Book Review: This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz


General Fiction > Contemporary

On a beach in the Dominican Republic, a doomed relationship flounders. In the heat of a hospital laundry room in New Jersey, a woman does her lover’s washing and thinks about his wife. In Boston, a man buys his love child, his only son, a first baseball bat and glove. At the heart of these stories is the irrepressible, irresistible Yunior, a young hardhead whose longing for love is equaled only by his recklessness–and by the extraordinary women he loves and loses: artistic Alma; the aging Miss Lora; Magdalena, who thinks all Dominican men are cheaters; and the love of his life, whose heartbreak ultimately becomes his own.

Literary Awards: National Book Award Nominee for Fiction (2012), OCM Bocas Prize Nominee (2013)


My good friend Angus told me that this is about cheating (and more cheating). Interesting. So I say, it is 213 pages, let me borrow it. I’ve been reading books outside YA genre for the past year and a half, and it is such a reward when I finish one and actually like it. And I like This is How You Lose Her very, very much. For it magnifies the question: Why cheat?

The collection of stories is centered on Yunior – his exes, past relationships, sexcapades. He would like to think that the “cheating” gene skipped him (knowing Papi and Rafa), but the truth eventually reveals itself. Many times, I want to punch Yunior in you-know-where. Other times, I want to give him comfort, even solace.Junot Díaz‘s writing is confusing yet straightforward, demanding and yet it does not ask. See how he messed up my head?!! It is downright engaging to the point of wrapping myself with words that make up and tell Yunior’s f*cked up life.

My favorite part is Miss Lora. I was a leech to those pages, when I was reading. And Rafa? Yunior’s relationship with his brother is nothing new, and yet it still managed to sadden me in so many ways.

I did not a get a happy ending with This is How You Lose Her. But what do I expect from A Cheater’s Guide to Love? Heartache, despair, and acceptance of things to come as a result of things that were. But every story was distinctly alive, every character vividly portrayed – and that hooked me up BIG time.



Paperback, 213 pages

Published October 11th 2012 by Riverhead Books

5/5 stars


5 thoughts on “Book Review: This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz

  1. I wonder if this is the same Yunior, the narrator in A Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Will read this soon. And it’s nice that you read (and like) general fic every now and then! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Elated: Best Reads of 2013 | reading is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

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