This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz

Date Read: May 25th 2017

Published: 2012

Publisher: Riverhead Books

Pages: 217

The Blurb

From the award-winning author, a stunning collection that celebrates the haunting, impossible power of love.

On a beach in the Dominican Republic, a doomed relationship flounders. In a New Jersey laundry room, 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.

In prose that is endlessly energetic, inventive, tender, and funny, these stories lay bare the infinite longing and inevitable weakness of the human heart. They remind us that passion always triumphs over experience, and that “the half-life of love is forever.”


Review – ★★★ (3 stars)

This Is How You Lose Her is a short story collection with brilliant writing and absorbing storytelling, but I was not a fan of the stories. In this collection, readers get a glimpse into the life of Yunior and his family who are originally from the Dominican Republic, residing in New Jersey.

I hated ALL the characters in this collection (Yunior’s brother – Rafa, really struck me though. I wanted to know more about his cancer and I wished readers got a closer look into how Yunior reacted to his brother’s fate). The characters in this collection can easily make you lose faith in humanity by their shitty actions and intentions (especially towards women). This collection tackles issues of immigration, infidelity, misogyny, love, grief, racism & colorism within the Dominican / Dominican-American community, family, brotherhood, illness, (hyper)masculinity and disappointment.

I usually love when a writer’s skill allows me to have strong feelings towards the characters, but the misogyny in this book was too strong for me. On Goodreads, other readers had issues with Díaz’s use of the word ‘nigga’ and the superfluous vulgarity of this collection. I had no issues with Díaz’s colorful choice of words – the vulgarity in the dialogue between the characters actually gave this collection so much life! But I wonder how the average Dominican feels reading this book – how much of the portrayal of men from the Dominican Republic is exaggerated?

Another thing that bugged me was the arrangement of the stories in this collection. I felt the stories were arranged haphazardly –  for example, the story entitled ‘Invierno’, which explains how Yunior and his family migrated to New Jersey and coped through winter as new immigrants from the Dominican Republic, should have been the first story and the rest of the stories should have followed chronologically – in my opinion.

Junot Díaz is no doubt a brilliant writer, but this collection was a stressful read for me. I will read his debut collection – Drown, just to experience more of Yunior; as well as The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao at some point.

★★★ (3 stars) – Good book. I recommend it, I guess.

Purchase This Is How You Lose Her on Amazon

17 thoughts on “This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz

    1. Hey madamebibliophile :). Hmmm, I wouldn’t knock it before you try it, especially since you really liked ‘The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao’. I just personally had issues with the incessant misogyny. Maybe you wouldn’t be as offended or frustrated as I was with the characters. I think you should certainly give this collection a try because the storytelling is excellent.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh noo. I think you should still try and read this book if you get the chance. Díaz is a beast in the literature sphere and the writing in this collection was phenomenal; I just hated the characters (which is personal). Maybe you can start off with his debut collection – ‘Drown’. I plan on reading that soon since I hear its good. I think you should keep an open mind, Osondu!


      1. LOL no I won’t read this one. I’m almost certain of it. Your review turned me off so much. On the other hand I’ve had “Drown” in my sights for some time now. I think it was a mention by our friend Naz at “Read Diverse Books” that first piqued my interest. “Drown” I will read for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. HAHA! Oh, I feel bad now 😦
        I was just being honest in this book review jor. But yes, ‘Drown’ is a book I’m eager to read too. I look forward to your thoughts on that collection whenever you get to it!


      3. LOL don’t feel bad joor. Your review evoked a reaction. That’s a good thing IMO. Book Reviewers don’t get the credit they deserve 🙌🏿. This probably not the reaction you hoped for per your comments but it’s too late 😂😂. I trust your judgement because we have similar tastes. 😁


    1. Hey there! But there’s so much more to this collection. I think you should give it a try nonetheless. These are just my thoughts, you might have a different take as I know lots of people really loved this collection. Díaz’s writing and storytelling in this collection are superb as well. Don’t knock it till you try it! Thanks for passing by 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It is really hard to like a book when you don’t like the characters, isn’t it. It sounds like you liked the writing, but not just the message. I look out for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – sounds like a safer bet.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Junot Diaz is brilliant! Drown was a phenomenal read. I haven’t gotten to this collection just yet but, for all those who were put off by this review, don’t knock it without giving it a try. Diaz is just phenomenal!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! People should read this collection for themselves and form their own thoughts and opinions. Some friends really loved this book, and some didn’t. Different strokes for different folks . I hope to read Drown soon! I’d like to know your thoughts when you do get to this collection. Thanks for passing by!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ll be curious to find out how you’ll like The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. I did not enjoy reading it very much, for reasons very similar to those that bothered you with this collection. Plus, I found the history lesson of the Dominican Republic I got much more interesting than Oscar Wao himself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow, thats surprising. Most people LOVED The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao… I’ll get to it at some point! I’d like to read Drown 1st though. I’d love to read on the history of the DR, so thats something to look forward to when I finally get to it. Thanks for stopping by 🙂


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