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The Art of Feeling

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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.

Samantha Herring has been in constant pain ever since the car accident that injured her leg and killed her mother. After pushing her friends away, Sam has receded into a fog of depression until she meets Eliot, a carefree, impulsive loner, who is unable to feel any pain at all.

At first, Sam is jealous. She would give anything to not feel the pain she’s felt for the past year. But the more she learns about Eliot’s medical condition, the more she notices his self-destructive tendencies.

In fact, Eliot doesn’t seem to care about anything—except Sam. And as they grow closer, they begin to confront Sam’s painful memories of the accident, memories that hold a startling truth about what really happened that day.

336 pages, Hardcover

First published August 15, 2017

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About the author

Laura Tims

2 books263 followers
Laura Tims is the author of PLEASE DON'T TELL (2016) and THE ART OF FEELING (8/25/2017), both from HarperCollins. She's a mental health advocate, an arts & crafter, and lives in San Diego with a bunny named Noodle. Find her on Twitter @laura_tims.

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5 stars
572 (39%)
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544 (37%)
3 stars
256 (17%)
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54 (3%)
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18 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 277 reviews
757 reviews2,349 followers
January 26, 2019

this is one of the best books i've read this year and i am so glad to be alive and existing in the same universe as this book. i can't believe NO ONE shoved this book in my face and told me to READ IT!!!!!

it has THE BEST mental and physical health rep i've read, while handling topics such as grief, death, bullying and drugs. not only that, but we're all blessed to have a precious idiot, Eliot, in our lives. i lived for his snarky, hilarious comments and his inability to do daily social interactions.


Samantha "Sam" Herring lost her mom and severely injured her leg in a car accident six months ago. ever since, she's been in constant pain because of her leg and the emotional pain from her moms death. her family is being torn apart and she's slowly losing herself. she witnesses the loner kid, Eliot, being beaten by one of her childhood friends and defends him. since then, they sort of hit it off, forming a bond and slowly resurface painful memories and discovering themselves, while dealing with their fucked up families.

1. this has such amazing depression and anxiety rep. it also has AMAZING disability rep. Sam has been on crutches since the accident and can't walk without them. there was this one scene where she told her brother Rex, that her disability isn't the only thing that defines her as a person, but shouldn't be ignored as well.

“I don't need you behaving like I'm some helpless infant."
"I told you not to treat her like she's disabled," says Rex, jumping in gleefully.
I whirl on him. "I am disabled."

she's doesn't want to be treated like she's helpless, but at the same time, don't ignore her disability altogether and pretend she's invincible and superhuman!!! i really related to Sam with my own experience on crutches (i had a fractured foot for a year, it sucked ass), but where my bone healed and i was able to walk again, Sam's disability is permanent.

2. LOVABLE CHARACTERS!!!! i am so fucking grateful for my precious lovable idiot, Eliot. i love this jerk so much, y'all what the fuck did we ever do to deserve this cinnamon roll.

Eliot has a rare case of Congenital Insensitivity to Pain with Anhidrosis. he can't feel ANY physical pain at all and because of his condition his brother has kind of locked him up and isolated him?? from the world. because of that, he literally does not know how to interact with humans and thinks and actually IS super smart, salty, smug, a jerk and ready to pull up the receipts to your bullshit. he knows he's right and will shove it into your face!!!! but don't let that make you think he's an asshole,,,, BECAUSE HE'S NOT. he's so misunderstood and tries to cover up rejection and anger with sarcasm and acting like a dick. my heart hurt for this kid and i love him SO MUCH.

he's been treated like absolute shit from people who were supposed to love him that he has his guard up so HIGH. he's bullied and it's so damn horrific even if he can't feel the pain from the punches and blows. and he's honest af and will say whatever's on his mind AND I FUCKING LOVE HIM??? THANK YOU.

also, he's so fucking funny??? this book is so funny and i genuinely found myself laughing throughout this book. during the intense scenes, Eliot would just sputter out some not so intense thing and it made me laugh so much!!!! also, he literally searches how to friendship on WikiHow

“Friends stick up for each other, at least according to wikiHow."

and he was so horrified that you have to be in relationships with people to get to know them better, which is a whole Mood itself. also, when he met Sams family for the first time, he literALLY SAID “I DON’t PLAN TO IMPREGNATE YOUR DAUGHTER.” his social interaction skills are non existent and i love him. (did i mention i love Eliot? because i love Eliot. a lot.)

THE ONLY REASON, i'm growing, big, soft, fluffy wings is to protect this precious idiot from all the bad things in the world!!!

“That is the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen,”says Eliot. “When did you take it out of the dryer?”
“It’s my dog,” I grumble.
“That’s a dog?” He recoils.


they have this beautiful slow as fuck burn romance. they develop SO BEAUTIFULLY and their relationship is literally one of the best ever. we have an adorable idiot boy who doesn't even know what friendship is and a girl who has to teach him about it and literally smacks her forehead at some of the ridiculous and egotistical things he says, but secretly loves it.

also, Eliot started panicking so much when Sam warned him he was going to cry. he literally DID NOT know how to deal with her crying and was non stop panicking that Sam couldn't even bring herself to cry anymore because he was so adorable like that!!


"I's called a shut-up kiss. It's supposed to be cute when a guy cuts off your nervous babbling."
"A shut-up kiss," he repeats scathingly. "We should experiment. I'll do it to you, and you can tell me if you think it's romantic or if it makes you want to punch me in the face."

in the distance, you can hear me FUCKING SCREAMING.

3. this book is literally so heart breaking and tugs at your emotions. there's so many violent, bullying (physical) scenes happening and how the world just stays silent while one person is being physically abused, in fear of becoming the victim alkdlfbdnls, my HEART. this book stomped all over my heart and hurt it in the best way possible, i lived for it.

4. it also shows how grief can tear a family apart. every since Sam's mom died, her family is in ruins. her father and Sam are depressed, Rex (the best brother ever) is getting high on pills and her sister is overly cheerful and pretending everything is okay while not knowing that some of her actions are really hurting her family.

5. there's also a whodunnit mystery. Sam can't remember what happened the day of the accident which means she has no idea as to who the driver or the car was. and BOY let me tell you when everything was revealed, I WAS SHOOK TO MY FUCKING CORE.

also, every single character in this book is so complex and well written, my mind is fucking blown away. there's so much depth to each character akddvbsvq, there's so much talent in this author!!


AKSHSKHFDI PLEASE WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO GET YALL TO READ IT???? name it, do you see how desperate i am to have you all read it, it's so fucking good and i guarantee you'll cry and love it, you can thank me later.

like, do you SEE the effort i put into this review??? i never even write reviews anymore, but i'm a desperate trash can for this book now and am willing to write a review for it which means YOU SHOUDL REALLY PLEASE READ IT.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.5k followers
September 7, 2018
the fact that this book isnt more popular is the single greatest tragedy of 2018.

this is everything that i love about YA contemporary. i love coming of age stories that deal with such heavy and real topics like grief and mental health. but i also love it when its done in an endearing way, mixed with first romances and strong friendships. throw in a broken, but coping, family life and i have everything my heart needs to feel whole again.

i am usually wary when it comes to picking up books that deal with mental health because, more often than not, they leave me feeling so mentally and emotionally drained. but this book felt very positive and optimistic. i thought it portrayed a lot things accurately and the whole concept of pain and how it relates to ones ability to empathise with others was so fascinating to me. this is definitely one of those books that has a wholesome message and really changes the way you view other people.

so i repeat, your 2018 GR reading challenge will not be complete until you read this book!

4.5 stars
Profile Image for L A i N E Y (will be back).
395 reviews693 followers
December 19, 2018
“My life is a health problem. My goal is to live efficiently. And that means cutting out stupidity like saying things I don’t believe to people I don’t respect, and—this conversation”

The message is solid here: chronic pain, the grief, PTSD and complication in relationships resulted from those issues.

Reading this dug up a whole lotsa mess inside me. It was not good, but it was also not bad either. Like Eliot said “It just is.”

I felt like the past decade of my life just flashed before my eyes. It was exhausting to continue reading but also exhilarating getting to know these characters. We connect in a way that hurts. And you know how I love this kind of books. Does that make me a book masochist? If it does then I guess I am one...

“I’m tired of things I love being gone forever. I didn’t think there was room in me for any more holes, but that’s all I am now, a collection of empty spaces where things were ripped away.”

You know that feeling when you think to yourself “I have found a friend”?, this book gave me that feeling. In this case I have found TWO friends and I want to hug them even without their permission because they so badly needed it.

“It’s just that you get sad when [thing] is good. Like “She’ll never see how pretty the sky looks today”, until everything nice makes you want to cry”

rating: ★★★½

Profile Image for ♛ may.
806 reviews3,832 followers
April 21, 2018

this may seem ridiculous, but i've been actually reading this book for over a month (i literally never prolong finishing books) just so i can speND MORE TIME WITH IT BECAUSE I CANT LET IT END OH MY GOD



Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,739 reviews1,307 followers
May 15, 2017
(I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“I do know one thing, and it’s that the blankness that I usually feel went away the second I got into his car and it hasn’t come back.”

This was a YA contemporary story about a girl who had injured her leg in the car accident that killed her mother.

Sam was likeable character and I felt really sorry for her losing her mother the way she had. I also felt sorry for her that her leg was so badly injured and she was in pain all the time.

The storyline in this was about Sam making friends with a boy called Eliot who had insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis. Sam found this a bit ironic considering that she was in pain all the time, and they slowly developed a friendship that seemed good for both of them. We also got a bit of mystery over who it was that caused the car accident which killed Sam’s mother, and a dog with epilepsy. We also got a little bit of romance right at the very end.

The ending to this was okay, and I was happy with how things turned out.

7 out of 10
Profile Image for Jasmine from How Useful It Is.
1,338 reviews354 followers
May 17, 2017
About: The Art of Feeling is a young adult fiction novel written by Laura Tims. It will be published on 8/15/2017 by Harper Teen, an imprint of Harper Collins, 336 pages. The genres are young adult, contemporary, and romance. This book is intended for readers ages 13 and up, grades 8 and up.

My Experience: I started reading The Art of Feeling on 5/15/17 and finished it on 5/16/17. I enjoyed reading this book a lot. I love the quirky humor. I love the main character and her family. I enjoy the friendship story. I like how intelligent Eliot is and his views on people. I like how pain and no pain is being dissected in this book. The plot is interesting and the characters are excellent! So many great advices in this book! “People waste their lives trying to find the right thing to say.” 12%, “The best way to move on is to move.” 53% and “Don’t hang your life on wishes that won’t come true.” 92% are my favorites. I find myself highlighting this ebook in so many places.

“There will always be a million things I don’t know about you. But I know the important stuff, namely that you’re the right kind of person for me, and slowly finding out more little things is the fun part, because I know it won’t change how I feel. Maybe I won’t be crazy about everything I find out, but the important stuff is worth that.” 64%

In this book, readers will follow the point of view of Samantha (Sam) Herring, a high school senior who is at the lowest points in her life where she survived an auto accident, pushed away all of her friends to deal with the loss of her mom in seclusion, and hobbled around in crutches filled with a lot of pain to her leg. Her family: Dad, brother Rex, sister Lena, and dog Tito all deals with loss in their own different ways. Their lives are surrounded by Before Mom Died (MBD) and Since Mom Died (SMD). On the other hand, Eliot Rowe, a fellow senior at the high school, who is born with a medical condition known as “congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis”, meaning he doesn’t feel pain. He moves school often and never had a friend. He’s a bully magnet because he bluntly says things that makes people mad. Since he doesn’t feel pain, he stands there and let people hit him. When people hit him and he doesn’t show a reaction to pain, people feel angry and hit him more. Sam happens to rescue him at one of his beatings and Eliot insulted her. They became friends, two broken souls, figuring out how to be normal human.

“If you refuse to give people the chance to be something different, you’re the one who stays stupid and shallow, stunted forever, unable to comprehend the depth of anyone else.” 81%

I lose sleep over this book because I couldn’t put it down. All of the characters in this book, including supporting characters, have flaws. I love that each character is well developed and how they overcome/recognize their flaws. I truly love the humor in this book. I love the concept of owning things secondhand. I love Rex’s over-protectiveness of Sam and her dating life. Eliot and his psychoanalyzing is fascinating to read. I love Lena’s positive future outlook. I love the ending and how everything comes together so perfectly. I highly recommend this book to everyone! It’s definitely a re-read for me!

Pro: family, friendship, quirky humor, real medical condition, page turner, fast paced, couldn’t put down

Con: None

I rate it 5 stars!

***Disclaimer: Many thanks to the author Laura Tims, publisher, HarperTeen, and Edelweiss for the opportunity to read and review. Please assure that my opinions are honest.

Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.wordpress.com
Profile Image for Yusra  ✨.
249 reviews512 followers
June 18, 2018
4.5 stars//i’m crying at how good this was. this was so, so, so, so, amazing. this is everything. please read it. it’s one of the best contempts i’ve ever read like it was funny, sad, relatable, I LOVED IT. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. WHY IS IT NOT MORE POPULAR
fhudfhdufhwf i loved sam, i loved eliot, i loved rex i loved tito!!!! review to come but if this isn’t enough incentive ADD IT TO YOUR TBR PLZ
Profile Image for Fuzaila.
251 reviews360 followers
March 31, 2018
I only realized now, how fully-functioning, normal family I have at my wake. And how completely functional organs and limbs I have attached to my body. Shamefully, it took me more than 300 books and 18 years of life to come to this realization. In my defense though, I wasn’t really actually aware of how things are different for some people, and how that difference is normal to them.

See, The Art of Feeling is a good book. It is about Samantha ‘Sam’, who is handicapped after an accident that killed her Mom, and Eliot, who has Congenital Insensitivity to Pain with Anhidrosis. Basically, Sam is in pain all the time, while Eliot can never feel pain at all. Being two outcasts in a school full of bullies, it is normal that they seek each other’s company. And be the constant recipient of bullying. Both of them have dysfunctional families, broken lives and heart that desire to live. Also feelings that isn’t mutual. Time and empathy are the only things that helps to heal, and Sam and Eliot realizes that by being there for each other.

So like really, its different. I haven't heard of other books that deals with these themes. Rare disease, bullying, drugs..

TRIGGER WARNING: Bullying, Drug dealing

MY THOUGHTS which I am not making up at all because I read this book decades ago
• Quirky yes, but insta-love? Turn off.
• Mentions Myer’s Briggs Personality Types and Art. You knocked me in.
• Sam isn’t that lovable.
• Infact, none of the characters are particularly likeable.
• Rex tho. Ie, Sam’s big brother.
• He’s high like, 79% of the time but he is determined to protect his sister like,

“Any guys bothering you?” He cracks his knuckles.
“I thought I was titless.”
“Some guys are into that.”

• Lol.
• And that hundred year old dog named Tito. (Idk what absurd planet that name came from, but its cute :)
• And omg this -

“That is the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen,”says Eliot. “When did you take it out of the dryer?”
“It’s my dog,” I grumble.
“That’s a dog?” He recoils.

• Eliot is cute and funny sometimes, without meaning to be.
• Idk, but his character is something like I’ve never read before. Not particularly sticking to your mind but not forgettable either. I still remember everything about him even if it’s been weeks since I read the book. See?

“. . . . but if I’m going to die for a cause, I’d like it to be furniture.”

• Sorry, but only those who read the book would get that quote ;)
• And the totally realistic way this book deals with accident. Is. Blowing.

“People who think flaxseed oil will make them immortal should be warned: it’s not worth it. Switch to junk food like my dad. Your Omega-3 intake doesn’t matter when a car hits you.”

“I’m used to that, the pause as the other person mentally scans their previous sentence for anything to do with crutches or car accidents.”

• So much about family and feelings. Arghhh.
• But the portrayal of friendship is not commendable. The way Sam treated her other friends and all.
• Anyway the ending wasn’t blowing.
• Kinda predictable really. But the twist is appreciated.

All in all, you should read this book if you love contemporary and if you don’t like contemporary YA. This book certainly sets a new agenda of its own. Recommended.
Profile Image for Nhi Nguyễn.
967 reviews1,266 followers
June 16, 2019
Nếu được lựa chọn giữa việc đa cảm với tất cả mọi thứ và vô cảm với bất cứ điều gì, bạn sẽ chọn cái nào? Đây chính là chủ đề mà cuốn tiểu thuyết “Nỗi đau rồi sẽ qua đi” (tựa gốc là “The Art of Feeling”) của tác giả Laura Tims đề cập đến, thông qua câu chuyện của hai nhân vật chính, hai học sinh trung học Samantha “Sam” Herring và Eliot Rowe.

Sam vừa trải qua một vụ tai nạn kinh hoàng đã cướp đi mạng sống của mẹ cô, và khiến cô bị rạn xương chân đến mức phải gắn cuộc đời hiện tại của mình với đôi nạng, vĩnh viễn nói lời chia tay với đội tuyển bóng ném và cả một cuộc sống bình thường. Kể từ sau trải nghiệm kinh hoàng ấy, Sam luôn cảm thấy đau đớn, không chỉ là cơn đau thể xác khi hai đôi chân cô không còn lành lặn như trước, luôn phải phụ thuộc vào thuốc giảm đau Vicodin, mà còn là nỗi đau đớn về tinh thần, cơn đau gây ra bởi hình ảnh những mảnh kính xe vỡ luôn ám ảnh cô mỗi khi nhắm mắt lại và bất thần nhớ về cái khoảnh khắc mọi thứ tốt đẹp bỗng chốc biến mất. Những cơn đau như thế luôn là cảm giác thường trực của Sam, bên cạnh đó là sự trống rỗng, mất phương hướng của một cô gái trẻ chỉ trong vài tích tắc đã mất đi người mẹ thân yêu của mình và dường như là cả một tương lai ở phía trước.

Thế rồi Sam gặp Eliot - một cậu bạn nổi tiếng lập dị ở trường. Hình dung đầu tiên của Sam về chàng trai này, cộng với cái tên của nhân vật, khiến mình không khỏi liên tưởng đến nhân vật Eliott Demaury trong bộ phim truyền hình SKAM France season 3 - bản remake của series phim truyền hình về đề tài học đường nổi tiếng SKAM của Na Uy: đôi mắt sáng rực và trong vắt, mái tóc đen, hành xử bí ẩn, hay mặc sơ-mi lụa, và toàn bộ con người toát ra vẻ đẹp của một ma cà rồng. Từ chỗ Sam đứng ra bảo vệ Eliot khỏi sự bắt nạt của Anthony - một kẻ học giỏi nhưng hợm mình và ích kỷ, lại là tên bán thuốc kích thích trong trường, nghĩ rằng chính Eliot là đứa đã chỉ điểm đường dây buôn bán của mình - mà Sam và Eliot đã làm quen với nhau, rồi dần dần gắn bó với nhau như hai kẻ ngoài rìa của cái xã hội thu nhỏ ở trường trung học. Và Eliot đã tiết cho Sam biết một sự thật hầu như không ai ngoài gia đình của cậu biết: hóa ra Eliot mắc phải một chứng bệnh hiếm có tên là CIPA (Congenital Insensitivity to Pain with Anhidrosis), làm dây thần kinh đau hầu như không hoạt động, khiến cậu không có cảm giác đau hay thỏa hiệp hoàn toàn với chứng đau.

Eliot là một con người kỳ lạ, chứa đựng bên trong những nét tính cách và hành động trái ngược. Và có lẽ tất cả những sự kỳ lạ bắt nguồn từ cái cách mà cậu nhìn nhận căn bệnh của mình. Cậu quan tâm rất nhiều nhưng bề ngoài lại tỏ ra mình chả quan tâm đến một ai hay một cái gì trong cuộc sống cả. Cậu rất giỏi quan sát, và có thể chỉ ra được loại tính cách Myers-Briggs của từng người trong trường chỉ bằng cách quan sát cử chỉ, hành động của họ, ấy vậy mà cậu không có lấy nổi một người bạn thân. Bởi vì cậu vô cảm với nỗi đau, cậu tự xem mình như bao cát của thiên hạ, mặc sức để cho Anthony bắt nạt và hành hung mình nếu không có Sam can thiệp.

Thông qua căn bệnh của Eliot và cái cách mà nỗi đau luôn ám ảnh cuộc sống của Sam, tác giả Laura Tims đã nêu lên được những câu hỏi sâu sắc và thấu suốt về vai trò của nỗi đau trong cuộc sống của con người. Căn bệnh của Eliot tưởng chừng như là một phước lành, vì có ai mà mong muốn cảm nhận cơn đau đâu cơ chứ, thế nhưng, nếu không có khả năng cảm nhận cơn đau, con người ta cũng sẽ không biết được mình đang bị thương, hoặc đang có một vấn đề, một tác động nào đó có thể gây hại lên cơ thể mình. Cơn đau cũng là cách để con người xây dựng mối liên kết cộng đồng với nhau, bởi thông qua việc sẻ nỗi đau, chứ không phải niềm vui, con người mới có thể thực sự đồng cảm, thấu hiểu và kết nối với đồng loại. Thế nhưng liệu có sự liên hệ giữa nỗi đau thể xác và nỗi đau tinh thần hay không? Liệu một người như Eliot, mất khả năng cảm nhận nỗi đau thể xác, có thể cảm nhận nỗi đau tinh thần để kết nối với đồng loại của mình trên phương diện cảm xúc và tâm hồn hay không? Nếu có, vậy thì tại sao Eliot luôn bị xem là một kẻ lập dị, không ai quan tâm đến hay chơi cùng?

Giữa những trận cãi vã đầy hiềm khích không thôi giữa bà chị Lena và người anh trai Rex của Sam; giữa cái cách mà anh trai của Eliot là Gabriel đối xử với cậu như một ca bệnh thuần túy hơn là một đứa em trai cần được lắng nghe và thấu hiểu, Sam và Eliot đã may mắn tìm được nhau. Mỗi người trở thành người lấp đầy khoảng trống ở đối phương, và Sam, dần dần qua từng sự kiện cô trải qua với Eliot, đã giải mã được ẩn số đầy bí ẩn này, ẩn số của một chàng trai mắc chứng CIPA, bề ngoài luôn tỏ ra bất cần và phớt lờ thế giới, thế nhưng bên trong lại là một con người cũng có đầy đủ cảm xúc như bất kỳ con người nào. Đồng thời, thông qua hành trình này với Eliot, Sam cũng đã nhận ra chính những hành động của cô đã tự động tách cô ra khỏi những người vốn dĩ luôn muốn làm bạn và yêu quý cô như thế nào sau vụ tai nạn, và giúp Sam dần dần tìm ra được sự thật về danh tính kẻ đã gây nên vụ tai nạn kinh hoàng ấy.

Ngoại trừ một số chỗ không biết có phải do tác giả viết khó hiểu hay dịch giả dịch chưa đúng mà mình đọc vào thấy kỳ kỳ, thì nhìn chung “Nỗi đau rồi sẽ qua đi” đọc rất cuốn và hấp dẫn, chủ yếu bởi cặp nhân vật chính kỳ lạ, độc đáo và hiếm khi nào thấy xuất hiện trong các cuốn tiểu thuyết thuộc thể loại Young Adult. Thêm cả quá trình phát hiện ra sự thật vụ tai nạn đã giết chết mẹ mình của Sam, và đoạn kết tràn đầy hy vọng, khi nỗi đau dần dần qua đi, để lại những nhân vật đã được chữa lành, với những tương lai tươi sáng hơn, ấm áp hơn ở trước mắt.
Profile Image for ℨαrα .
173 reviews158 followers
December 14, 2018
Things I liked:
◘ Eliot and Samantha are odd and have their issues, but their blunt honesty and dry wit is everything.
“I just hate apologizing.”
“Nobody hates apologizing that much.”
“I hate lying,” he corrects himself. “And I don’t really feel that apologetic.”

◘ Sometimes there’d be lines that would convince me that the author set out on a mission to write this book with the intention of attacking me (that’s a mark of a good book). For example:
“Sometimes when I’m dealing with too much, I stop dealing with anything.”
◘ When Samantha chooses Eliot’s gift to her, I LOVE what she chose.
◘ Their dog, Tito. I don’t even like dogs in real life, but I mean I suppose he may’ve kinda possibly grew on me just a smidge.
◘ The wit and humour was right up my alley. Can the author please tech me how to come up with comebacks like these on the spot?
◘ All three of the siblings were a mess, but some moments were hilariously relatable. For example:
“...because you owe me.”
“For what?”
“For not doing this.” I lean back toward the stairs. “Dad!”
Rex tenses all over like a cat and hisses like one, too. “Shutupshutup—”
“Give me the number,” I hiss back in similar cat fashion.
“Like hell—”
“Dad!” I bellow.

◘ Eliot and Gabriel were practically Sherlock and Mycroft 2.0
◘ The hideous old couch.
◘ The title is very relevant and applicable to the contents.

Things I disliked:
◘ Anthony’s subplot felt a little bit off to me? I don’t even have a solid reason for this.
◘ “I have been feeling, when I’m around Eliot.”
So that was pretty instantaneous and eye-roll-worthy. But it was a little qualm, and it did bother me less and less as they actually got to know each other.
◘ This isn’t a flaw of the book, but I did dislike Doctor Brown of course.

Quotes that I liked:
◘ “But by not letting yourself feel the bad things, you’re not feeling any of the good things either.”
◘ “Sometimes no matter how much you need to do something, no matter how important it is to you and the people you love, you just can’t, and it’s that simple.”
◘ “You only notice when it’s gone. That’s when the world turns dizzy and unsafe, when you lose something you had no interest in because it was always there.”
◘ “Mom taught us that things retain the magic of the person who owned them.”
◘ “...but if I’m going to die for a cause, I’d like it to be furniture.”
◘ “How’s your head?”
“More functional than most.”
“Does anything feel broken?”
“Just my dignity.”
◘ “My heart beats a mantra: It’s not fair. It’s not fair. It’s not fair. But then a different part of me replays Eliot saying, “It just is. It just is. It just is.”
◘“Apparently the only way to learn anything about people is by getting to know as many of them as possible. It’s very inefficient.”
(I don’t dislike people as much as my reviews tend to indicate, I promise.)

Overall rating: ★★★★☆½
Profile Image for Angie Elle.
870 reviews102 followers
August 21, 2017
ARC from Edelweiss

Maybe it’s because of this unremarkable cover, but I didn’t have high expectations for The Art of Feeling. Though to be honest, I don’t know why. I mean, my interest was sparked enough to request it. I have to say, this book was such a surprise for me in all the good ways. I loved the characters even if I didn’t like all of them, and I always love a story when friendship blossoms in the unlikeliest of ways. The Art of Feeling definitely had that vibe. At the beginning of this book, it’s clear Sam’s family is steel reeling from her mother’s death. And to make matters even worse, Sam’s injured leg is a constant reminder of the accident. Between her father’s indifference, her brother’s drug use, and her sister’s controlling tendencies, her family is in disarray. But when Sam meets Eliot, who is her opposite in that nothing makes him feel pain, their friendship gives her something else to focus on. I loved everything about the evolution of their friendship. It starts when Sam ‘saves’ Eliot and then makes an off the cuff remark about him not being able to feel pain, but it’s not long before she realizes how serious his condition is and she wishes she could take it back. Their friendship really just came out of nowhere and was so unpredictable. It was Sam teaching Eliot how not only to be a friend, but how to have a friend, as it’s something Eliot has never experienced before. And what I really liked was that while Sam had distanced herself from her friends after her mother’s death, she felt disconnected from them, but it wasn’t a huge loss for her, because she’s always felt disconnected. With Eliot, this is the first time she’s felt like she had a place, and I love that they were able to be a ‘place’ for each other.

The family dynamic in this story was so well done. It’s clear that Sam is, if not the peacemaker, the one who remains neutral so as to not cause more waves, but things around her are more chaotic than ever. And everyone in the family is so lost in their own grief they’re unable to connect with each other. It was just so sad to see, but so realistic. The only highlight for this family was their dog, Tito, who they all adored. I thought Tito was a fantastic addition to the story, and I love how Eliot eventually took to him. There was also an adorable conversation about ‘shut-up kissing’ that left me chuckling. Obviously as this story begins with Sam’s family still grieving for the matriarch, there was a lot of seriousness here. And I will say that the ending was something I didn’t see coming.

Overall, I thought The Art of Feeling was a wonderful story about the aftermath of loss and finding friends where you least expect it. It was a book I loved, and I know it’s one I’ll be rereading.

This review was originally posted on Books & Beauty Are My Bag.
Profile Image for Chelsea.
1,144 reviews593 followers
January 8, 2018
Well, that was an odd reading experience. Definitely not what I was expecting from the synopsis and reviews I’ve seen. This book is somewhat off kilter for a YA contemporary novel, and not in a good way.

This story follows Sam, a girl in her senior year of high school, who is currently coping with the death of her mother, who died in a car accident which also left Sam disabled and in chronic pain. Enter Eliot, a boy with a rare medical condition which leaves him unable to feel pain. The story follows these two characters as well as Sam’s home life.

Typically, if a book is well written and keeps me engaged throughout the entirety of the story, I’ll rate it at least a four. This is one of the rare cases where I enjoyed the reading experience but was so annoyed by the events of the story that I can’t help but give it a low rating.

My biggest issue with this is how unrealistic it felt. Every event felt out of the realm of possibility and I just kept asking myself if I was even reading a YA contemporary novel, because the characters just kept becoming involved in situations that would be completely ridiculous in the context of real life.

I didn’t like how the antagonist, Anthony, was written at all.
He talked really strangely, like saying “never trust someone who says they don’t lie, Little Samantha” (paraphrasing on my part). He was like this cartoonish villain, but it was even worse when the author tried to give him complexity. Like,

The bullies in general were kind of silly. Like, we have drug dealers trying to get revenge by pouring milk on the guy they think ratted them out lol.

A lot of the characters seemed more like caricatures than anything else. There was maybe one scene with each of the characters at the end that attempted to give them more depth, but almost every character in the story annoyed me.

At one point, Eliot literally drives Sam to a drug den when he offers to give her a ride home. This is putting her in an extremely dangerous situation, which made it hard for me to like Eliot from there out.

The romance wasn’t awful, but it did annoy me in parts. Sam is traumatized from the car accident her mother died in, but she’s able to talk herself into driving when the Love Interest needs her to.

I think this story took on too much. It tried to incorporate a drug ring, the mystery of who killed Sam’s mom, while trying to show character growth for the main character and trying to develop both Eliot and Sam’s family dynamics. It was just a lot for such a small novel.

Also, let’s talk about the dog for a second.

There was good stuff, though. The writing is good, Sam has a strong voice, there’s a fair amount of snarky dialogue/inner monologue. The disability rep isn’t to be ignored, though I can’t speak for it.

The blurb compares this book to All the Bright Places, which I completely agree with, especially in terms of the romance. I would also compare this book to Letters to the Lost, which I actually liked a lot better than both of those books.

Overall, I had very mixed feelings on this one. It’s an engaging read, but with so many of the subplots falling flat, this wouldn’t be a contemporary I’d be likely to recommend.
Profile Image for starryeyedjen.
1,664 reviews1,231 followers
November 17, 2017
This was a story of broken people trying to find their way back to normal, and though these stories are usually hit or miss for me, I found myself completely taken with this one. It beautifully contrasts the unending pain of a girl suffering both mentally and physically after a catastrophic accident with that of a boy who can literally feel no pain and hides inside himself to avoid any kind of emotional pain. Their interactions were adorable and weird and I loved them just the way they were. No romance necessary because these kids are SO not ready for it. Also, I loved the cast of secondary characters; they were just so genuine in their own grief and issues and made the story feel that much more full and heartfelt. I snorted. I teared up. I felt the things. Even looking back at the cover now makes me feel the things...if that's any indication of the power of this book. And I believe it is.
Profile Image for neverblossom.
327 reviews1,149 followers
December 8, 2019
Actual rating 4.5/5


Review đầy đủ sẽ up sau nháaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Profile Image for Zainab.
384 reviews529 followers
December 30, 2017
This book is amazing my dudes!!
It's both sad and funny and I really like the writing style.
Gotta say, it's pretty underrated. More people need to read this!
Profile Image for PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps .
2,340 reviews228 followers
August 16, 2017

Life is bleak. In constant pain following a car accident that killed Sam's mother, her lacrosse career over and her family falling apart, the last thing Sam expects is to meet a new friend. Eliot has a genetic condition that prevents him from feeling pain or temperature. They forge an unlikely friendship, his first ever and her first since before the accident.

Laura Tims' sophomore is every bit as heartbreaking and compelling as last year's PLEASE DON'T TELL. Sam's voice is pitch perfect, sad with a healthy dose of clever sarcasm. Her flawed, multidimensional character was so easy for me to embrace and champion. Eliot was annoying, but I can see why Sam wanted to befriend him. Lena may have been the more irritating character ever written and I admire her family's restraint in not throddling her.

THE ART OF FEELING is a fast paced, character drive novel. The cause of the car accident left me underwhelmed, but didn't detract from the plot. Lena and Dr Brown were flat, underdeveloped characters and also didn't detract from the story.

Laura Tims might just be my next guaranteed preorder. THE ART OF FEELING will leave you feeling for Sam.
Profile Image for ilsa➹.
124 reviews203 followers
July 13, 2020

BUT THIS BOOK BOUGHT ME SO MUCH PAIN AND HAPPINESS and the only reason i'm iffy about a 5 stars is because i was a bit disappointed about the ending BUT IDK IF THATS BECAUSE I NEVER WANTED THIS BOOK TO NED
Profile Image for Yeon.
271 reviews132 followers
December 7, 2019

Một quyển YA khá ổn, tiếc là không được nhà xuất bản PR lắm. Quyển này đã được xuất bản ở VN với cái tên "Nỗi đau rồi sẽ qua đi", hãy cho quyển này một cơ hội nếu bạn cũng đang vật lộn với nỗi đau của chính mình.
Profile Image for Nara.
938 reviews126 followers
January 5, 2018
I always go into novels about characters with particular conditions with a sense of trepidation. Partly because it's always so rare to find a novel where a disease is portrayed correctly, and partly because I'm always worried the book will become a "sick kid" book e.g. a "cancer" book. The Art of Feeling was a novel that I wasn't too sure about, but I decided to take a chance because this inability to feel pain is a condition that I was taught briefly about and thought it would be interesting to see how it is portrayed in fiction.

Main character Sam has been in pain ever since she was involved in a car accident that killed her mother. Both physical pain with her leg being injured, and obviously the emotional burden and guilt that her mother's death has left her with, Sam also suffers from some PTSD like symptoms. Within the first few chapters of the book, Sam gets to know Eliot, a student who recently transferred to her school, and discovers he has a condition where he is unable to feel pain.

The character development is excellent. I really liked Eliot and Sam's friendship and how it slowly builds from them being strangers all the way up to a romantic relationship. Their banter is frankly hilarious, and I loved how the pair would interact with others in the novel, such as Eliot's brother, and Sam's father. For such a character focused novel, the pace is very fast. I actually really liked how things moved forward quickly, and while I found some aspects of the plot a little unrealistic, I thought the story overall was well thought out.

Overall, The Art of Feeling was an excellent novel that was surprisingly humorous and unexpectedly punched me in the feels. I would recommend it to those looking for a great contemporary read.

Overall: 9/10
Plot: 5/5
Romance: 4.5/5
Writing: 5/5
Characters: 4.5/5
Cover: 2/5
Profile Image for fatima..
96 reviews46 followers
July 19, 2018
i am not good at review thing but i wanna write for this because i really really love this book, this book was funny and also very sad,this might be my favorite book of this year which i am gonna reread alot of time in future, both of the main characters Sam and Eliot were absolutely lovable , i adore them Eliot have no social skills and Sam is just the best i wanna hug both of them so badly,one of my favorite thing was Sam protecting Eliot all the time, every other character was very well written too.overall this book was just amazing and very very well written and everyone should read it. (btw sorry for my bad english it happens when its your 3rd language)
Profile Image for Bee.
817 reviews209 followers
September 27, 2017
I'm not ready to write a full review of any book yet but I just want to say really quickly that I adored this book. It's funny and sad and sweet but also paiiiin. I loved the writing and the characters and Eliot is the most precious of cupcakes.

That is all.
Profile Image for Samantha (WLABB).
3,539 reviews234 followers
December 25, 2017
I loved so many things about this book!

I think books dealing with grief are winning a special place in my heart. I have been so knocked out by them lately and The Art of Feeling is yet another to add to my "stupendous read" list.

This book was about loss. Sam and her family lost their mother due to a hit and run, but mom meant different things to different members of the family, and they all dealt with the loss in different ways. As far as Sam was concerned, she didn't only lose her mom, she lost the ability to walk without assistance, which meant, she lost her ability to be part of the lacrosse team and her place in that social circle. Essentially, Sam was lost. My heart went out to her, and I was rooting for her to have a breakthrough the entire book.
"I'm losing him, just like I lost Mom, my mobility, my friends, my sport. I'm going to lose everyone who defines me and everything that makes me special until I dissolve into nothingness."

This book was about feeling and not feeling. Sam was plagued by chronic physical pain, but as she physically ached, she felt nothing emotionally. Until Eliot. I have so many thoughts on this part of the story. I loved all the connections Tims made between physical and emotional pain, and all the different ways that people deal with this pain. I was most struck, though, with the idea of someone who could not feel physical pain being the one, who helped someone else feel again.
"But I do know one thing, and it's that the blankness that I usually feel went away the second I got into his car and it hasn't come back."

I was so enthralled by Eliot. He was beyond socially awkward, self-destructive, and fairly abrasive, but I was so drawn to his character. Maybe it was his obsession with the Meyers-Briggs types or his brutal honesty, but he was so interesting. And once he discovered there was more to him than he thought, there was some really special parts of him that shined through.
"I can't figure out if I like him or not. If I do, that's concerning."

There is a little mystery. Sam is unable to remember the accident, but as time passes, she begins to remember snippets here and there. Tims placed these puzzle pieces so thoughtfully throughout the story, and it was sort of shocking when we learned the truth.

This was a book that did not depict grief in a one-size-fits-all way. I loved that Tims showed how each member of Sam's family was handling her mother's death. Their approach to grief was so varied, and to me, that was very real. We don't all grieve in the same way. Some numb their feelings with drugs and alcohol. Some run away from it, and call it "moving on". Some try to stuff the pain down with food. Others have a major depressive episode. The people in this book were quite broken, and it was watching them trying to combat the pain that was so special for me. They had setbacks, but I kept having hope for them.
"Grief is a tapeworm chewing holes in the brain, making it so you don't remember things.."

Although there is a lot of sad and heavy stuff in this book, there is a lot of humor and happiness too. Tims delivered what I always need when I read a book like this. She balanced out the sad with the happy. I cried, but I also laughed, and that is what I need as a reader.

I enjoyed this book immensely! It made me feel way too much and I couldn't have asked for more. Great story, great characters, and enough closure in the ending that I was truly satisfied. I totally hugged this book.

**I would like to thank the publisher for the advanced copy of this book. Quotes are from an ARC and may change upon publication.

Profile Image for April.
1,254 reviews18 followers
November 21, 2017
This story follows the building relationship between two high school teens: Samantha Herring; the girl with the crutches and the dead mother and a gap in her memory where a car accident should be. She feels EVERYTHING. And any bit of pain brings flashes of the accident: shards of glass and even more pain. Then; we have Eliot: the loner with zero social skills who claims to know all about people. he can feel NOTHING. His rare medical condition means pain is a non-thing. The two grow together and have a quirky relationship budding while also delving into topics of drug abuse, depression, pain, death, closure and the painful truth of what happened the day of the accident when Sam's mom died. This reads fairly quickly with lots of whimsical dialog that doesn't dip into purple prose and a little mystery around the death of Sam's mother.

Anything you didn’t like about it? The therapist parts are a bit slow but this seems intentional. It was also a shame that Sam's former Lacrosse team friends weren't more developed. Really; Eliot and Sam are the only two who get much in the way of personal growth arcs; even Sam's family is pretty surface-level one-dimensional. The story also comes to a rather neat wrap-up that isn't necessarily realistic but leaves you feeling good.

To whom would you recommend this book? (Read-alikes if you can think of them) Fans of books like "All the bright places " will enjoy the level of quirky humor mixed with serious topics.

FTC Disclosure: The Publisher provided me with a copy of this book to provide an honest review. No goody bags, sponsorship, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
July 12, 2021
Đây không phải là 1 quyển sách tệ, nhưng thật ra mình lại không thích nó lắm. Có lẽ 1 phần do không khí mà nó mang lại khiến mình cảm thấy rất ngột ngạt, một phần do mình không đồng cảm được nhiều với nhân vật.

Tuy nhiên, mình rất thích phần cuối của truyện. Mọi thứ đều có một khởi đầu mới và tươi sáng hơn rất nhiều nên được thêm 0.5 🌟
Profile Image for Yeva.
31 reviews10 followers
June 26, 2018
fantastic. wow i’m speechless 💕
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