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Sorry For Your Loss

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  863 ratings  ·  185 reviews
Printz Honor winner and William Morris Award finalist Jessie Ann Foley’s latest YA novel is a comitragic coming-of-age story about an awkward teenage guy who, after the loss of his brother, finds healing and a sense of self where he least expected to.

As the youngest of eight, painfully average Pup Flanagan is used to flying under the radar. He’s barely passing his classes.
ebook, 352 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Quill Tree Books
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Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
The inspiration for this book came partially from a piece I read about Leonard Cohen's final press conference before his death in 2016. When asked by a reporter about where he drew his inspiration from, Cohen gave this beautiful answer about how we create art as a way of articulating the emergency inside of us. I have been in love with that notion ever since.

I decided that I wanted my main character, Pup, to be a kid who is experiencing a serious emergency inside of himself, and who, because of
Dave Schaafsma
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Find a way to articulate the emergency inside you”—Mr. Hughes

“So, this is just a part of my nature, and I think everybody else’s nature, to offer oneself at the critical moment when the emergency becomes articulate. It’s only when the emergency becomes articulate that we can locate that willingness to serve”—Leonard Cohen

“As we descend into the deep, the pressure increases relentlessly, and the light from above all but disappears. And yet there is life”—David Attenborough, Blue Planet II (the w
Samantha (WLABB)
Wow! All I have to say is

Sorry For Your Loss was such an exquisite portrait of a family caught in the throes of grief. The emotions, at times, were so palpable, I actually found myself rubbing my chest, because my heart physically ached.

Pup, my dear sweet Pup. As the youngest of the Flanagan clan, he was often overlooked. You had the sister moms, his older sisters, who were so much older than him, they never even lived under the same roof. And, then there was the second wave of kids - Annemarie,
Binay Dhakal
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
“Find a way to articulate the emergency inside you”
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Sorry For Your Loss is an interesting YA book about grief that has a lot of elements that I haven’t previously seen in a book for this age range. Pup Flanagan is the youngest of eight siblings with a 27 year age gap between him and his oldest sister. One of his older brothers, Patrick, died three years ago but the family as a whole never truly worked through their grief together.

I thought it was interesting to have this book set years after Patrick’s death to show how grief isn’t something that
Patty (IheartYA311)
Nov 30, 2019 rated it liked it
As much as I liked the writing, I had a hard time finding the direction of the story, or the point. It was as if the story had an identity crisis. I enjoyed the characters, but some parts were unnecessarily over dramatic and the main character remained out of focus. The end (if you can call it that) was anticlimactic. More of a 2.5 stars, I'm rounding up to 3. ...more
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gritty and deeply emotional, Sorry For Your Loss is, unsurprisingly, about grief. But it’s also about love, brothers, big drive-you-crazy families, finding your voice and learning to remember while also letting go. With an honest and realistic teen male protagonist, Sorry For Your Loss will appeal to older teen readers who enjoy moving books.

Pup is the youngest of eight. His family has been floundering, silently, since the death of one of his older brothers. Parents and siblings who won’t speak
Scottsdale Public Library
Printz Honor winner Jessie Ann Foley's newest novel Sorry for Your Loss might turn some readers away with its heavy title, but I highly recommend this novel to anyone looking for realistic insight into the teen experience. Foley introduces her readers to Pup Flanagan, an extremely relatable protagonist who is not, at first sight, exceptional in any way. His grades are regrettable, his plans for the future are nonexistent and his life experiences do not go far beyond the boundaries of his extensi ...more
Gillian French
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jessie Ann Foley blew me away with this story--truly, the warmth, humor, and sincerity will enfold you like a much-needed hug, and baby, does it FLOW. The narrative is so friendly and inclusive that you literally can't put it down until you've made sure that all of your beloved Flanagan clan are going to be okay in the end. Right from Chapter 1, Pup Flanagan had my love forever; he is such a real teenage boy, gangly legs and all, so earnest and bursting with untapped potential. This is the kind ...more
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, 2019
A straightforward story that touches on undealt with grief and loss. I love how therapy plays such a crucial part of the story and how many teen boy tropes are expertly navigated. Plus, I appreciated how art was used as a tool of healing.

Some moments I struggled to connect with, which is why this wasn't a total homerun for me. But I absolutely enjoyed this story overall.
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks, read-2020
I'm a little lost for words here...

The death of Pup's brother leaves his family in a total mess. Everyone copes his/her own way and brushes this devastating event under the rug pretending it never happened, that there never was an extra sibling. Due to an art-project Pup starts to see his family in a different perspective and his view through the lens of a camera brings his family back together.

This is definitely not your standard kind of YA-story. Yes, it's about a 17-year old underdog who has
Jamie Hernandez
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jessie Ann Foley has managed to slide herself into my “I’ll read anything you write” category!
♠ TABI⁷₈⁷ ♠
not to brag or anything but I'm kind of an expert with large families in the 7+ kids range ...more
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sorry for Your Loss is Pup’s coming of age story. Every bildungsroman features a character that faces challenges, but Pup suffers more challenges than most. This poor guy is trying to discover himself while being the oops baby in the very large, working middle class, suburban Chicago Flanagan family. As the youngest of eight siblings (seven years separate him from his next youngest sibling), Pup has always felt loved but under the radar. The entire, huge family (the sibs, the sibs-in-law, the ne ...more
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Actual Rating: 4.25

This book hurt a little. Hurt a lot? Grief is this crazy, tricky beast. It’s different for everyone, and when you’re in the midst of it, it’s easy to start judging the way everyone around you is handling it. “They’re moving on too quickly. They’re not even acknowledging it. They’re letting it consume them too much.” You find yourself weighing how the loss affected you against how it’s affected others. Pup has a huge family, and all of them are handling the loss of his brother
Lisa Welch
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. I seem to be picking up quite a few books this summer with themes of grief and forgiveness. Foley does an excellent job of portraying the impact grief has on individuals as well as family units. I loved watching this family grow as individuals as well as a unit throughout the novel. And......I am always a sucker for books set in Chicago that really embrace the city and its traditions. This is an excellent book that I highly recommend!
Meghan (booksbevsnfun)
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Not only because it was set in Chicago and I adored the references to the Cubs winning the WS and also the players that I love, but also the U of I references and part of the setting in Champaign. However, it was the family dynamics that got me and pulled on my heart strings. A quick read and i will definitely check out others by this local author.
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, ya, contemporary
I liked this a lot. I think its plot is a little bit hook-ier than Neighborhood Girls--youngest of 8 kids copes with grief while also being massively neglected by his big, grieving family and overlooked as an underachiever at school, and finally manages to express himself via photography. But like Neighborhood Girls and before it The Carnival at Bray, I think Foley just excels at explorations of grief, particularly non-romantic grief (versus the common tragic romance books). The voice here is re ...more
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read SO many books about grief that I expected this one to be just another run-of-the-mill novel about loss. In some ways, it is, in that it's about a family who has experienced a tragedy and the different ways in which they deal with it. In other ways, it's not. At its core, SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS is actually about being seen, something Pup struggles with as the youngest in a big family, the average student in a clan of achievers, and the quiet, steady friend who puts up with being taken adva ...more
Nicole M. Hewitt
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction Addiction

Sorry for Your Loss is a beautiful examination of the way grief affects and defines us. Pup’s brother died suddenly three years ago, and it has impacted his family in more ways than he can count: his mother has withdrawn, his brother has turned to alcohol, and he himself struggles to focus on school and life when there’s a constant sense of fear and tension in the air. Basically, the whole family has turned into a shel
Joan Baslow-Temple
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Poignant and intense.
Erin Quinn
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump for awhile - reading, but the books I was reading were just okay, not the kind of books you’d stay up late to read, or to sneak a few minutes between tasks to get a chapter in. And then came Sorry For Your Loss, by Jessie Ann Foley.

Sorry For Your Loss follows Pup (which is a nickname; his real name is James) and his huge family of 26 - he is the last of 8 brothers and sisters. The story follows Pup as he tries to come to grips with life a few years after hi
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
LOVED this one! This was very cool--a story of how art can help and heal, a story of family and what it means to us. Loved the whole thing, but you WILL ugly cry. One of the better YA novels I've ever read. ...more
Alessandra Congera
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5 stars are not enough for this beautiful gem!!!! Read in one lonely afternoon and be greatful to experience something so real, painful, beautiful and perfect. Everyone should read this, please do a favor to yourself and grab a copy.
Shaye Miller
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Pup Flanagan is a junior in high school. He’s the youngest of eight children and had a special connection with his older brother, Patrick. Back when Patrick died of meningitis while away at college, Pup joined a bereavement group where he became attached to a girl named Izzy (who also lost her brother). But after years of being best friends with Izzy, her failure to return his romantic feelings leaves him even more lost than usual. Pup realizes he has no future plans and he is basically failing ...more
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Oh I loved this book! I big crazy family, 8 kids with Pup as the youngest, and his oldest sibling is 27 years older. Pup is in high school, failing his art class, not really applying himself and reaching his full potential. Did I mention these kids all live within 2 miles of mom and dad’s house. Everyone is up in everyone’s business, weekly dinner that MOM still makes for all these grown kids with growing families of their own. Pup’s sisters are all way older, where he even has a nephew who is o ...more
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
The main character is a junior in high school named Pup Flanagan. He is the youngest of 8 children. His older brother Patrick died of meningitis while he was at college. His other brother Luke is barely around and has issues with alcohol. His five sisters are successful in their own way. Pup just feels unheard and unseen in his large family.
He has struggles in school and is failing his photography class, which he needs to pass. His photography teacher, Mr. Hughes, gives him a last chance to make
I would probably give this a 3.5 if I could. I wasn't sure if I would like this book. This book is about Pup who has lost his older brother Patrick due to meningitis. The book goes through Pup's experience of personal loss and the family's grief of an unexpected death. Besides dealing with grief, Pup is a junior and trying to pass his classes. He discovers photography as an outlet.

I don't think I would have read this book if it had not been on the GA Peach Nominee list. I do not like to read boo
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ritba, young-adult
SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS is a wonderful funny-sad book that examines grief, family, addiction, friendships, and finding your voice. Pup is an underdog that you'll love rooting for, and his giant family is at once deeply flawed and wonderful. The voice is engaging and consistent throughout, and I love good depictions of complex family relationships. One thing that totally icked me out was the bookclub scene with Izzy's mom and her friends. As my friend Colleen pointed out, if that scene had been Izzy' ...more
May 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: y-a
Jessie Ann Foley does a great job of exploring loss and family dysfunction with love and hope and humor. Pup, along with his enormous Irish-Catholic family in Chicago, is grieving the loss of his older brother amidst a family hell-bent on not addressing it...but of course the grief keeps coming out sideways. Pup ultimately finds an outlet for his feelings and finds the strength to help his family face it, too. GREAT read - will recommend to all who enjoy a good tear-jerker!
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