The Art of Feeling by Laura Tims
Publication Date | August 15th, 2017
ARC from Edelweiss
| Book Review |
Maybe it’s because of this unremarkable cover, but I didn’t have high expectations for The Art of Feeling. Though to be honest, I don’t know why. I mean, my interest was sparked enough to request it. I have to say, this book was such a surprise for me in all the good ways. I loved the characters even if I didn’t like all of them, and I always love a story when friendship blossoms in the unlikeliest of ways. The Art of Feeling definitely had that vibe. At the beginning of this book, it’s clear Sam’s family is steel reeling from her mother’s death. And to make matters even worse, Sam’s injured leg is a constant reminder of the accident. Between her father’s indifference, her brother’s drug use, and her sister’s controlling tendencies, her family is in disarray. But when Sam meets Eliot, who is her opposite in that nothing makes him feel pain, their friendship gives her something else to focus on. I loved everything about the evolution of their friendship. It starts when Sam ‘saves’ Eliot and then makes an off the cuff remark about him not being able to feel pain, but it’s not long before she realizes how serious his condition is and she wishes she could take it back. Their friendship really just came out of nowhere and was so unpredictable. It was Sam teaching Eliot how not only to be a friend, but how to have a friend, as it’s something Eliot has never experienced before. And what I really liked was that while Sam had distanced herself from her friends after her mother’s death, she felt disconnected from them, but it wasn’t a huge loss for her, because she’s always felt disconnected. With Eliot, this is the first time she’s felt like she had a place, and I love that they were able to be a ‘place’ for each other.
The family dynamic in this story was so well done. It’s clear that Sam is, if not the peacemaker, the one who remains neutral so as to not cause more waves, but things around her are more chaotic than ever. And everyone in the family is so lost in their own grief they’re unable to connect with each other. It was just so sad to see, but so realistic. The only highlight for this family was their dog, Tito, who they all adored. I thought Tito was a fantastic addition to the story, and I love how Eliot eventually took to him. There was also an adorable conversation about ‘shut-up kissing’ that left me chuckling. Obviously as this story begins with Sam’s family still grieving for the matriarch, there was a lot of seriousness here. And I will say that the ending was something I didn’t see coming.
Overall, I thought The Art of Feeling was a wonderful story about the aftermath of loss and finding friends where you least expect it. It was a book I loved, and I know it’s one I’ll be rereading.
| Rating |