Book Review: This Is How You Lose Her


I am the type of person who becomes emotionally invested very quickly. After the first chapter of this book I could not stop thinking about it. I wanted to know what was going to happen, how this story would end and how the main character, Yunior would “lose her”.

This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz is a story of how a man became a product of his Dominican up bringing. He was raised in a household with a mother who would do anything for her sons and an older brother who used women for sex, companionship and to get what he wanted. I don’t think he really knew what it was to truly love a woman. Yunior tells himself he would never fall into the same patterns of his brother but eventually spirals into the cheating game when he gets into his late teens.

Between dating one of his teachers, the class slut, one of his students and the “one that got away,” in the midst of his older brother dying of cancer and making his and their mother’s lives difficult, Yunior realizes that there is one girl that he never should have played. He regrets his decision to hurt her. He reflects on his upbringing and the generations before him and realizes that his actions were a combination of the environment he grew up in and his own personal actions to take what he wanted.

This book really plays off the saying “you can’t have your cake and eat it too.” It also shows the thought process of a man who cheats. When I started reading this book I really like Yunior because he seemed to be on the right track. I thought the title related to his older brother. Then as the story continued I began to feel a strong dislike for Yunior until he was played by his student who told him she was pregnant with his child when in fact, it was someone else’s. Before I realized the child wasn’t his, I thought the title was going to relate to how he was going to lose his daughter because of his actions; in my opinion one of the greatest losses I could think of. Then the last chapter came along. The chapter was an emotional roller coaster. The chapter reviewed what happens after a man breaks up with the woman he is convinced he was supposed to be with. The waves of actions in regards to dating and a personal life; the phone calls and messages left on her phone telling her he needed her and wanted her back; his feelings when he finds out she found a man, a good man who would treat her right; his realization that he is alone because of HIS actions.

If I were to rate this book, I would give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. At first I found it a little difficult to read because there is a lot of Spanglish throughout the story and I don’t speak a wink of Spanish. The reality is, I love a book where I am constantly trying to figure out what is going to happen and every idea I have about the book is no where close to what happens. But the way Diaz tells the story, the back and forth of time, character and place is like reading a beautiful poem. He pulled at my heart-strings, knew when to add a joke and knew when to lay on the difficult details. I loved reading this book and I plan on doing so again in the near future. As of now, this is my favorite read of 2013.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Have you read his other book, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao? If you loved This Is How You Lose Her you should definitely try it. I love the way Díaz writes.

    1. TerahPaluba says:

      I have not but it has been on my list of books to read since I finished This Is How You Lose Her a couple weeks ago. I too love the way he writes; I’m definitely looking forward to another one of his books!

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