In her book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott says, “For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”

My hope is that this is what books become to you—as important as almost anything else on earth. This blog is about helping you find the miracle in these small, flat, rigid squares of paper while you are in middle school and beyond. Once you read alongside me, you are forever a member of my tribe of readers. No matter how you old you are, when you need to be reminded of the power of a good story, you will find me here, waiting to place one in your hands.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

THE LUCKY KIND by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

copyright date: May 2011
primarily marketed for: young adults (14 and up)

I picked up this book because I had fallen in love with Alyssa B. Sheinmel’s first book for young adults The Beautiful Between.  I have to admit I was slightly disappointed with The Lucky Kind because I had such high expectations. 

Both books are about family secrets, but I found the relationships and dialogue in The Beautiful Between to be much more realistically drawn than the family relationships and dialogue in The Lucky Kind.  I am wondering if that might not be due to the protagonist of this book being a guy instead of a girl.  I am curious to hear if guys find Nick more or less believable than I did.

The Lucky Kind tells the story of Nick Brandt, a high school senior who is well-adjusted and wants for nothing in life, other than to get Eden Reiss, the girl of his dreams, to notice him.

When things start to look like they’re working out with Eden, his relationship with his father starts to unravel.  He discovers a secret his father has been keeping from him all his life.  And for Nick, it changes everything.

Unlike the secret in The Beautiful Between, I didn’t really feel the weight of Nick’s family secret the way he did.  However, I was drawn in to the story by his character.  I wanted to see how things turned out for him.  I rooted for him and Eden despite the emotional trauma Nick was navigating with his father and the choices that drove him to make in his relationships. 

Like her first book, The Lucky Kind contains mature language and coming-of-age situations, but I suspect Nick’s experiences are just the kind of issues many of you are ready to experience vicariously before you are faced with them in your own lives.

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