Author: Junot Diaz
# pages: 240
Date published: 2012
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Would you recommend it? Yes
Simply put, Junot Diaz is incredible. Thrust into the spotlight by his Pulitzer Prize-winning debut novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Diaz has only confirmed with his most recent work, This Is How You Lose Her, that he writes more beautifully than any author I have encountered in quite some time. The novel is composed of a series of vignettes centered around his main character, Yunior, who seeks only to love and be loved in return. Through the often shockingly honest and raw narrative, challenging in a way a lot of contemporary fiction doesn’t dare, Diaz captures the human spirit. Despite his characters’ mistakes and flaws, you find yourself root for their success anyway.
Love holds together the many and varied vignettes of This Is How You Lose Her: a mother’s love, a father’s love for the son that he hasn’t claimed, the wrong kind of love, true love, the love you lose, complicated love, and love that keeps you coming back for more, even when it tears you to pieces in the process. There is something so irrevocably human about these stories that you can’t possibly pull yourself away. This is the best kind of fiction, fascinating without feeling overly constructed.
I would definitely recommend this book to everyone. Despite its 240 pages, it flies by. Diaz has found the perfect combination of pulling at your heartstrings while remaining entirely relatable with his flawed, but tough and real protagonist, Yunior. If you want a book that will sweep you away into a world that is entirely different—yet eerily similar—to your own, then This Is How You Lose Her is for you.
Review by Molly Saint, A&S '15