This review is written with thanks to the team at SpellBound Books for my copy of Living Is Losing.
His thirst for revenge could cost him everything .
Jack Stone was just 13 years old when he witnessed the brutal death of his older brother.
As he enters adulthood Jack is filled with anger, unresolved trauma and suicidal thoughts plague his every waking moment.
Supported by his parents he seeks help and forms a close bond with his psychotherapist, Roisin.
Together they explore the crippling guilt he feels surrounding his brother’s death.
To manage his aggression Jack joins a boxing gym where his trainer, Pete, believes he has potential and guides him to success.
He finds love with childhood friend Kirsten. His world is complete at the birth of his son.
But when the unthinkable happens Jack is forced to return to his dark past and confront his demons once and for all.
Straight off the bat, I need to be completely honest and say I wasn’t expecting to love this book. However, for me, Living Is Losing is the perfect lesson in not judging a book by it’s cover. As I started reading, I could see immediately that I would be drawn into the hard hitting story and connect with (most of) the characters.
I’m not a fan of boxing, but this did not matter. The story is so much more than boxing matches and the characters all have issues which are explored sensitively and in depth, so that I was able to think about them in more detail. The boxing scenes are described really vividly, so that even a novice like me can see in their mind’s eye exactly what is happening.
As the plot gathers pace and we begin to see where everything has been leading, the tension is unbearable. I struggled to tear myself away from the book to do “adult” things!
Living Is Losing is even more remarkable when you learn that the novel is partly based on the author’s own experiences. I really commend Cox for his courage in tackling the issues he does so well. I cannot believe it is a debut novel.
Living Is Losing is available from Amazon.