The Art of Losing

Lizzy Mason. Soho Teen, $18.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-61695-987-6
Harley’s younger sister, Audrey, is in a coma. After 17-year-old Harley walks in on Audrey kissing Harley’s drunk boyfriend, she storms out of the party; when he drives Audrey home later, they get into a car accident. It sounds a bit like a soap opera, but debut author Mason deftly moves between past and present to realistically portray Harley’s anger, guilt, and shame, and her complicated feelings about her younger sister, whom she sees as prettier and kinder than her, but also not as smart. Harley’s neighbor and childhood best friend, Raf, is in AA, and though she’s conflicted about having another addict in her life, Raf is different from her ex: he is facing his problems, and he remembers Harley back when she was feisty and confident. As Audrey regains the ability to speak and walk, Harley moves forward as well, learning to trust herself and her feelings and to speak up when she needs to. The interwoven stories of many kinds of love—between friends, sisters, and possible romantic partners—give this well-paced book a depth that makes it more than just another recovery tale. Ages 14–up. Agent: Stephen Barbara, InkWell Management. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/19/2018
Release date: 02/19/2019
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