Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Art of Losing” as Want to Read:
The Art of Losing
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Art of Losing

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  1,539 ratings  ·  316 reviews
On one terrible night, 17-year-old Harley Langston’s life changes forever. At a party she discovers her younger sister, Audrey, hooking up with her boyfriend, Mike—and she abandons them both in a rage. 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 ex-b ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published February 19th 2019 by Soho Teen
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Art of Losing, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Lizzy Mason Thank you, Lillian!

When I started writing, I couldn't help wondering what would happen if Harley remembered her sister's betrayal, but her sister did…more
Thank you, Lillian!

When I started writing, I couldn't help wondering what would happen if Harley remembered her sister's betrayal, but her sister didn't. How would that affect how Harley felt about what happened? It added a whole extra layer that I wanted to explore.

And that led me to explore memory in a few ways in this book. Each chapter is followed by a flashback, giving a different perspective on Harley's relationships with various people throughout her life. But she also reconnects with the boy next door, who she hasn't seen in years, and who remembers Harley in a very different way than she does herself, which makes her reexamine who she thinks she is and who she wants to be.

I loved writing those flashbacks, especially, because it let me get to know Harley and the characters in the book in a new way. By writing her past, I understood so much more about her present.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,539 ratings  ·  316 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Art of Losing
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chelsea by: Madalyn (Novel Ink)
This one is weird to review because I really enjoyed it but I don't feel like I have a ton to say about it? It was a look at addiction and how alcohol/substance abuse can affect not only yourself but everyone around you and I personally thought it was really well done. 10/10 do recommend if you're looking for a YA book that covers a heavier subject matter but still has some uplifting (and even swooney!) moments.

TW: alcohol/substance abuse
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)

This is one of my favorite books that deals with mental illness! To see the others and to here me ramble about my brain, watch my video, A Brief Trip Inside My Mind!



Interview with Lizzy:
1. What inspired the idea for The Art of Losing?
I started writing the scene where Harley walks in on Mike and Audrey the night my ex-boyfriend told me...[Read More]

On one terrible night, 17-year-old Harley Langston’s life changes forever. At a party she discovers her younger sister, Audrey, hookin
Oh gosh, I loved this.
I wasn’t expecting much going into this, which is the best thing I could’ve done, because the surprise of it all was wonderful to discover.

This is quite a personal story to the author. She’s had a history with drugs and alcohol to help deal with her anxiety and depression. She’s had experience with going into rehab and finding a support system in that.

We have a main character who adores her sister. She finds out her boyfriend cheats on her with her sister. Said boyfriend
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
DNF @ 64%

There's nothing at all wrong with The Art of Losing — in fact, it has a lot going for it! — but I don't have a lot to say about it in this review. I mean, the characters are enjoyable, the writing is solid, and the author takes a long and honest look at a lot of really important themes that affect teens in a big way, such as:

1) the effects of irresponsible drinking
2) the potential risks of any substance abuse
3) the ability for teens and young adults to become addicts
4) the fact that soc
Nadhira Satria
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book broke my heart. Addiction is something that is very close to my heart. As someone who was in rehab for alcohol and drugs only last year, I know the pain and the heartache it comes with struggling with addiction. Not just the pain I feel but the pain I put on those who are close to me. I remember hating myself for putting my loved ones in such a difficult place. I remember getting so drunk and high on cocaine that I passed out on the floor covered in my own vomit. This book is not prett ...more
Karima chermiti

Trigger warning : (view spoiler)

The Art of Losing is about making mistakes, accepting things you can’t change, and figuring out when to forgive and when to walk away. But mostly, it’s about loss, especially the loss of the life you expected to have and the terror of realizing you have to reimagine your future.

The intentions behind the book are admirable and I hone
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
*Book #2 for Summerathon: Read a book with sunrise colours on the cover.*

The Art of Losing was a very enjoyable and quick read that showed the possible consequences of alcoholism and addiction. It definitely makes you question whether you understand how dangerous of a drug alcohol can be. And that is great because I feel like most teenagers these days think it's just "cool" to be drunk every weekend and act like it's not a big deal and can't have any proper consequences beside the hangover the n
Andi (Andi's ABCs)
I need Goodreads to add about 5 more stars for books I am head over heels for! Honestly I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved this book. It was just so amazingly perfect I want everyone to read it! Seriously, get this on your 2019 TBR ASAP! Review to come. ...more
Liza Wiemer
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Don't miss this one! Make sure to add The Art of Losing to your TBR list!

I finished The Art of Losing over a week ago and I can't stop thinking about it. Powerful, emotional, and brilliantly written, this novel will change lives and save lives. Gripping from page one, readers will be drawn into the complex relationship between sisters, Harley and Audrey. When Mike, Harley's boyfriend, drives Audrey home from a party, the consequences of DWI will change these teens' lives forever. This novel asks
Susan's Reviews
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
The author, in her forward to this book reveals that she went through rehab as a teen for drug and alcohol addiction, and describes how it changed and saved her life. (Please also read Tucker's excellent interview with this author.)
I find it interesting to read books from the perspective of people who have actually endured the issues that are the main focus of a story. This story follows many of the usual YA tropes: many of the characters abuse drugs or alcohol, and just about everyone finds tru
Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows)
3.5 stars, rounding to 4 for GR.

I feel like once you hit a certain age, you begin to forget what it's like to be a teenager. Life was so different then - not so many cares in the world as when you're an adult . At seventeen I was working my first job, going to high school and just trying to figure out where to go to college. I couldn't imagine being Harley - who caught her long-term boyfriend cheating on her with her sister. Then abandoning her in rage just for said boyfriend to drive drunk to g
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

*Minor nonspecific spoilers*

After Harley catches her sister and boyfriend kissing, Audrey and Mike are in an accident that leaves her in a coma. Harley reconnects with her neighbor and first love Raf as Audrey begins her recovery. Themes of addiction and recovery permeate through the story.

During the first half of THE ART OF LOSING, I connected with Harley and the story, certain I was reading a five star book. Lizzy Mason prefaces THE ART OF LOSING
Hazel (Stay Bookish)
A thoughtful, emotional portrayal about the consequences and struggles of alcoholism and addiction. This one felt so realistic and I loved that all the characters were three-dimensional and genuine. An impressive debut– I'm looking forward to reading more from Lizzy. ...more
Oct 25, 2017 added it
Shelves: signed
I was so honored to read an early draft of this and am so thrilled that everyone else will be able to read it. As an only child, I actually do have a soft spot for stories about sisters (when done right), and this one really got me emotional. Three cheers for Lizzy!
Madalyn (Novel Ink)
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-releases
I really enjoyed The Art of Losing! I thought this was an excellent portrayal of mental health and addiction. It perfectly captured so many aspects of being a teenager. Loved the focus on relationships of all kinds-- friends, family, romantic. Overall, this is such a promising debut!
Sofii♡ (A Book. A Thought.)

Thank you SO much to Soho Teen and Edelweiss+ for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review

I knew that I would run into a book quite strong in content because it touches on topics such as alcohol addiction, and other substances, also as its synopsis says, we came across an accident that could have ended in tragedy, due to these addictions. I enjoyed it a lot, it's a very easy book to read despite its delicate content, and I think it was touched from a very real point, so I apprec
Taira Meadowcroft
Apr 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received this book in a goodreads giveaway.

I didn’t know what to expect with this book. It’s a story of addiction, family, and friendship. Harley Quinn wakes up to hear her sister and boyfriend were in a car accident and how her sister is in a coma with a possibly traumatic brain injury. What’s worse is that her boyfriend was driving drunk. While her sister his healing, Harley comes to terms with her anger and reconnects with an old friend who teaches her how addiction can come in many forms.
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: five-stars
I really liked this book. One of my favorite parts was that it didn't sugar coat relationships as much as many YA books do. This one was pretty real, even the reluctance to get in a relationship with the person you love in the first place because one of you could hurt. And I really loved the characters and how nonchalantly Harley's problems with body and self-image were thrown in. That's how so many people deal with how they look at their bodies, and it was nice to see a book that had self-hate ...more
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I sat down tonight with the intention of reading 20 pages or so and then going to bed, but then I accidentally read the whole book instead. I think that speaks to how amazing it is. I wasn't really prepared for what I was getting into when starting this book or that it would make me feel how it did, but it was so so good and an important story to be told. Everyone read it !! ...more
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019-release
started off promising but derailed SO much by the end. it became a mess of romance/recovery/forgiveness/ many things. there were so many plots but i was so bored by the third time the mc and the love interest hung out to have basically the same conversation again so...yes. idk. i wish i liked this more.
Samantha (WLABB)
Harley was grappling with conflicting emotions regarding what happened that night. After excusing his many slip-ups and bad behaviors, Harley's boyfriend had finally crossed into unforgivable territory by driving drunk and putting her sister in a coma. She could never forgive her boyfriend, but would Harley be able to forgive her sister for what she had done?

• Pro: This was a very moving read, and Mason did an amazing job making me feel each and every one of Harley's emotions. I felt her anger a
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As heartfelt as it is heartbreaking, this is a powerful story about mistakes, forgiveness, and the struggle to figure out who you are when you're alone vs. who you are with others. Lizzy has drawn on her own experience of getting clean as a teenager to paint a vivid picture of the ups and downs that happen not just to addicts, but to everyone around them. Harley, Audrey, and all the characters instantly became real, and therefore dear, to me, and I loved how the things they experienced, were nei ...more
Jul 31, 2017 marked it as to-read
I can't wait to read this book!!! ...more
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-read
It took me really long to finish this book. Also because I was busy, but also because the first half just didn't grip me enough to make me want to finish it asap.

I did end up liking this book though, a lot. I just don't feel like I have too much to say about it? I mean; I laughed, I giggled, I cried, I felt for the characters, yes, but I can't really put all those feelings into words?

It's a very heavy story that touches upon heavy subjects though, so don't just dive into this headfirst if you d
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: realistic-fiction, ya
A fateful drunk driving accident leaves 17-year-old Harley's younger sister, Audrey, in a coma. The drunk driver was Harley's boyfriend. The story that unfolds is one of forgiveness, guilt, sisterhood, and an intimate look at the psychological twistings of addiction -- even more so as Harley rekindles a relationship with a childhood friend, Raf, who's grappling with his own recovery.

This book is so *real* -- charged, exceptionally moving and healing. Nothing is simple and there are no neat answ
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, ya
In THE ART OF LOSING, much is lost (and, eventually, much gained). This stunning debut novel tackles addiction, first love, and sisterhood. The storytelling is compelling, heartfelt, and masterfully crafted.

17yo Harley struggles after a night where her life is changed forever. Woven into the main narrative are flashbacks that give the reader insight into Harley herself, her relationships, and the events that led up to that night. I enjoyed the flashbacks just as much as the main narrative. This
The Art of Losing is an important addition to the YA contemporary genre because it so eloquently deals with addiction and new beginnings. Lizzy Mason writes honestly about alcoholism in teenagers and how it has the potential to seep into every part of a person’s life.

Harley’s world is turned upside down when her sister, Audrey, is in a car accident with her boyfriend, Mike. The accident was caused by Mike driving drunk and Harley is devastated, not only out of fear for her sister but also becaus
Janelle Dazzlepants
I really enjoyed this. It takes a look at teenage alcoholism and the far reaching effects that addiction has on the addict’s loved ones.

I thought this book tackled addiction and recovery well. The author places particular emphasis on seeing a therapist, attending meetings, and getting back on the wagon. The author shows us characters who went to rehab and didn’t take it seriously; those who did take it seriously but haven’t done the 12 Steps; those who’ve unintentionally relapsed; and those who
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star-rating
This is one of those slice of life stories that I feel impact the people it represents more than it did me. Which isn’t to say I don’t appreciate or feel something towards the commentary of what Addiction does to a person.

How life leads you to places and people you don’t always expect and how emotions need to be felt and that it’s okay and it will always be okay to ask for help.

Harley is one of those characters you grow to love. She’s far from perfect but the more you know her story the more yo
Mortisha Cassavetes
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2019
I must be honest in saying I really try to stay clear of reading books about drug or alcohol addictions but I really wanted to read this book because I heard great things about it and I really loved the story. It was very unique and creative! The story follows Harley who just found her boyfriend Mike cheating on her with her younger sister, Audrey. She gets so upset she leaves the party and has now found out that Mike was drunk and was just in an accident with Audrey in the car. Audrey is in a c ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Call It What You Want
  • Girls on the Verge
  • Rules We're Meant to Break
  • Opposite of Always
  • If You're Out There
  • Field Notes on Love
  • The Arrival of Someday
  • Our Year of Maybe
  • Barely Missing Everything
  • What Happens Now
  • Every Moment After
  • Five Feet Apart
  • The Liars of Mariposa Island
  • Heroine
  • Spin
  • As Happy as Here
  • Bright Burning Stars
  • Famous in a Small Town
See similar books…
Lizzy Mason grew up in northern Virginia before moving to New York City for college and a career in publishing. She now lives in Salem, MA with her husband and two cats in an apartment full of books. When not writing, she loves to travel and has visited 44 states and 11 countries, so far. She is the author of The Art of Losing and Between the Bliss and Me. Visit her online at www.LizzyMasonBooks.c ...more

Articles featuring this book

Move over tribute volunteers and chosen ones. There's a new wave of heroes in town. This year, the young adult category is...
56 likes · 15 comments
“I also think it’s better to have loved and lost, you know? I just think everyone should get to experience that happiness, even if there’s a chance it might lead to heartbreak.” 3 likes
“In the sketch, I was sitting on the garden wall, my face in profile as I stared into the distance. My eyes were unfocused. A cigarette burned, forgotten, between my fingers. Raf drew me as I was, with round curves, folds in my stomach, and chubby thighs—but through his eyes I was beautiful. Because those features were just small parts of the picture. My face, which undoubtedly was blotchy from crying that night, was clear and angled. Even my messy bun was more of a purposeful updo, with soft tendrils that framed my face. The shirt that I'd been wearing that I'd worried was too tight instead hugged my curves purposefully and exposed a little cleavage. Or at least, that's how Raf had drawn it.” 0 likes
More quotes…