Rummanah Aasi
 Budding photographer Josie Saint-Martin has spent half her life with her single mother, moving from city to city. When they return to her historical New England hometown years later to run the family bookstore, Josie knows it’s not forever. Her dreams are on the opposite coast, and she has a plan to get there.
  What she doesn’t plan for is a run-in with the town bad boy, Lucky Karras. Outsider, rebel and her former childhood best friend. Lucky makes it clear he wants nothing to do with the newly returned Josie. But everything changes after a disastrous pool party, and a poorly executed act of revenge lands Josie in some big-time trouble—with Lucky unexpectedly taking the blame.
  Determined to understand why Lucky was so quick to cover for her, Josie discovers that both of them have changed, and that the good boy she once knew now has a dark sense of humor and a smile that makes her heart race. And maybe, just maybe, he’s not quite the brooding bad boy everyone thinks he is.

Review: Chasing Lucky is an underwhelming contemporary romance novel. While it aims to be reflective, it misses the mark by only skimming the surface level of the book's themes. Josie has spent half her life moving because of her mother's complicated relationships with everyone from boyfriends to her own mother. At times her mother does not seem capable of communicating or frankly being a responsible parent, but for Josie, who wants to be a photographer like the father she barely knows, it's all temporary; her future is in L.A., with him. When she and her mom head back to Beauty, the New England hometown they left when Josie was young, it's just another stop on the road. She doesn't expect to re-encounter Lucky, the childhood best friend who's now the town's resident bad boy and to become embroiled in town drama.
  I found Josie to be very irritating and really hard to connect to as she had tunnel vision in becoming 'worthy' to a parent who she has never known and met. She is also very passive by letting her friends and family make her choices for her instead of herself. I really wished Josie's character had more growth. I also had issues with the book's pacing in which there isn't much happening in the plot until the last half where big family secrets are uncovered and the necessary miscommunication that tears Josie and Lucky apart come quickly without much time given to its resolutions. Attempts at discussing the #MeToo movement and unhealthy relationships are not successful. The only thing that kept me reading this book is the character of Lucky, who is the only fully developed character in the whole book. He is seamlessly vulnerable and strong. The last two YA books by Jenn Bennett have not worked for me at all, but I'm hoping her new book, Always Jane, which comes out in March 2022 will turn it around for me.  

Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: There is some strong language, underage drinking, a nude photo is mentioned and circulated, and a fade to black sex scene. Recommended for Grades 9 and up.

If you like this book try: The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen
1 Response
  1. I think I would be irritated with the efforts to be "worthy" to a parent.

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