Title: Losing It
Author: Cora Carmack
Genre: New Adult/Romance
Publisher: William Morrow
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.
There’s always going to be a lot of pressure on the first book in any new genre or category, as was the case with my first New Adult book. I’d heard great things about this, both in spite of and because it was a New Adult book, and while I did appreciate reading about other New Adult issues than having lots of sex with a slightly questionable but hot love interest, this just wasn’t the book for me, unfortunately.
From the very first chapter, I had a feeling that this book wasn’t for me. The story opens up with the main character, Bliss, revealing to her best friend that she’s a virgin. Now, if handled in the right way, I could really enjoy a scene like this that sets up a friendship as well as the rest of the story. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t like how it set up said friendship – Bliss’s best friend is completely shocked and unable to fathom that her friend would still be a virgin unless she’s a freak of nature or extremely religious. She forces her friend to dress up, go out to a club, and find a guy to have a one night stand with, whether Bliss wants that or not. There’s nothing wrong with a young woman enjoying sex so much that she has one night stands, but it wasn’t Bliss’s choice, which made it feel like consensual even if she warmed up to the idea. I couldn’t support her best friend when she was so unwilling to think about what her friend might want, rather than what the friend thought best.
The bulk of this plot is focused on the play that Bliss is in and the romance between her and Garrick, and really, the play is often there to prop up that plot. So, really, the focus of the plot is on the romance. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if you’re expecting it (which I was) and you like the romance (which I, really unfortunately, didn’t). You’re reading the book to see how the relationship will grow or not grow between them, not because you want to see what Bliss will do with her life post-college (although I did like reading the bits and pieces about her worrying about her life post-education, since that’s something that will be a reality for me in the not-so-distant-future, which is quite terrifying!).
Bliss was a decent main character, and it was interesting to see someone who could be shy, like many protagonists, but also outgoing enough to be an actress and let less while drinking, but because I didn’t really care about the main romance, I had trouble sticking through all her inner monologues about the difficulty of their relationship. I didn’t like her best friend Kelsey, as I’ve already mentioned, and some of her other friends were fun but a little forgettable when they didn’t show up too much. One character I did really like, however, was her best guy friend, Cade – which is another reason why I had trouble supporting the romance between Garrick and Bliss. I mean, if there’s a great guy like Cade who doesn’t sometimes say questionable thing (You want to own Bliss, Garrick? Sorry, but I find nothing about that romantic), he’s the guy I’m going to root for, even if I can understand Bliss not having those kinds of feelings and not wanting to lead him on.
It was interesting reading about someone who lives on her own in her own apartment, and I could sometimes get a sense of the quirks of said small, cheap apartment, but there’s isn’t too much to the setting in this story. You never really see Bliss’s college outside of the classroom where Garrick teaches, so I never felt a connection to the setting that can really enhance some stories.
The Adult Situation
Well, this is a New Adult book, so there really aren’t parents to worry about. There’s one or two scenes where Bliss complains about having a mother who’s constantly asking her if she’s met her future husband yet, which sounds really annoying and kind of demeaning, but it was dropped by the second half of the story and her parents were never really mentioned again, so there really aren’t any adults other than the main characters, who often seem more like teenagers (of course, I’m in a college and still feel like a total teenager, so obviously I can’t judge).
As I’ve already mentioned, I just wasn’t a fan of the romance. I didn’t hate it or anything, but I wasn’t rooting for it either, which made it difficult to enjoy this book much at all. Bliss is a senior about to graduate and Garrick is her new professor whom she met and almost hooked up with before she knew he was her teacher. There’s the forbidden-romance aspect of their student-teacher relationship, but due to the nature of the class he taught, I never felt that sense of power over Bliss because Garrick is her teacher. He teaches a class that attempts to help graduating senior actors and actresses figure out what they want to do once they’re out in the “real world,” so there was never the idea that Garrick could pass or fail her based on their relationship. Maybe I just don’t know much about power in a relationship like this, but overall it didn’t really bother me.
I was just kind of meh about the ending. I had a feeling that everything would work out in the end, and since I didn’t really care about the romance, I was just reading to finish it rather than see if I was right and there was a happy ever after. So, the ending wasn’t bad, I just didn’t really care at that point.
While I was definitely glad to see some real New Adult issues, such as figuring out what to do post-college, I wasn’t too impressed with my first New Adult book because I really just didn’t care about the romance. I might (might) check out the next book in this series, since it focuses on jilted love interest Cade, but I’m really not sure. Either way, I’m glad to see that not all New Adult books are simply about sex with questionable love interests, so bravo for passing such a low standard, New Adult books.