Losing It by Cora Carmack marks my first foray into the wild and winsome world of New Adult. Many of you may recall my thoughts on this genre. I may now offer a learned opinion of the medium. I still maintain my firm belief of the silliness of the name and the uncertainty whether an entirely new genre is necessary. Reading Losing It, while being firmly entertained for an evening, has done nothing to allay that. I still think this is Mature Young Adult, or if nothing else, Romance, and that there is little need for a separate categorization.
Bliss is a theatre major in her last semester of college. Bliss is also a virgin, a fact that her friend, Kelsey, wants to change. One night Kelsey convinces Bliss to pick up a man at a bar. After Bliss takes home the perfect guy she cannot bring herself to seal the deal and kicks him out of her apartment. Relieved that she will never see him again she goes to school and tries to forget. On the first day she is horrified to find out that Garrick Taylor, the man that Bliss took home from the bar, is now her teacher (and her neighbour).
Bliss and Garrick are ridiculously attracted to one another. Both realize that they’re flirtations could spell trouble for Garrick so they decide to take things slow. Little do they realize that forbidden lust is the worst way to keep things between them cool.
It was entertaining, it’s a romance. There’s not much else to say. A ton of time is taken up in the “he loves me, he loves me not” character dynamics, which are sweet and expected. That is very much the point of Romance novels after all. What I enjoyed was the theatre aspect of the story. For much of the book Bliss is preparing for the lead role in the play Phaedra. It reminded me of being in stage crew in high school. It felt good to be on stage with Bliss and crew for the duration of this book. I enjoyed that aspect very much. As far as characterization went I think I liked her more than him. She had a little more development than he did. He felt like cardboard most of the time. It was hard to fall for him, as Bliss was.
This book, however, was not without obvious mechanical flaws. Much of the filler scenes in the book involve drinking, which seems appropriate as the characters are in college… Of course there will be drinking. Where my problem lied was in the constant binge drinking that Bliss partook in without seeming drunk (unless Carmack specifically wrote her saying “I’m drunk”). Her personality never changed between her being drunk vs. sober. There was only once scene I can clearly identify where the intoxication was written accurately. Every other time she seemed pretty level, despite pounding anywhere from between 6 – 10 drinks at a go. If I drank that way I would be under the table and making bad decisions. Bliss was just the same, no matter how much she imbibed. There was no natural difference to her personality either way. It reminds me of watching Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with Paul Newman – Newman spends the whole movie consuming water glass tumblers full of bourbon and he NEVER gets really drunk. Not enough to mark the difference with the viewer. In both cases it’s unbelievable, and I worry about the state of their livers after so much in a go.
Secondly, Carmack needs to settle on what colour eyes Garrick had. The first time Bliss sees them she describes them as “crystal blue”, which I always think of as being lighter. Throughout the course of the book she kept mentioning that his eyes darkened, which I’m sure is a metaphor. However, when she later describes him as having eyes that matched a midnight blue dress I couldn’t help but roll my own. I found numerous inconsistencies like that. I know that this book was originally self-published, but since Harpercollins picked it up I thought it would have more editing between that stage and this. I read the final quality paperback that was recently released and it’s rife with typos and grammatical errors. It makes me wonder how much work actually went into this book. You would think an editor would catch these inconsistencies and edit them out pre-release date.
It was fun, but not something I am over the moon about. 4 out of 5 stars.