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The Fine Art of Losing Control

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  306 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Willa Loveridge likes to be in control.

…of everything and everyone.

And when things start to spin out of her control, she only knows how to do one thing: panic.

So she failed her Foundations of Western Art class. Her ex-boyfriend sent her naked pictures to all of his friends. Her roommate hates her. Her mom and stepdad are having a baby. And her estranged father appear
Kindle Edition, 366 pages
Published October 7th 2019
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Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  306 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Dec 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary

“Let’s go, love.”

“Don’t call me that, you baboon.”

“What did I do to deserve you?”
Jacob Proffitt
Jan 04, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: unfinished
I'm giving up at about a quarter through. Willa is a silly idiot who magnifies every little thing into catastrophe. Which is fine when it's things happening to her. Heaven knows Shepherd larded her backstory with enough jerks. But I got so sick of her telling everyone what to do and making judgements and choices for them all the time, all based on freak-out emotion and maximum dread. I don't see why they put up with her and that goes triple for poor Ollie. She's downright mean to that guy and I ...more
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One week, two books and my love affair with Ashley Shepherd’s writing is now on hold until I get my hands on her next book. She brings the best BANTER!!! Ashley writes to the beat of her own drum. While I’m highly recommending her work, know that you probably won’t get exactly what you are craving from her endings. Even though I’d love to demand the directors cut, I really don't mind. Finishing, and having no other choice but to think and think and think about these characters isn't a bad way to ...more
Dilek VT
Feb 24, 2020 marked it as on-hold  ·  review of another edition
Such an annoying heroine. I can't stand being in her mind anymore...
I might go back to this book and try again later when I am in a better and more patient mood.
Aisha (seetheworldwithbooks)

===UPDATED 02/12/2019===

Okay, time for the proper review.

What should i start? What i should i say to convince you guys that this book is so freaking amazing i want to hug this book forever and ever and eveeeerrrr! Heck, i even gonna recommend this book to EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. Even my kids, my grandkids, and then my grand grand grand kids if i live up to 100+ year. It's that amazing guys, seriously!

It's a road trip story
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*ARC was provided by author for an honest review*

Torn between a 4/4.5

This was my second book in the #contemporaryathon and I wasn't disappointed at all. We follow Willa's journey to confronting her father in a country she has never been in. In her journey she comes across 3 people a famous YouTuber (Daphne), a quiet lovable guy (Tosh), and an annoying musician (Ollie) who like getting under her skin every chance he gets. Together travel New Zealand.

I love the feeling that the book gave me when

I loved Faking Under the Mistletoe so much I had to read more from this author. Overall, it was a sweet coming of age story. Willa tended to annoy me at times, but in the end, I enjoyed the journey. Ollie was adorable, but I did not feel the romance between he and Willa. The friendships were well done and easily my favorite aspect of the book.

For a debut, this was a well done book. I am now a huge fan of Ashley Shepherd and can't wait for more.
[4.5 stars]

Omg, I loved this book, and - dare I say it- it was better than Asher's story. I loved the banter, and the story! Just,, everything.

"You're a pest. Someone should exterminate you."
"There's my girl!"
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't expect to love this book SO much! Now I might need to read everything Ashley Shepherd wrote and will write! ...more
hayaat ♥
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
crying hours [OPEN]
I SIMPLY CANNOT DO IT ✨ the main character was brutal to read about all she did is complain and treat people around her like garbage who literally gave her a place to stay!!! I know she was meant to be dramatic bc of what she has been through but it was intolerable for me!!! Kissing under the mistletoe still holds a very dear place in my heart though !!!!
Apr 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
I liked this book -- For some reason 3 stars always feels mean, but I enjoyed the story and the adventure around New Zealand and the slow burn romance. I think my main “issue” with it was that it felt a bit disjointed. Sometimes a chapter ended not on a cliffhanger, but kind of in the middle of a big/action scene, and then the following chapter jumped a few hours which made it feel like I missed out on the rest of the scene. I also think we jumped into the friendship between all the characters t ...more
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I am trash for the road trip trope and thus highly enjoyed this one.

TW: slut shaming (a ton), victim blaming, manic/panic episodes, anxiety, emotional abuse, mention of past cancer
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

I am so very sorry to give this book this rating since I absolutely love Faking Under the Mistletoe by the same author and I went into this one thinking it would be as good... sadly it wasn't the case. I was excited for this book since we get to see glimpses of Willa in Faking Under the Mistletoe but it was not the book I was hoping for. The thing is that this was dragging for me and I didn't dnf because I saw so many good reviews that I wanted to know how things turned up in the end.

Let's st
Cait | GoodeyReads


One of my favorite parts of someone traveling in a contemporary book is getting a feel for the location. Shepherd’s writing had me convinced to buy a plain ticket for a trip ASAP [and I hate planes y’all].

Okay okay, back to the story. I enjoyed this! Not to the fanaticism level of Faking Under the Mistletoe (which is you’re reading this ADD TO YOUR TBR NOW), but still a solid read where I highly look forward to whatever book she writes next.

Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, 5star, youngadult
*ARC was provided by author for an honest review*

4.5 out of 5 Stars

As a debut novel, Ashley Shepherd is coming out swinging with some of my favorite romance tropes. I would consider this to be a slow burn, coming of age, romantic comedy. Willa, a college student takes a trip to New Zealand in search of answers from her absentee father, while also escaping personal turmoils that are haunting her from back in the United States. She begins her quest for truth by joining a van full of misfits: Daphn
Oct 07, 2019 marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: 2019
I HATE to mark this as a DNF, because the writing is so good 😭💔 But ugh, the characters. The lead girl, Willa, semi reminds me of a person I don't really talk to anymore :/

Then there's the youtuber, Daphne, whose personality is just grating... One of those people that refuse to understand anxiety or other mental disorders and just thinks you're uptight. Constantly makes fun of you to your face and in front of others as well.

I really wanted to like Ollie, but the fact that he played along with D
Feb 09, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 英語-english
This book is just very much not for me.
It almost gave me an ulcer with all its awkwardness and anxiety.
Apparently that's the opposite of control--awkwardness and anxiety-inducing stupidity.
I have no idea how any of these events that the main character was subjected to were supposed to be even remotely funny or 'liberating', or whatever they were supposed to be, other than deeply disturbing and violating.
That's exactly what the story here seems to me: the main character was violated before the tr
Mar 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘I have the worst luck ever. I failed my Foundations of Western Art class. My roommate hates me. My ex-boyfriend sent a naked picture of me to his entire debate team. My mom’s having a baby. I’m in New Zealand. And I’m going to find my father. Holy shit.’

I, Carly, full-heartedly acknowledge that this review is absolutely biased. Because Ashley Shepherd’s writing is like a warm blanket on my soul that I can’t get enough of. The Fine Art of Losing Control is no exception to that. It’s the kind of
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020
I wanted something fun and light since my past few reads have been kind of heavy. I think this accomplished my goal...?? I’m just not really sure how I feel about it. Honestly, Willa drove me flippin’ nuts the majority of the book. I mean... just answer the bleeping emails! Especially from her mother! Who also happens to be a publicist that could’ve helped with Mason before it snowballed into an even worse disaster. And it’s email! Block Mason and all those other asshats and call it a day! But r ...more
3.5 stars

it's been a hot minute since i read this but definitely while reading i felt it was very flimsy with how it dealt with the main character's anxiety. (view spoiler)
Katie Minion
I had high hopes for this book since I liked this author's other book, but I was a bit disappointed. The main (and really only issue) I had was that the main character was extremely unlikeable. The author even agrees. She said in her dedications that she struggled with this story because she didn't think anybody would like the main character. I don't think enough editing went into the book to make her redeemable. They did eventually share some information that explained a bit why she was the way ...more
Kim Howard
This is my second book by Ashley Shepherd and I'm looking forward to whenever her next book comes out. This is kind of a coming of age story with a NA vibe. Willa is not a character that most people would love. She's bossy, controlling, introverted, grouchy, immature and lacks good communication skills. The reader has to be willing tolerate her personality in order to move the story along. To soften this hard edged character, we have a wonderful cast of side characters that bring so much joy and ...more
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars
I love the writing style of this author. The book was paced slow and steady giving readers a chance to get to know the characters and become invested. I really liked Willa and all if her idiosyncrasies, but I did not love that she was almost always mean and oblivious. Ollie was super fun, understanding,and sweet and I think him really liking Willa was a little lost on me because the author rarely wrote Willa being nice. That’s the only reason I didn’t rate the book a 5, I liked Willa and Ollie b ...more
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can’t express how much I loved this book!! I started off kind of slow it took me like 4 days just to get to the part where Willa and Daphne meet the boys. Once they’re all together and riding in the van I could not stop reading. The banter and all the crazy adventures. It was such a fun read.

I loved that Daphne was blogging the whole time and coming up with hashtags cause thats how I speak sometimes 😂
Dec 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Well, this helped fill in some of the gaps in characterization in the next book. I don't know that I bought the romance in this book, but if you broach this more as a road trip/finding yourself and friends type of book, then it was alright. ...more
Ally Waffle
Jul 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Fun Read

3.5. Cute story, and I liked the friendship between the various members of the van crew. Willa was well developed, and Ollie was too, but I wish we got more about him. Overall, recommended.
Mel Hawk
Feb 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Who thought it was a good idea for me to read this while at work in the ER where literally anyone can see???? Me.... oh well it was not a good idea. But it was a good book.
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The banter makes this book! Loved reading Willa’s story.
Shelby Watson
Jul 12, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I agree with another reader. I’m giving up 1/3 of the way through because how awful can the main character be for so long before you decided to be done?
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Ashley Shepherd lives in Boston where she is a full-time French toast bagel connoisseur. When she’s not writing or daydreaming about being in Disney World, she’s baking (mostly cupcakes), watching TV reruns (mostly Friends), and shopping (mostly at Target). Her debut novel, The Fine Art of Losing Control, will be published on October 7, 2019.

Faking Under the Mistletoe is out on November 8th, 2019


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