Losing It

Losing It

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
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A poignant, hilarious novel about a woman who still has her virginity at the age of twenty-six, and the summer she's determined to lose it and find herself. Julia Greenfield has a problem: she's twenty-six years old and she's still a virgin. Sex ought to be easy. People have it all the time! But, without meaning to, she made it through college and into adulthood with her virginity intact. Something's got to change. To re-route herself from her stalled life, Julia travels to spend the summer with her mysterious aunt Vivienne in North Carolina. It's not long, however, before she unearths a confounding secret her 58 year old aunt is a virgin too. In the unrelenting heat of the southern summer, Julia becomes fixated on puzzling out what could have lead to Viv's appalling condition, all while trying to avoid the same fate. Filled with offbeat characters and subtle, wry humor, Losing It is about the primal fear that you just. might. never. meet. anyone. It's about desiring something with the kind of obsessive fervor that almost guarantees you won't get it. It's about the blurry lines between sex and love, and trying to figure out which one you're going for. And it's about the decisions and non-decisions we make that can end up shaping a life.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2016.
ISBN: 9781594634772
1594634777
Branch Call Number: F
Characteristics: 258 pages ; 22 cm

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s390325
May 15, 2017

This book was mildly entertaining at best, enough to make me want to finish the book. That is about the nicest thing I can say about it. If this were a much shorter sub-plot in a different book with other characters that had more interesting things going on in their lives, then maybe it would work, but I don't think it has enough substance for an entire book. It would have been nice to find out more about Aunt Viv and her friends and their lives and motivations. Instead, we get a whole novel of Julia agonizing over her virginity like it's a curse and doing all sorts of stupid things to try and get rid of it, and at the same time frequently publicly embarrassing or hurting her aunt . Why doesn't she try to get to know her aunt whom she admired as a child instead of constantly focusing on having sex? Maybe if she'd talked to her aunt she would realize that perhaps her aunt is perfectly happy as she is. Julia's immaturity really irritated me. Her behavior (getting drunk and making out with someone at her aunt's friend's funeral/ knowing she has to deliver her aunt's artwork to an art show that is very important to her aunt, but deciding to ditch that in an attempt to go have sex, among other things) might possibly be a little bit understandable as a teenager but at 26, it's completely unacceptable! Hurting other people in that way, intentional or not, is not something that is easy to forgive or forget. I guess this is supposed to be the "really funny" part of the book, but all I could see was a self-centered character wrecking havoc in other people's lives. I can relate to the mid- twenties "what am I doing with my life" feeling, also the loneliness of feeling like everyone else besides you is in a relationship and having great sex (it would have helped if the author had explored the first theme more), but I didn't run around trying desperately to screw any male that I encountered. Also, one thing that is hugely missing from this whole scenario is having a relationship- or at least liking someone- before having sex with them. Julia seems to sort of realize this towards the end when she does finally "lose it", but there is nothing to indicate if she has incorporated that idea into her life. It seems like what Julia really needs, more than losing her virginity, is learning how to make friends and build her social circle. I was glad to see that she seemed to have found more focus for her life, and to be on friendly terms with her aunt again at the end of the book. Final verdict: a not very funny or interesting novel about a self-centered 26 year old.

AL_KATI Jan 23, 2017

A funny and awkward novel about a taboo subject. It was light but still had enough emotional punch to keep me reading.

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