Money and Change
'Lucky in Love' by Kasie West captures a not-too-familiar storyline, but injects it with all-too-understandable themes. When main character Maddie finds herself the winner of a multi-million dollar lottery, her popularity soars, but her relationships, from friends to family, which she thinks couldn't possibly change if she doesn't, begin to suffer. At the onset of her win, life seems pretty good, and her family's issues take a back seat while she plies them with money and hopes to ease their woes. Yet life and the problems that go along with it have a nasty way of popping up, and money is shown to not necessarily be the answer to everyone's problems.
Maddie spends time at the local zoo where she works to try to get away from the fanfare that follows her around. While there, she works with Seth, on whom she has a crush that she tries to diminish when with her friends due to their pact that they won't have boyfriends. Her life seems unnecessarily complicated even before the money comes into play, but so is the life of a teenager. Everything seems worse than it really is, and the issues that really do exist don't get as much attention as they often should. From Maddie's parents' bickering to her brother's Peter-Pan like syndrome to just laze each day away and not take responsibility, Maddie seems to be the only one with focus and drive. Her friends help her through, but the money begins to weigh on them, and they try to tell her she's changed. It really makes one think about the power of money and how such a huge and drastic change in one's life can truly alter the course of one's relationships and life in general.
Seth is a welcome distraction for Maddie, as he seems to be the only one who doesn't know about her win. This does seem a little strange, as even though he was grounded and couldn't watch TV during the height of her fanfare, someone at the zoo would likely have told him before Maddie gets around to it. It was also frustrating to see how Maddie didn't quite know how to manage her money the best that she could. For all of her smarts and determination to succeed, she acted somewhat young and foolish with much of her winnings. Again, though, it is a testament to the power of lessons learned and knowledge gained.
An interesting and thought-provoking story about how a change in life can overshadow everything else, 'Lucky in Love' finds its happy ending and makes readers invested in reading more.