Title: Losing It
Author: Cora Carmack
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Read: November 21, 2012
Summary: Great voice, fun, but slightly trite, romp
This novel is an indie publishing effort, released just last month, that has shot up the charts. It’s a debut, and the author has no previous platform, so this means its success is based on its own merits — or blind luck. Let’s look closer.
As of this writing, the book is #143 in the Kindle list and #36 in Kindle Contemporary Romance, as best as I can tell, this translates to between 500-1000 copies a day. It’s $3.99 and there is no paper edition. This is really good, and as a side note, reminds me that Romance is hot hot hot as there are 67 OTHER Romances doing better on the Kindle list. Wow! That’s half the top books.
As to Losing It, the novel is without a doubt, totally “publishable” by New York standards. There is nothing particularly amateur about the writing. The cover is decent and the title — even if used by several previous novels — catchy. There are a few typos, particularly omitted trailing double-qoutes from dialog (and no, this is not a case of long dialog that flows from paragraph to paragraph where obscure typographic rules permit an elided middle quote). There is a minor amount of overwriting, but plenty of New York books are guilty of this too.
The story chronicles a female acting student’s final semester at college and her halfhearted efforts to lose her virginity and confused efforts to woo one of her professors (a popular theme lately, as I’ve seen it in Pretty Little Liars and Life Unexpected too).
Fundamentally it’s a fun book with great voice and an adorable protagonist. I read it in one sitting, which is always a good sign. The first 70% was first rate fun. There’s nothing super revolutionary here, and romances, or even books without fantastical elements aren’t my thing, but the protagonist was endearing enough to trump all that. Things moved in a fairly breakneck way and the characters felt defined and real. I enjoyed the final act of the book a bit less. It wasn’t bad, but it was highly predictable and a little underwelming. For my taste, the whole thing was a bit of a sexual tease. It felt steamy, or at least seemed to promise steamy, but never delivered any real smut.
I can’t say I understand exactly why the book went viral, but it is a well written and enjoyable romance, well worth a read, and far, far above most of the dreck I try to wade through.