This is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz
On a beach in the Dominican Republic, a doomed relationship flounders. In the heat of a hospital laundry room in New Jersey, a woman does her lover’s washing and thinks about his wife. In Boston, a man buys his love child, his only son, a first baseball bat and glove. At the heart of these stories is the irrepressible, irresistible Yunior, a young hardhead whose longing for love is equaled only by his recklessness—and by the extraordinary women he loves and loses: artistic Alma; the aging Miss Lora; Magdalena, who thinks all Dominican men are cheaters; and the love of his life, whose heartbreak ultimately becomes his own.
I enjoyed this novel, but like with In Another Life, I think I was expecting more. I feel like books have been letting me down lately and that’s not cool. This is How You Lose Her is a collection of short stories about Yunior and the troubles he’s had with his relationships with females and with his family. I wanted to like this book, but I think what got me flustered and what made me not get into it was the Spanish. I don’t speak Spanish, I don’t understand it, so when I came across some of the Spanish words I skipped over it. I think that took away from my reading experience and maybe why I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I could have.
I did enjoy the bits about the Dominican culture, but Yunior seemed to have learned nothing from cheating on various women that is shown throughout all the stories. At the end of the book, I wanted to feel heartbreak, I wanted to be upset, I wanted to feel something, but I felt nothing. That was the biggest disappointment to me. There wasn’t a short story that I feel resonated with me, which usually happens. The characters lacked development, I wasn’t drawn to them, I didn’t feel sorry for Yunior, there was no emotion in it for me.
I’m trying to think of what worked, and what I enjoyed about this book. I would say the writing was good. There were not stand out lines like in other books that I’ve read; I didn’t highlight any of the passages because it didn’t speak to me. The writing felt very real and raw to me, it was a great use of the language and setting up different scenes.
I gave this book a 2.5 out of 5 cups of tea. It was okay, I wouldn’t buy it. It was a quick read, and I enjoyed his writing but wouldn’t read anything else by Díaz.
Cups of Tea: ☕☕
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Published: September 11, 2012