Chasing Lucky

Chasing Lucky
Age Range
Release Date
November 10, 2020
Buy This Book
In this coming-of-age romance perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen, scandal and romance collide when an ambitious teen returns to her hometown only to have her plans interrupted after falling for the town’s “bad boy”—a.k.a. her childhood best friend.

Sometimes to find the good, you have to embrace the bad.

Budding photographer Josie Saint-Martin has spent half her life with her single mother, moving from city to city. When they return to her historical New England hometown years later to run the family bookstore, Josie knows it’s not forever. Her dreams are on the opposite coast, and she has a plan to get there.

What she doesn’t plan for is a run-in with the town bad boy, Lucky Karras. Outsider, rebel…and her former childhood best friend. Lucky makes it clear he wants nothing to do with the newly returned Josie. But everything changes after a disastrous pool party, and a poorly executed act of revenge lands Josie in some big-time trouble—with Lucky unexpectedly taking the blame.

Determined to understand why Lucky was so quick to cover for her, Josie discovers that both of them have changed, and that the good boy she once knew now has a dark sense of humor and a smile that makes her heart race. And maybe, just maybe, he’s not quite the brooding bad boy everyone thinks he is…

Editor review

1 review
A picture will last longer
Overall rating
Writing Style
Josie Saint-Martin and her mother have lived an itinerant lifestyle ever since they left the small Rhode Island seaside town where they lived with her grandmother. Now, as her senior year approaches, her grandmother and aunt have left to work in Nepal, leaving Josie's mother in charge of the bookstore which has been in the family for ages. Her cousin, Evie, will also be with them. One of the first people Josie meets when she comes back to town is her former best friend, Lucky Karras. The two had been inseparable, but when Josie left town suddenly, Lucky's life spiraled downward. He was involved in a bad fire, and carries scars from that, although his family's fortunes have improved and they now run a successful yacht repair service. There are some priveleged kids in town who go to a private school, and one of them, Adrian, shows up at a party showing a nude photo of Josie's mother as a teen. The Saint-Martin woman have a reputation, and also a "love curse" that seems to follow them, and Josie feels awkward and angry. When she and Lucky leave the party together, she ends up throwing a rock that accidentally shatters a large window at Adrian's family's department store. Lucky takes the blame, and Josie feels guilty. She tries to help him pay for the window, even though she's not making a lot of money herself. Most of her income comes from a photo hosting web site where she displays her art work; this also leads to rumors that the nude photo came from her site. Josie and Lucky spar back and forth, and both have a lot of anger about the way their lives have gone. Josie worries about her mother's erratic behavior, her cousin Evie's choices of friends, and her own future. Her father is a successful photographer in California, and Josie hopes to graduate from high school and go to join him when her mother fulfills her own wish of moving to Florida. Josie doesn't speak much to her father, but hopes to impress him, although she is unable to get an internship. When her relationship with Lucky takes an interesting turn, will it jeopardize her future?
Good Points
This is a solidly young adult book because of the high levels of angst Josie exhibits; she doesn't get along with her mother, she worries about her cousin, she can't seem to stop making choices that make her the subject of gossip in town, and she has trouble communicating with Lucky in a straight forward manner. There is also more romantic activity in the book than middle grade readers would be comfortable with.

Josie's love of photography is interesting, and she has a camera collection that will intrigue anyone familiar with actual cameras. Each chapter starts with the description of one of her pieces of art; she specializes in pictures of signs from her small town. There is some information about using light to take good pictures, the web site hosting her art, and a few other details that will speak to fans of Rushby's Shooting Stars, Nelson's Hot Cocoa Hearts, and Bauer's classic Thwonk.
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