Review Detail

Lucky Girl Featured
Young Adult Fiction 1230
full of lifelike characters and new questions
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
What I Loved:
Girls like Rosie often occupy the “best friend” role in YA novels. You know, the ridiculously pretty, clever, boy-crazy girls. Girls like her best friend Maddie, newly returned from a summer in Spain with new confidence and a new look, are usually the narrators. Maciel makes an old story feel new again just by switching the POV from the most obvious choice to one of the characters usually left in a supporting role. Give me more boy-crazy (or girl-crazy or just plain relationship-crazy) girls as narrators!

Lucky Girl is especially subtle with its message about sexual assault, using a light touch to make the reader think about less obvious facets of rape culture. In particular, it got me thinking about how girls learn to gaslight themselves in the event of an assault. When Maddie’s new boyfriend/Rosie’s former hookup Cory tries to rape Rosie at a party while both are drunk, Rosie immediately blames herself and says she didn’t fight him off.

Except she did fight him off. She bit his arm and tried to push him away, but she still blames herself for flirting with Cory. She didn’t really do that either. All the questions people ask of sexual abuse/assault victims like “what were they wearing?” and “did they lead the person on?” and “did you fight back?” get internalized as we grow up and we ask ourselves these questions when it happens to us even if we think we know better. Whether we were in a thousand layers or completely naked, whether we never even talked to the person or decided at any point during the encounter to withdraw our consent, whether we fought back or not–WE ARE NOT TO BLAME.

It takes most of the novel for Rosie to make Maddie listen to her side of the story, but once she does, Maddie realizes how bad of a friend she’d been by refusing to hear Rosie’s side and throws all of her support behind Rosie. In fact, it’s Maddie who calls what happened what it is: assault. At no point before then did Rosie think of Cory’s actions as such. If something ever happens to us, having someone with Maddie’s tenacity on our side would be a dream.

Maybe the novel made me think this way because I’ve been immersed in feminist activism for close to half my life, but the point remains: though Rosie changes as a person, the book isn’t about how the events change Rosie. It’s about how the way we question the veracity of sexual abuse/assault victims can be as damaging as the event itself.

What Left Me Wanting:
Lucky Girl‘s one flaw is how it feels aimless at times. Though Rosie is an interesting, sympathetic character, her progress as a character only kicks into gear when she makes Maddie listen to her side of what happened at the party. Until then, it’s a lot of Rosie being miserable, missing her friends, and slowly getting closer to her love interest Alex. It turns into less of an issue if you care about her enough, but you may get distracted by plot threads about how Rosie’s love interest stopped a school shooting and a piece of the town being destroyed by a tornado.

Final Verdict:
Tease showed off her promise as a writer, but Lucky Girl is a true show of Maciel’s gift for writing lifelike characters and making readers ask questions they never considered before. If there are more YA novels coming from her in the future, I’m all in!
Good Points
*incredible characters
*often-told story feels unique
*subtle, nuanced handling of subject matter
*makes readers ask themselves new questions
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Sorcery of Thorns
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long...
The Babysitters Coven
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Adventures in Babysitting meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer in...
Loki: Where Mischief Lies
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
This is the first of three young adult novels from...
Who Put This Song On?
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Trapped in sunny, stifling, small-town suburbia, seventeen-year-old Morgan knows why...
His Hideous Heart
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Thirteen of YA’s most celebrated names reimagine Edgar Allan Poe’s...
Tweet Cute
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist....
Imperfect: A Story of Body Image
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Dounya, a Muslim girl living in Las Vegas, Nevada, shares...
Throw Like a Girl
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Friday Night Lights meets Morgan Matson's The Unexpected Everything in...
The Boy Next Story
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
There’s no one better than the boy next door. At...
Darkblood Academy
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Welcome to Darkblood—oops, I mean Darkhen Academy. There are...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Veronica sees ghosts―more specifically, her mother’s ghost. The afterimages of...
Travels with Sushi in the Land of the Mind
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Aaron and Stella spend every summer at their grandparents’ house,...
The C Word
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
Addison: Secrets have a way of getting out. And...
Welcome to Chanu-Con!
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Join Max and his sister Lila as they navigate their...
The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Princess Guinevere has come to Camelot to wed a...
Pax Novis (The Pax Archives, #1)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Cira Antares is deeply loyal to two things: Pax...

Latest Member Reviews

Trees: A Rooted History
 
5.0
"When I was a little girl there were only a few books that I drug around with me to stare..."
The Hideout
 
5.0
"The artistry and illustrations in The Hideout are dreamlike, painting a picture of your favorite park and woodland location hidden..."
Dog and Rabbit
 
5.0
"DOG AND RABBIT is a charming tale of friendship. Told in four parts, the book introduces Dog and then Rabbit...."
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky (Tristan Strong #1)
 
5.0
"I never wanted to be a superhero as a child, but I wanted to do heroic things. Tristan Strong epitomizes..."
Bernard Pepperlin
 
4.0
"Bernard Pepperlin is the doormouse from Alice in Wonderland. After being forced into a teapot, Bernard climbs out to find..."
The Squatchicorns: A Delightful Read
 
4.0
"In this chapter book, The Squatchicorns by Ellen Potter, the third book in a series about a friendship between a..."
The Cook and the King
 
4.0
"'The Cook and the King' by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by David Roberts, is a cute story that shows how working..."
Santa Mouse
 
4.5
"SANTA MOUSE is a cute rhyme about a mouse who did not have a name but does have a special..."
Silly Lullaby (Boynton on Board)
 
5.0
"Boynton is a hit with toddlers, and this is another charming book that makes it easy to see why. SILLY..."
Nikki Tesla and the Ferret-Proof Death Ray
 
4.5
"Nikki Tesla is an espionage novel for pre-teens. It’s exciting, engaging, and utterly unique. Nikki Tesla is a..."
Penny and Her Sled
 
4.5
"PENNY AND HER SLED is a chapter book for early readers that follows a mouse named Penny. Penny has been..."
Twins
 
5.0
"TWINS is an adorably charming picture book that celebrates close friends, siblings, and twins (whether identical or not). A boy..."
Have You Seen My Blankie?
 
5.0
"Take a magical journey with Princess Alice in this delightful picture book. HAVE YOU SEEN MY BLANKIE? tells the story..."
Dias y Dias/Days and Days
 
4.0
"'Dias y Dias, Days and Days' by Ginger Foglesong Guy, illustrated by Rene King Moreno, is a simple story that..."
The Fowl Twins (The Fowl Twins, #1)
 
5.0
"Witty, clever, and full of mischief, THE FOWL TWINS is a spin-off of ARTEMIS FOWL that easily stands on its..."
Kai and the Monkey King (Brownstone's Mythical Collection, #3)
 
5.0
"KAI AND THE MONKEY KING is an engaging and thrilling installment in the Brownstone's Mythical Collection series. In this book,..."
The Rubicus Prophecy (The Witches of Orkney, #2)
 
3.5
"THE RUBICUS PROPHECY is an engaging second book in the WITCHES OF ORKNEY series that follows the same friends on..."
Fancy Nancy: Camp Fancy
 
5.0
"When Dad tells Nancy stories about when he and Mom used to go camping, Nancy knows it's something she has..."
A Warm Friendship
 
4.5
"A WARM FRIENDSHIP is a story of friendship and loss, celebrating the time that you have together. Squirrel finds Snowman..."
Hilda and the Mountain King (Hilda, #6)
 
5.0
"HILDA AND THE MOUNTAIN KING is an engaging and thrilling children's fantasy adventure. This graphic novel tells the story of..."