Lucky In Love – Kasie West – Scholastic – Published 25 July 2017
Maddie doesn’t believe in luck. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment —
In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun… until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.
Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?
Kasie West has, once again, given readers a simply delightful novel. One where you just have to smile and hug the novel (be it in paperback form or on one’s iPad) to your chest and spin around gleefully. I loved every second of this novel about a girl who wins everything but learns that the things truly worth winning come from hard work.
Maddie knows the meaning of hard work. She studies constantly, aiming for the best marks so she can go to college and hopefully earn a scholarship. She also works, trying to support her family both financially and emotionally. Alone on her birthday she is impulsively talked into buying a lottery ticket. And wins! Suddenly her life is completely different, her mother can quit her long-hours job, her father no longer has to worry about being unemployed, they won’t have to sell their family home, and her brother can go back to college. But soon, the problems start. Everyone wants something from her. Maddie doesn’t know who to trust. Her one solace is Seth, her work colleague at the zoo, friend, and someone who maybe, (dare she hope) likes her as much as she likes him. But she is scared to tell Seth about her lottery win for fear she will lose him, too.
I instantly connected with Maddie. We share the same nickname, after all. She is a hard working and studious girl, far more interested in her grades than her clothes and she constantly worries about her family. Winning the lottery is a curve ball for her. It’s not something she wants, but she does see how it could help the people around her, particularly her family. Maddie also has a wonderful, dry sense of humour.
Maddie and Seth make a fantastic pair. They spend most of the book together as friends, which I loved. They develop their friendship, sharing their fears and dreams, constantly bantering backwards and forwards. They really are hilarious together and so sweet. Seth stole my heart pretty quickly. He is quirky, sociable, and everyone loves him. Seth has a wonderful sense of humour, which compliments Maddie and her random fact-blurting so well. The zoo also provides an original backdrop for their relationship to develop.
This book has quite a buoyant mood to the story, despite Maddie’s internal dilemmas and her worries about her family. I love that Lucky In Love is suitable for teen readers of all ages, as it has very minimal mature content and yet address themes about coming of age and finishing high school. Lucky In Love also highlights some important issues surrounding money, trust, friendship, family breakdown, and belonging. Maybe winning the lottery isn’t something to which every reader will be able to relate, but those issues remain just as pertinent, and this book is so very easy to enjoy.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Young adult fiction.
Themes: Money, lottery, lottery winners, zoos, romance, friendship, trust, animals, family breakdown.
Reading age guide: Ages 12 and up.
Advisory: Infrequent vague sexual references (e.g. get lucky).
Published: 25 July 2017 by Scholastic.
Format: Hardcover, ebook. 333 pages.