Page Street Kids
Published May 11, 2021
About Lucky Girl
58,642,129. That’s how many dollars seventeen-year-old Fortuna Jane Belleweather just won in the lotto jackpot. It’s also about how many reasons she has for not coming forward to claim her prize.
Problem #1: Jane is still a minor, and if anyone discovers she bought the ticket underage, she’ll either have to forfeit the ticket, or worse . . .
Problem #2: Let her hoarder mother cash it. The last thing Jane’s mom needs is millions of dollars to buy more junk. Then . . .
Problem #3: Jane’s best friend, aspiring journalist Brandon Kim, declares on the news that he’s going to find the lucky winner. It’s one thing to keep her secret from the town — it’s another thing entirely to lie to her best friend. Especially when . . .
Problem #4: Jane’s ex-boyfriend, Holden, is suddenly back in her life, and he has big ideas about what he’d do with the prize money. As suspicion and jealousy turn neighbor against neighbor, and no good options for cashing the ticket come forward, Jane begins to wonder: Could this much money actually be a bad thing?
I loved a lot of things about this book. Here are a few, in no particular order: it’s not centered around a romantic relationship; it features people dealing with grief in really disparate ways and explores how that impacts their relationship; I love the friendship between Brandon and Jane.
So, first, I loved that LUCKY GIRL isn’t about the lotto ticket leading her to love. Not that there’s anything wrong with romance, but sometimes it’s nice to read stories that don’t center around romantic love, or the idea that being in love or finding the right person solves all the problems. I like that Jane navigates some tricky relationships and has to make decisions where the outcome isn’t obvious.
I also loved the friendship between Jane and Brandon. They had a great dynamic between them and it led to a lot of fun and a lot of truth coming out. Their friendship made LUCKY GIRL a really fun read.
Jane’s dad passed away years before the story begins, and Jane and her mom deal with that loss in really different ways. While Jane wants to be patient with her mom and understands that her issues spring from her grief, she also has a lot of frustration and fear about her mom’s behavior. That felt really real to me. I would have liked to see a little bit of what happened to her mom at the very end of the book, but I’m not sure if that would have tied things up too neatly? I’m not sure.
Since Jamie Pacton’s debut, THE LIFE AND (MEDIEVAL) TIMES OF KIT SWEETLY was one of my favorite books from last year, I feel like LUCKY GIRL had a lot to live up to. It’s a completely different story, but a really great one. I’m happy to have them on shelves next to one another, and I think readers who enjoyed Kit’s story will love Jane’s too.
Recommended for Ages 16 up.
Jane is bisexual. Her best friend Branon is Korean-American.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used with moderate frequency.
Kissing between boy and girl. References to sex. In one scene, a boy briefly reaches under a girl’s shirt.
Jane writes private messages to her dad, who has passed on, through his Facebook page.
Holden and his friends throw water balloons at other people and shake an unanchored space. They’re obviously being jerks. In one scene, teens break into a gas station and damage an item.
The teens in Jane’s town spend weekend nights at the beach on the lake drinking alcohol.
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