Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Review: The Lucky Kind by Alyssa Sheinmel

The Lucky Kind
by Alyssa Sheinmel
Publication Date: May 10, 2011
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 208
Source: Won from Random Buzzers

High school junior Nick Brandt is intent on getting a girlfriend, and Eden Reiss is the one that he wants. He has exactly four semesters to get the girl, but when the phone rings on an otherwise ordinary Tuesday night, life for Nick and his parents will never be the same. What had been a seemingly idyllic home life has become something else entirely. But with this shake-up comes a newfound confidence for Nick; he's become a bolder version of himself, no longer afraid to question his parents, and no longer afraid to talk to Eden.

Alyssa B. Sheinmel has written a powerfully gripping story about family secrets, falling in love, and finding luck in unexpected--and sometimes unwelcome—circumstances.
(from Goodreads)

My Thoughts

When I first read this synopsis of The Lucky Kind, I was drawn to the romantic aspect of the storyline. It sounded like one of those underdog stories, where the awkward geeky-cute boy tries to get the girl of his dreams. There is a little bit of that going on, but this story is so much more than this relationship.

The focus on the family dynamic is what makes The Lucky Kind stand out from other stories. Nick's parents are central to the storyline and his father's betrayal, or what he perceives as a betrayal, is important to his growth as a character. This event allows Nick to realize that his parents had a life before they became his parents. They made their own mistakes, their own choices - that they are human too. 

What I like most about The Lucky Kind is that is doesn't pull any punches, it's subtle in it's depth. I loved that Nick questioned his parents and their authority but not in a bratty, over the top defiant way(while he did have his moments).  It wasn't drama-filled which made it feel all the more real. Some readers may need the drama and may think that a lot doesn't really happen in the story, but that's not what I took from it all.

One of my favorite scenes from the book is when Eden tells Nick that she notices that his parents still hold hands. She demonstrates by talking his hand and holding it and then not letting go. This is the first time they've ever touched and she's so casual about it. 
Our hands are resting in the space between our legs, but loosely, like we've been holding each other's hands for years, like it's not a big deal. It doesn't even feel like she was really taking my hand, only that she was trying to show me something. (pg 45)
There are many tender moments like these that made me fall in love with Nick and Eden. And I appreciated that their relationship wasn't all swoon and lust. It felt real - full of confusion and doubt - the overwhelming feeling that can only come from a first love. 

The Lucky Kind is, in the best way possible, an emotional read. The story is moving and believable, subtle, and honest. I'd recommend it to any fan of contemporary YA.

Disclaimer: This review is based on the Advanced Readers Copy which I won from Random Buzzers/Random House. Any quotes mentioned may differ from the final published copy. I was not compensated from providing a review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.



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