The Other Side of Luck
Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Published August 10, 2021
About The Other Side of Luck
Follows two children from opposite circumstances as their fates cross and change both their lives forever.
Ever since her mother’s death, Princess Una has suffered through years of loneliness in the royal palace, where girls are treated as an afterthought. She yearns for a different life but is unsure how to make anyone notice her. Then her father announces a special contest: Whoever finds the rare Silva Flower can present it to Una for her twelfth birthday and receive a reward. Frustrated by her father’s grand but empty gesture, Una decides to take her fate into her own hands.
Julien, a young pauper, has tried his whole life to make something of nothing, alongside his hardworking Baba. When Baba is arrested by terrifying debt collectors, Julien’s only hope to save his father is to win the palace contest–to find the elusive Silva Flower. Little does he know that Una has decided to embark on a journey to find the prize, as well. As Una and Julien search for the flower, their destinies intertwine and offer a reward greater than anything either could ever hope for.
This book. My heart.
When I see a book that’s being promoted as having a lyrical or poetic style, I’m always drawn to that. Sometimes it’s a bit of a two-edged sword, though, because sometimes I get excited and expect something specific, and then end up disappointed. This time was not one of those times, though!
From the very first page, I loved this book. The writing is definitely more poetic and lyrical. Because both main characters have one really strong sense (smell in one case and hearing in the other), the descriptions for those characters major on their strong sense. I felt like this created a really immersive story. Even though some of the scenes had a little bit of a bird’s-eye-view type feel, the sensory details kept the story feeling really close and personal, super emotive.
In other words, all things I like!
And the themes. Oh goodness. Grief and estrangement. Fear and anxiety. Loneliness. Those were all so deep and well done. Best of all, though, was the exploration of the healing power of friendship and found family. Those all wove together and created such a moving, soothing story. I love it so much.
Every year as I read, there are a few books that I hold on to as possible Christmas gifts for family and friends. This one will be at the top of that list. I think readers who like whimsical, sweet and deep stories like THE FIREBIRD SONG will love this one.
Recommended for Ages 8 to 12.
Julien is white and Una is described as having brown skin.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Some magic. Julien can hear leaves unfurling and other sounds that plants make. A woman makes a special soup that has healing properties.
A man lies to authorities so than an innocent man is arrested of a crime he didn’t commit. A band of robbers kidnap and tie up victims, threatening to kill them. Children face situations of peril.
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