Published by Scholastic on July 25th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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Can’t buy me love…
Maddie’s not impulsive. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment—
In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun…until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.
Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?
I’ve read all of Kasie West’s contemporary novels and have enjoyed all of them but I found Lucky in Love to be a step down from her usual standard. It was a little bit boring and unmemorable and I don’t think it helped that I had read Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith a few months ago, which has a similar premise and was much better executed.
This book follows Maddie, whose main focus is good grades at school and getting into college with a scholarship. Her family is slowly breaking apart and it seems like she’s the glue that is keeping them together. But when she buys a lottery ticket on her 18th birthday and wins $50 million, her life changes and suddenly everything seems to be working out. Until it isn’t.
Let’s start with what I did like. I really liked the family aspect of the book and seeing all of their struggles, because I don’t think there’s such a thing as a perfect family. It was really interesting seeing how Maddie’s lottery win changed the family dynamics for the better and for the worse. I also really loved that the novel did have a strong focus on family and not just the romance, which is something that I love and have come to expect from Kasie West’s writing. I also liked that the book was really cute and the romance was pretty sugary sweet. But that’s probably where it ends.
I did not connect with Maddie’s character at all and found her to be boringly annoying… or annoyingly boring (I can’t decide which). I didn’t really get a good sense of who she was and there wasn’t really that much character development throughout the book. She made lots of really poor decisions throughout the novel and thought that she could make her problems go away by throwing money at them. I just didn’t really understand her character and her thought processes seemed a little bit contradictory. For example, she didn’t want her lottery win to change her life and made a big point about not wanting people to know/wanting to stay normal, but then immediately throws a massive yacht party? Cannot compute. And just in general, Maddie came across as a bit of a special snowflake, which definitely did not impress me.
The other characters were also a little bit boring, in my opinion. They were all pretty one-dimensional and there was really nothing noteworthy about any of them. I did like Seth as a love interest, but he definitely was not as interesting as some of Kasie West’s other lead males. I did like his interactions with Maddie though and found the romance to be really adorable, which probably saved the book for me.
When it came to the plot, there wasn’t really a lot that happened, which made the book a bit of a drag and really hard to get through. There was an insane amount of dialogue (boring dialogue) and not much action. The novel did pick up in pace a little bit more towards the end but the plot was a bit unresolved when it came to some of the more serious issues that were being explored and I was left feeling a little bit let down.
Overall, this was definitely not my favourite of Kasie West’s novels and left a lot to be desired. There wasn’t much plot and I wasn’t enamoured by the characters. It’s definitely not one of the worst contemporary romances that I’ve read, but the best way that I can describe it is… average.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Thanks to Joey @ Thoughts and Afterthoughts for giving me his copy.