The Art of Feeling

 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
729 0
The Art of Feeling
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
13+
Release Date
August 15, 2017
ISBN
9780062317353
Buy This Book
      
Perfect for fans of Jennifer Niven’s New York Times bestseller All the Bright Places, this contemporary YA novel explores the friendship between a girl in constant pain and a boy who feels nothing at all.

Since the car accident, Samantha Herring has been in pain, not only from her leg injury, but also from her mother’s death, which has devastated her family. After pushing away her friends, Sam has receded into a fog of depression.

But then Sam meets Eliot, a reckless loner with an attitude and an amazing secret—he can’t feel any pain. At first, Sam is jealous. But then she learns more about his medical condition…and his self-destructive tendencies. In fact, Eliot doesn’t seem to care about anything at all—except maybe Sam. As they grow closer, they begin to confront Sam’s painful memories of the accident—memories that may hold a startling truth about what really happened that day.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

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 Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Secondhand Dogs
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A heartwarming—and heart-tugging—middle grade novel about love, loyalty, and what...
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series: The Road Trip
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Join everyone's favorite Wildcats from the Disney+ smash hit original...
I'll Meet You in Your Dreams
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A heartwarming text honoring the ever-evolving relationship of a parent...
Colors of Habitats
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The brand-new sequel to a well-reviewed bestseller that has been...
Noble Thief (Fantasy and Fairytales Book 6)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A prince of two kingdoms. A woman fighting against the...
10 Truths and a Dare
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
It's Senior Party Week, that magical in-between time after classes...
All These Bodies
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen bloodless bodies. Two teenagers. One impossible explanation. ...
The Beautiful Ones
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
They are the Beautiful Ones, Loisail’s most notable socialites, and...
I Am the Shark
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
What makes the great white shark (one of) the greatest...
Made in Korea
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Frankly in Love meets Shark Tank in this feel-good romantic...
Take Me Home Tonight
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off meets Nick and Nora’s Infinite...
The People We Choose
 
3.3
 
5.0 (1)
When 17-year-old Calliope meets her new neighbor Max, their...

Latest Member Reviews

Photos Framed: A Fresh Look at the World's Most Memorable Photographs
 
5.0
"******PLEASE READ***** URGENT EFFECTIVE LOVE SPELL TO GET YOUR EX BACK FAST AND TO SAVE YOUR..."
Book Nerd
 
N/A
"******PLEASE READ***** URGENT EFFECTIVE LOVE SPELL TO GET YOUR EX BACK FAST AND TO SAVE YOUR..."
Book Nerd
 
4.5
"BOOK NERD is a delightful gift book for book lovers everywhere. The book is filled with colorful artwork and fun..."
 
5.0
"If you've already read Wind's great novel, Queer as a Five Dollar Bill (2019), you know that there is solid..."
Singled Out: The True Story of Glenn Burke
 
4.5
"Maraniss, whose Strong Inside covered Black basketball player Perry Wallace, turns his incredible research skills the the story of Glenn..."
The Train Your Brain Mind Exercise: 156 Puzzles for a Superior Mind
 
3.0
"The book sets expectations a bit high by touting the claim of unique puzzles for all skill levels, with a..."
Goodbye: A Story of Suicide
 
3.0
"A (quasi-creative?) non-fiction graphic novel, aimed at a Middle Grade or lower YA audience. It addresses the topic of bullying..."
1789: Twelve Authors Explore a Year of Rebellion, Revolution, & Change
 
4.0
"What worked: Fascination collection of essays that show the impact of the year 1789 in the world.In this anthology, twelve..."
Strong Voices: Fifteen American Speeches Worth Knowing
 
4.0
"A compilation of excerpts from fifteen noteworthy speeches, selected from across American history. The chosen pieces represent great variety,..."
Wild Girl: How to Have Incredible Outdoor Adventures
 
4.5
"WILD GIRL: HOW TO HAVE INCREDIBLE OUTDOOR ADVENTURES is written by Helen Skelton, a veteran wild girl herself. In this..."
Sabina: In the Eye of the Storm
 
5.0
"'Sabina: In the Eye of the Storm' by Bella Kuligowska Zucker is an incredibly moving tale of the author's search..."
Beauty Mark: A Verse Novel of Marilyn Monroe
 
5.0
"What worked: Haunting, tragic tale of the life of Marilyn Monroe, told in verse which gives a powerful punch to..."
Hope in the Mail: Reflections on Writing and Life
 
5.0
"HOPE IN THE MAIL is an autobiographical account of the author’s life as it relates to her writing. Wendelin Van..."
Super Sons: The PolarShield Project
 
3.0
"An alternate reality take on the Super Sons series, featuring the middle-school aged offspring of Batman and Superman. When "climate..."
You Too?: 25 Voices Share Their #MeToo Stories
 
4.0
"What worked: Great compilation of personal essays inspired by the #YouToo movement. Each of the authors included in this anthology..."
This Is 18
 
5.0
"This is a fascinating view into what it's like to be a 18 year old girl throughout the world shown..."
They Called Us Enemy
 
4.0
"This graphic novel is an early life personal account of a major historical event (the internment of Japanese Americans durring..."
Poems to Live Your Life By
 
4.0
"POEMS TO LIVE YOUR LIFE BY is a collection in which each poem has been hand-picked by Chris Riddell, for..."
Breaking Through: How Female Athletes Shattered Stereotypes in the Roaring Twenties
 
5.0
"One hundred years ago. When I was growing up, this seemed like an impossibly long time in the past. The..."
No Map, Great Trip: A Young Writer's Road to Page One
 
4.0
"'No Map, Great Trip: A Young Writer's Road to Page One' by Paul Fleischman tells the story of the author..."