The Art of Feeling

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Book Information
Rating: Outstanding
Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Laura Tims
Publisher: HarperTeen
Year: 2017
ISBN: 9780062317353
Pages: 326

Since the car accident which killed her mom and left her with a permanent and painful leg injury, Samantha Herring has been existing in a state of numbness and depression. That is, until she meets Eliot, a reckless misanthrope with a rare disorder that makes him unable to feel pain. When Sam rescues Eliot from a fight, they strike up a strange and wonderful friendship. Both are outcasts in a school full of bullies, so they seek comfort and protection from each other. Over time, the two begin to realize that healing takes time and empathy, and that meaningful relationships, though sometimes painful, can help you get there.

This is an amazing book. The characters are well developed and wonderfully flawed. Even the secondary characters are lovable and so genuine in their own issues and grief. Sam and Eliot's romance is slow-burning but oh-so-satisfying. The story beautifully contrasts the constant, unending pain of a girl suffering both mentally and physically and a boy who cannot feel any physical pain and retreats within himself to avoid emotional pain. This book is a wonderful look at pain and grief, and is full of lovably human characters, quirk, humor, and depth.

*Contains moderate language and moderate violence, and substance abuse.