Series: Losing It #1
Published by Ebury Publishing on 28 March 2013 (Originally October 12th, 2012)
Bliss Edwards is about to graduate from college and still has hers. Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, she decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible-- a one-night stand. But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half-a-brain would ever believe. And as if that weren't embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theatre professor. She'd left him naked in her bed about 8 hours earlier.
New Adult fiction and I haven’t gotten off on the best foot. While the experience overall has been good, there has always been something…some theme, trope, character that has risked my eyes falling out from too much eye-rolling. It was because of this that I put off reading Cora Carmack’s Losing It, one of the first and majorly popular books of the category. I’m delighted to report that Cora’s fun, sweet and original story has renewed my faith in NA!
Losing It is the story of Bliss, a senior in College, studying Theatre, who happens to be a virgin. Gasp! Shock! Horror! I know, this is where I usually start ranting and bitching. Bear with me… Bliss in a moment of madness/honesty/whatever admits to her best friend Kelsey that she still hasn’t cashed in her V card. Kelsey immediately makes it her mission in life to get Bliss to sacrifice her virtue and…Okay I said I wouldn’t complain but this is my ONE major gripe. What is it about NA books that they always have this idiot best friend who is like “Oh just f**k a guy already!” without any concern for their best friend’s mental, physical, emotional health? Although I admit it happens to me all the time on another level with the “Why are you single??” comments that follow me around when I go out with girlfriends. It’s annoying and while it’s obviously from a place of love it doesn’t help with the whole “I feel like a freak” thoughts running through my head at any given moment. While Kelsey is the one predictable part of the NA formula found in this book, Carmack quickly adds a depth to her I haven’t come across in other NA novels filling me with delight and did I mention gives me hope?
Bliss was without a doubt my favourite character. Intelligent, sweet, caring, the dice just happened to roll a certain way and she’s finds herself in her twenties, virginity still in tact. Her fear of the unknown is palpable. With pretty much any experience the older you get, the harder it is to take the plunge – be it driving, swimming, sex. Bliss reminds me of me a lot. My mother always says to me “Danielle – You can do anything you want…but you let your head beat you.” It’s true for me and it’s true for Bliss. Thinking with your head is what we are taught will help us make the “right” choices, get the right job, get the house, the good life. But it’s the heart that leads to happiness and freedom. When Bliss meets Garrick she momentarily forgets her head but it quickly muscles its way back into power
“It was hard to pinpoint exactly what I wanted in that moment. I definitely liked him, and I definitely wanted him to kiss me, but I was so used to sabotaging things like this so that they never got too far. I was always searching for a backdoor, the way out.”
When Bliss makes the decision to go with her gut we get to see the seeds of her risk flower into a wonderful, sweet and caring relationship but not without some hilarious moments. I won’t spoil it but I have never read a book where a cat has been used to such comedic effect.
Garrick, is cute, mature, caring and with just enough cheese. I admit I didn’t swoon over the British thing. They are ten a penny over here but it was his overall care and respect for Bliss that really made me fall for him. He’s not damaged, a dick, a bad boy…He’s a normal guy, not without a few issues but far from the NA formula which was a blessed relief!
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I loved how Garrick and Bliss’ relationship unfolded slowly and realistically with the usual bumps one would expect. Bliss isn’t perfect either, guilty of preconceived notions about people, letting her trust issues effect her friendships, she even slut shames her best friend! But I liked that about Bliss, she’s not painted as this perfect Madonna figure waiting to be corrupted.
While there is plenty of talk in the blogosphere of NA being guilty of slut-shaming, what concerns me more is the level of virgin-shaming considered acceptable. Carmack thankfully doesn’t partake in this. While Bliss does at times think there’s something wrong with her and that she needs “to get it over with”, it never comes across as too preachy and is handled with a sensitivity and respect that it deserves. It’s been said before but seriously, nothing wrong with still being a virgin at any age (over the legal consent) and equally nothing wrong with enjoying sex either. Maybe we could all keep that in mind?
Losing It was the perfect NA. It was fun, thoughtful, and readable with a strong message to trust your instincts and use your fear in a positive way to live your life to the fullest. I loved it, Best NA I’ve read…apart from her new novel Faking It which I’ll squee about soon!