What happens when you win the lottery? Do you change or do the people around you change?
Maddie, our main character in Kasie West’s “Lucky in Love”, is logical, hard-working, and a mega planner. She has a plan to get into college, a strategy to get a scholarship, a design with her study group of best friends, and an air tight pact not to be distracted by boys. What she didn’t plan on was winning the lottery.
What seems like an amazing win and a great windfall leaves Maddie thinking that all of her problems are solved. She can go to whatever college she wants, her parents will stop fighting, her brother will go back to school, and all her problems will be solved.
What she doesn’t count on is the unexpected friends and family that come out of nowhere to ask her for money ALL THE TIME! She kind of liked flying under the radar with her own plan, but now things are different. Everything is different.
When she first won the lottery, her brother asks her why she keeps showing up for her part-time job at the zoo. While Maddie is focused on her goal of working with animals and getting more experience, the real reason lies with Seth. Zoo Seth (his nickname) always seems to be around and Maddie likes his warm easy smile.
Seth is friendly to everyone, and when Maddie runs into him on the night when her two best friends stand her up, his small act of kindness moves her in a way that forces her to admit that she likes Zoo Seth more than just a friend. She will tell him about the lottery and all her winnings, but right now, she wants their friendship not to change.
Unfortunately, everything and everyone is changing around her. How can Maddie hold onto the wishes she had before she won the lottery? While she waits for college acceptances to come in, she watches close friends grow distant, complete strangers ask her for money, her family is fracturing right before her eyes, and she is sure Zoo Seth is not who he said he was.
West has written a beautiful story about luck, love, and loss. She also deals in logic and sometimes letting go of the plans we think we need in our lives. Life is going to happen with or without our plans for change, and as Maddie learned, “It will work out. It will all work out.”