BWW Review: LUCKY IN LOVE by Kasie West
"You really did get sloth socks," Seth said, looking at my feet.
I pulled up the cuff of my jeans so he could see them better. "I don't lie about socks, Seth."
"That seems like a weird thing not to lie about."
"If we can't be honest about the little things, then where are we?" I asked, feigning seriousness.
~Seth & Maddie, LUCKY IN LOVE
I'm not a huge contemporary YA reader. It takes a lot to make me fall in love with contemporary. Kasie West is one of very few contemporary YA authors that I will be TBR without even knowing what the book is about. Her books are always so fun and sweet and cute! They're really clean, too, so I recommend them a lot to younger teens. But the books also hit the sweet spot with older YA readers. West found that perfect balance and her books are great no matter your age!
I've previously reviewed her novels PIVOT POINT, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND, ON THE FENCE, and P.S. I LIKE YOU. (I thought I'd reviewed her novel BY YOUR SIDE earlier this year, but it's still sitting in draft mode. Oops? I'll have to rectify that soon!) So if you want a great contemporary YA, you can't go wrong with any of these books!
LUCKY IN LOVE is about a girl named Maddie who doesn't believe in luck. When her friends all bail on her 18th birthday, she finds herself buying a lottery ticket...and winning. Suddenly, she doesn't have to worry about scholarships. She can help out her family. But now it seems everyone wants something from her. Classmates suddenly want to be her friend and have her throw parties and buy fancy pizza at study sessions. The only person who doesn't want something from her is Seth Nguyen, her co-worker at the zoo. But what will happen if he finds out she won the lottery? Everyone else changed, so why won't he? But what if keeping this secret damages their friendship even more than telling the truth might?
I love that West's books are always grounded in real life. The families are always present. There are always friendships. And, of course, a little romance! This time around, college is looming on the horizon, and Maddie is freaking out that she might not get into the college of her choice. I love how college is explored, and how reasons are given for WHY this is Maddie's top choice...and there are reasons to explore her other choices, too. I really, really liked the shape of Maddie's journey here as she attempted to maneuver through college applications and acceptances. Any teen going through this life change will relate to Maddie here and know they're not alone in such a big decision!
What's interesting is that LUCKY IN LOVE comes out close on the heels of Jennifer E. Smith's WINDFALL, which is also about winning the lottery. While both books are about teens who win big the day they turn 18, they're done in very different ways. Maddie buys the ticket for herself on her birthday. Teddy is gifted a ticket by his friend Alice. Maddie doesn't go quite as crazy with her money as Teddy does. The approaches are very different. Both are good reads, but structurally, I liked LUCKY IN LOVE better. I was more attached to the characters and again, I just really love that sweetness always present in a Kasie West book.
I really liked the shape of the relationship in this book. Seth and Maddie are friends. They are co-workers. But when they attempt to be more? Oh my goodness, I don't want to spoil it, but their date is SO SWEET and I love that Seth put so much effort into creating such a unique environment for Maddie!! Also, I LOVE the cover. It really fits in with the date and makes me smile every time I see it!!
And have you seen the back cover yet? It's just SO CUTE. I'm obsessed!!!
Make LUCKY IN LOVE's book birthday special by snagging your copy this week! It's a perfect, breezy outdoor read for summer!