical stuff. Heck, I've said some of that almost word-for-word to explain that I'm aromantic asexual. Reading that with no confirmation of his identity felt like being teased when I'm still starving for representation.

I sent Tims a message asking if Eliot was ace, but I sent it March 9th and I'm writing this on March 24th. No response.

Then again, it might be a good thing he's not confirmed ace because then his character would be pretty problematic based on the characterization Eliot gets throughout the novel as socially clueless. Though I'd love to read a book about a disabled asexual person and their complex feelings about their identity, that would need to be an #ownvoices book.

FINAL VERDICT:
Though it may seem like I dislike The Art of Feeling, I absolutely did not. With only those few reservations, I loved this book and hope Tims continues writing so I can shove more of her words into my aching eyes. Coming out of depression and back into the lives of the friends and family you isolated yourself from, pulling your family back together after a parent dies, fighting ableism, and more--The Art of Feeling covers a great deal in its 336 pages and does it well. Worth reading as long as you're prepared for and warned about the dog dying.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Fowl Twins (The Fowl Twins, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
One week after their eleventh birthday, the Fowl twins--scientist Myles,...
Kai and the Monkey King (Brownstone's Mythical Collection, #3)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
When Kai grows tired of her bookish mum not being...
Astro Kittens: Cosmic Machines (Astro Kittens)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Greetings, my little Astro Kittens! Are you ready to take...
Astro Kittens: Into the Unknown (Astro Kittens)
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Greetings, my little Astro Kittens! Are you ready to take...
All the Things We Do in the Dark
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Sadie meets Girl in Pieces in this dark, emotional thriller...
The Rubicus Prophecy (The Witches of Orkney, #2)
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Abigail has just started her second year at the Tarkana...
Fancy Nancy: Camp Fancy
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Based on the Disney Junior TV show and inspired by...
Rules for Vanishing
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the faux-documentary style of The Blair Witch Project comes...
What Makes Us
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A viral video reveals a teen’s dark family history, leaving...
Harry Potter Origami
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ever wanted to fold your own Chocolate Frogs? Or play...
By Any Means Necessary
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Heart-wrenchingly honest, fans of Brandy Colbert and Nicola Yoon will...
Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution...
Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In 2001, audiences first met and fell in love with...
On the Come Up
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers...
Spin
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Paris Secord's (aka DJ ParSec) career--and life--has come to...
Leah on the Offbeat
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best...

Latest Member Reviews

Forgiven Are the Starry-Eyed
 
5.0
"The story: Sheltered high school junior Andrea Cavanaugh believes she hits the jackpot when Josh McMillan, a..."
All the Things We Do in the Dark
 
4.3
"ALL THE THINGS WE DO IN THE DARK is an intensely challenging and thought-provoking read with some magical realism elements...."
Rules for Vanishing
 
5.0
"RULES FOR VANISHING is a deliciously haunting YA horror perfect for Halloween. Told through collected documents, interviews, and texts, this..."
What Makes Us
 
5.0
"WHAT MAKES US is an intriguing story that follows a teenaged boy, his mother (in the past), and his friend..."
Serpent & Dove
 
5.0
"Lou is on the run from her family and she lives a thieving life with her friend Coco. Both of..."
By Any Means Necessary
 
3.7
"BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY is an engaging contemporary YA that presents some issues very well. The writing is in a..."
On the Come Up
 
5.0
"ON THE COME UP is a fantastic new YA contemporary that handles big issues like racism and sexism. The characters..."
Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
 
3.3
"FIREBORNE is a new YA fantasy that follows two teens, Lee and Anna (Antigone) in alternating points-of-view. Lee and Anna..."
Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel
 
4.0
"As Middle Grade graphic novel adaptations go, this urban fantasy is above par. The artwork has a bit..."
Into the Crooked Place (Into the Crooked Place, #1)
 
4.0
"INTO THE CROOKED PLACE is an engaging YA fantasy that follows five characters on a quest of aligned goals- even..."
To Kill a Kingdom
 
5.0
"TO KILL A KINGDOM is a wonderful YA fantasy about a siren and a pirate. Told in alternating points of..."
The Rift
 
3.3
"THE RIFT is a unique YA fantasy that takes place on Black Water Island, a place prized for the herd..."