Written by: Melvin Burgess, Anne Fine, Mary Hooper, Sophie McKenzie, Patrick Ness, Bali Rai and Jenny Valentine. Edited by Keith Gray.
Published by: Andersen Press.
Released: 8th July 2010.
Official synopsis: "Melvin Burgess, Keith Gray, Patrick Ness, Sophie McKenzie, Bali Rai, Jenny Valentine and Mary Hooper. Some of today's leading writers for teens are gathered here in a wonderful collection of original stories: some funny, some moving, some haunting but all revolving around the same subject - having sex for the first time! You never forget your first time and you'll never forget this book!"
This collection of short stories is, to put it bluntly, absolutely amazing. Featuring some of the best talent in British writing today for young adults today, Losing It is a collection of short stories about teenagers losing (or trying to lose) their virginity.
The book covers a range of situations. From a girl learning a valuable lesson from a family member, the difference between the views of sex in Victorian London to those of today, a different cultures opinions on relationships and sex, and a boy realising that being gay is nothing to be ashamed of. In just 200 pages you will laugh, cry, cringe and be shocked.
My favourite stories have to be The White Towel by Bali Rai (possibly the most shocking and thought provoking, probably even painful story). Different For Boys by Patrick Ness is probably the most entertaining. The latter story is very clever, where Ness uses blackouts to hide "rude" parts of the story. But it's not just the odd word here and there - whole paragraphs are blanked out. Therefore, it is left to the reader's imagination to determine what happens at certain parts of the story. And one line in particular from The Age of Consent by Jenny Valentine had me absolutely roaring with laughter. Rather immature, but it didn't register until a few lines later when I thought "did I really just read that..." and went back and I had. It wasn't my imagination. If you read it, I'm sure you will know just what line I am on about!
As an eighteen year old my self, I found this collection highly entertaining and engaging. I would recommend it to everyone from the ages of 13 up. Adults too would probably enjoy this just as much. What I like about the stories is that they don't preach. They are entirely for entertainment purposes. That said, they do teach some good morals in a way that isn't instantly recognisable. Everyone should be able to gain something from this book. They offer a great insight into the teenage mind and I for one shall definitely be reading this again!
My thanks to Clare at Anderson Press for my copy!