October 26, 2013

Review: Losing It

First, look at that cover. Seems harmless, right? Wrong.

This book is full of such feels I cannot fully express them. 

Title: ‘Losing It’
Author: Keith Gray
Pages: 194
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books
Available: NOW
Source: requested from Netgalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

A travesty.
A violation.
An ecstasy.
A disappointment.
An instant.
A lie.
A theft.
A rite of passage.

Whatever you call it, there's only one first time.

A.S. King, Melvin Burgess, Keith Gray, Patrick Ness, Anne Fine, Sophie McKenzie, Bali Rai, Jenny Valentine, Mary Hooper, and Andrew Smith. Some of today's leading international YA authors contributed to this hard-hitting collection of original short stories: some funny, some moving, some haunting but all revolving around the same subject—virginity.

My Thoughts:

When I requested this, I thought I was going to get a novel about awkward moments of losing virginity. I was not prepared for what was waiting for me. Not. At. All.

This collection contains ten short stories that bring readers into the lives of teens in a vulnerable time in their lives, dealing with sexuality.

And I do not mean that the characters are trying to figure out if they are gay. I mean they are trying to deal with life, and sex happens to be a part of that.

Each author deals with a different element of “losing it”—but all of their stories revolve around the emotion that surrounds it.

The strength in the storytelling lies in the heart and honesty of each one. From dealing with sexuality to an honor killing, these authors do not hold back. There is something here for every reader.

In some stories sex happens consensually. In one it does not. And in one, miscommunication leads to the loss of life.

Each story was memorable to me for numerous reasons, and I did not have a favorite. I felt that all of them carried equal weight, but some left me feeling sadness.

With that said, this was a powerful read. The pacing of the stories, their placement within the anthology, it was a whole package for me.

This is a great source of discussion when it comes to sexuality in the world—not in America—and how it is perceived differently, especially the honor killing.

I would recommend this for any teen who is looking for raw emotion when it comes to reading about sex, but I especially think it is a powerful read for parents of teens. It is a reminder that no matter how we feel about sex and teens decision to have it—and for those who have the decision taken from them—it is important to remember that this is an element of growing into adulthood, and that the doors of communication need to be open, no matter how uncomfortable it may make us. Our kids need to be able to communicate with us, with each other, and we need to be willing to listen.

What YA short story collection have you read lately that you really enjoyed?

Comment below and let’s talk about books.

Happy Reading!

-      The Hodgenator

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