Just Our Luck
"Leave the Paros family alone." That was Yia Yia's second rule for life. But who does Leo see sitting at the front desk of the local gym? Evey Paros, whose family supposedly cursed Leo's with bad luck. Seeing that Leo is desperate to enroll in anything but self-defense class, Evey cuts him a deal: she'll secretly enroll him in hot yoga instead—for a price. But what could the brilliant, ruthless, forbidden Evey Paros want from Leo?
Sharp, honest, and compulsively readable, Just Our Luck is as funny as it is heartwarming.
The book begins after he receives a punch that knocks him out, and his father enrolls him in warrior self-defense. Knowing that is absolutely the last thing he wants to do, he begs the girl at the desk to switch him into anything else. Luckily, there's a hot yoga class for aspiring yoga teachers that meets at the same time. However, the girl who switches it for him is Evey Paros, whose family is said to have cursed his generations back. When she leverages that switch into a favor to help her get back at her ex-boyfriend, Leo finds himself pulled into her orbit - despite his Yia Yia's warnings to stay away from the Paros family.
While Leo participates in hot yoga, journals (we are reading his journal), helps Evey with her unusual revenge scheme, and sits in silence in therapy with the guy who punched him, his life is evolving and he is coming into his own.
What I loved: Although the stream-of-consciousness style writing can be difficult to get into at first, by the end, it feels as though the reader has been fully immersed into Leo and his life. He is a character who owns himself and what he likes, and I loved the way we see both his memories and the ways that things are playing out in the present. The representation of anxiety was really powerful here - the symptoms and consequences are really palpable, and the way that Leo deals with it and how that evolves by the end of the book were really strong.
Although Evey seems difficult at first, I really appreciated the honesty that travels between her and Leo and the way that her character evolves during the book. Additionally, Drake, who punched Leo at the start of the book, is a character that really grew on me (and Leo) during the story. These characters, through Leo's eyes, are compelling and really endearing.
The writing also contains quite a bit of humor that I really enjoyed. In addition to the thought-provoking and important themes, such as about anxiety/mental health, revenge, relationship abuse, being true to yourself, and the importance of finding people who can appreciate you for you, this was an enjoyable and powerful read.
Final verdict: JUST OUR LUCK is an engaging, humorous, and ultimately moving YA contemporary that I would highly recommend. Great for people who enjoyed FRANKLY IN LOVE, FAT CHANCE, CHARLIE VEGA, and ONLY MOSTLY DEVASTATED.