The Lucky List

The Lucky List
Age Range
Release Date
May 31, 2022
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Rachael Lippincott, coauthor of #1 New York Times bestseller Five Feet Apart, weaves a “breezy…truly charming” (Kirkus Reviews) love story about learning who you are, and who you love, when the person you’ve always shared yourself with is gone.

Emily and her mom were always lucky. But Emily’s mom’s luck ran out three years ago when she succumbed to cancer, and nothing has felt right for Emily since.

Now, the summer before her senior year, things are getting worse. Not only has Emily wrecked things with her boyfriend Matt, who her mom adored, but her dad is selling the house she grew up in and giving her mom’s belongings away. Soon, she’ll have no connections left to Mom but her lucky quarter. And with her best friend away for the summer and her other friends taking her ex’s side, the only person she has to talk to about it is Blake, the swoony new girl she barely knows.

But that’s when Emily finds the list—her mom’s senior year summer bucket list—buried in a box in the back of her closet. When Blake suggests that Emily take it on as a challenge, the pair set off on a journey to tick each box and help Emily face her fears before everything changes. As they go further down the list, Emily finally begins to feel close to her mom again, but her bond with Blake starts to deepen, too, into something she wasn’t expecting. Suddenly Emily must face another fear: accepting the secret part of herself she never got a chance to share with the person who knew her best.

Editor review

1 review
charming YA contemporary
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THE LUCKY LIST is a lovely YA contemporary about grief, healing, and coming out. The summer before her senior year, Emily feels set adrift. Her mother died of cancer 3 years before, but this summer, she has lost all of her friends to her breakup. That is, until Blake moves to town with her father.

Emily and Blake have known each other since they were little, as their parents went all the way back to high school. They connect right away, and while Blake helps Emily to go through her mother's things, they find a list that her mother made for the summer before her senior year a long time ago. Seeking the connection to her mother's past and looking for some healing, she and Blake set out to accomplish the same tasks this summer.

As they spend time together, Emily begins to notice feelings that she is not sure how to handle, and her connection with Blake is growing. This is the summer when Emily begins to heal from her grief over her mother and begin to chart a new path forward, following the steps her mother tread before her.

What I loved: Ultimately, this story is a beautiful tale of connection, grief, healing, coming out, and finding your own path. Emily divides her life into the before and after of her mother's diagnosis, and she still feels her mother's absence very acutely. During this summer, she finds a new way to connect with her mother by following her summer bucket list (later renamed the lucky list) and begins to reassess the ways her life has changed in the last 3 years.

A major part of the story is Emily beginning to come to terms with her feelings and LGBT identity. She was beginning to have some ideas around his when she found out her mother was ill, and so those feelings have been long suppressed with an on and off again relationship with a close friend, Matt. As she begins to work on the list, these feelings are growing and competing with the weight of the unspoken expectations she feels. This is a really well done LGBT coming out story and romance that will speak to YA readers with whom these situations may resonate.

Emily is a really compelling character, and Blake is a great complement for her. Their story is a lovely one through deep conversations, connecting over their losses, and helping each other heal. It would be impossible not to cheer for them to be together, even though their path is winding. The plot is perfectly and steadily paced, making it one that can be read in a sitting or two.

Final verdict: A charming YA contemporary, THE LUCKY LIST is a beautiful story of grief, healing, and connection. Highly recommend picking this one up!
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