Thursday 13 October 2016

Reviewed: Losing It by Emma Rathbone

TITLE: Losing It
AUTHOR: Emma Rathbone

PUBLICATION DATE: October 6, 2016

Amazon - Goodreads

Twenty-six year old Julia Greenfield has long suspected that everyone is having fun without her.

It’s not that she’s unhappy, per se. It’s just that she’s not exactly happy either.

She hasn’t done anything spontaneous since about 2003. Shouldn’t she be running a start up? Going backpacking? Exploring uncharted erogenous zones with inappropriate men?

Trapped between news of her mother’s latent sexual awakening and her spinster aunt’s odd behaviour, Julia has finally snapped. It’s time to take some risks, and get a life.

After all – what has she got to lose?

Losing It was not entirely the book I had been expecting upon reading the blurb. I really liked the sound of the story but it’s apparent early on that Julia’s main issue is not that everybody is having fun without her, it’s that she’s in her mid-twenties and still a virgin. And when I began the book and Julia is already fixated on why she still hasn’t had sex, and all the times when she could have had sex but didn’t, I expected her to be an annoying and whiny character who I wouldn’t enjoy reading about. But actually, it took me only a few pages to become hooked on the story and I found Losing It to be a really fun and entertaining read.

Julia is a really interesting protagonist. I can’t say I really cared that she was a virgin, but that she thought about this a lot didn’t put me off her character. I really warmed to her as the main character. Like Julia, I know what it’s like to see someone, anyone, and then sit there thinking about them, their personality, their life story. It’s so easy to construct your own opinion of a complete stranger and their life within about five seconds of seeing them. I found this aspect of the book really fascinating as it was completely relatable to me. Julia was a heavy thinker – her inner thoughts are a big part of the book – and it was certainly interesting, engaging and at times funny listening to the way her mind works and the ideas she comes up with. She is a quirky and flawed character, but personally I found that and her voice to be realistic and believable and her way of telling the story made it really easy to read.

When Julia goes to stay with her Aunt Viv, she is surprised to discover that at 55, her aunt is a virgin too. Julia has a bit of an obsessive personality so of course she fixates on this discovery too. But I think staying with her aunt taught her a lot about herself. Where she begins to see that being a virgin is not the only thing that is affecting her (and for me this is when the blurb really began to make sense to me). Julia has few friends and is in a way, quite lonely, and rather than focusing on having sex I felt like she should focus on making friends, re-connecting with her Aunt Viv (who really she knew nothing about) and then let the romance happen in its own way. I connected with Julia a lot more than I expected to though and she wasn’t the kindest of characters but I did have hope she would change and learn a lot about herself along the way. Though nearer the end I wasn’t sure whether that was going to happen or not…

Julia is, maybe unbeknownst to her, very socially awkward. As the reader it was easy to identify this, with her short responses (“oh, okay”) in many conversations and the way she was always losing interest or attention when people were trying to talk to her. Again, I did like Julia and the way her story played out. I felt like the other characters in the book were a bit more underdeveloped. They could have been pushed more. The character arc for Viv for example felt strong but I was left a bit underwhelmed by her story and thought she had more to give. I felt the same about a couple of other characters too. Overall, though, I found Losing It to be a little odd, but in a good way. It’s a clever and witty coming-of-age story, which is a quick and altogether engaging read.


  1. Love this review, its so well written and your blog is nicely designed too
    Gill x


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