SUMMER TIME READ: The Lucky List Review

81lEotkcWQLSummary (From the publisher): Emily and her mom were always lucky. Every month they’d take her lucky quarter, select lucky card 505, and dominate the heatedly competitive bingo night in their small, quirky town of Huckabee. 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 that 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 her dad’s best friend’s daughter, Blake, a 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 two 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 closer to 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.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

My Thoughts: 

Back in September, I read Rachael Lippincott & Mikki Daughtry’s All This Time, making me want to check out more books by both authors, including Rachael Lippincott’s first solo book, The Lucky List. Taking place over my favorite season, SUMMER, the book follows upcoming high school senior, Emily, whose summer is looking a little bleak: she’s just broken up with her on-and-off again boyfriend, Matt, again & maybe this time for good; because of the break-up, she’s on the outs with her friend group; her best friend, Kiera, is away at summer camp; and her dad is finally read to move out of Emily’s childhood home and start cleaning out her mom’s belongings, who died from cancer 3 years before. Emily hasn’t felt like herself over those 3 years, but discovers a new connection to her mom when she finds her mom’s summer bucket list from her own senior year. When her dad’s best friend and his daughter, Blake, move back to town, Emily & Blake team up together to complete the bucket list. Emily begins to feel like the old her, including unopened feelings about her sexuality and more-than-friends feels she is developing for Blake.

The Lucky List was a really cute summer YA contemporary while also diving into deeper themes surrounding Emily’s loss and coming out. Throughout, Emily is grieving over her mom’s death and how she just hasn’t felt like herself since. Through the bucket list, Blake helps Emily work through her emotions. The story felt really full circle near the end, as the book does connect back to the moment when Emily’s mom was diagnosed with cancer and Emily recognizing her sexuality. I always make sure to note this when a book does indeed bring on the tears because yes I do read a lot of emotional books that make me sad but so few make me cry. However, I had tons of tears rolling down my face near the end of the book involving a scene with Emily and her dad and her mom’s clothes, which led me to cry over the follow-up scenes.

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ROMANTIC YA CONTEMPORARY: All This Time Review

Summary (from the publisher):

From the team behind #1 New York Times bestseller Five Feet Apart comes a gripping new romance that asks: Can you find true love after losing everything?

Kyle and Kimberly have been the perfect couple all through high school, but when Kimberly breaks up with him on the night of their graduation party, Kyle’s entire world upends—literally. Their car crashes and when he awakes, he has a brain injury. Kimberly is dead. And no one in his life could possibly understand.

Until Marley. Marley is suffering from her own loss, a loss she thinks was her fault. And when their paths cross, Kyle sees in her all the unspoken things he’s feeling.

As Kyle and Marley work to heal each other’s wounds, their feelings for each other grow stronger. But Kyle can’t shake the sense that he’s headed for another crashing moment that will blow up his life as soon as he’s started to put it back together.

And he’s right.

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, AudibleB&N Exclisive Edition, iBooks, KoboTBD, Bookshop.org

 

My Rating: 4/5 Stars 

My Thoughts: 

I’ve been making my way BACK to my one true love, YA contemporary, in August & September, which led me to pick up Mikki Daughtry and Rachael Lippincott’s upcoming release, All This Time. I haven’t yet read their absolute hit, Five Feet Apart, but maybe I will soon because I so easily fell into their second book! All This Time follows Kyle’s worst nightmare turned true. As high school sweethearts Kyle and Kimberley break up on the night of their graduation, they get into a car accident. When Kyle wakes up from his brain injury, he finds out Kimberley died in the accident. Kyle struggles with his pain and grief, feeling like no one can possibly understand what he’s going through, except for Marley, a girl who’s suffering from a loss of her own. Despite that Kyle works through his grief with Marley by his side, he can’t help but feel that everything can’t be as right as it seems. 

All This Time reminded me of why I fell in love with YA contemporary & romances. This book would’ve been one of my favorite reads back in high school because it just speaks so much to first love and heartbreak. Kyle’s story of course takes on very tragic and somber tone, but Mikki Daughty and Rachel Lippincott’s writing style was very easy to fall into. I read the book in 2 or 3 sittings, but I definitely recommend breezing through this one on a cozy night in this fall. It’s also had been a while since I read a YA with a male protagonist or narrated by the lead male character, but I think Kyle’s storytelling was very relatable to anyone who’s suffered from loss or going through first love. 

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