Just Lucky

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 03 Dec 2019

Member Reviews

Heartfelt, Heartbreaking and Hopeful! Thoroughly enjoyable read, I would highly recommend to anyone.
Was this review helpful?
An emotional heartfelt read. I cannot wait to devour whatever else the author has written. Fantastic writing style with very real characters. I love the points it touches upon and the emotions that the main character develops in each situation. More please!!!
Was this review helpful?
Mostly, Lucky Robinson has lived up to her name. She lives her Cree grandparents in a nice house and attends a school she loves and has a best friend Ryan. But then her luck runs out: Her grandfather dies, and Lucky discovers that her grandmother’s “forgetfulness” is a lot worse than just that. So Lucky gets sent off to foster care. 

Americans tend to idealize Canada (I know that I do), but their foster-care system still seems a lot better than ours. Even so, poor Lucky needs her wits to thrive and finally find home. I loved this slender book so much. There’s a bit of cursing in the book — a realistic level — but Lucky is a great protagonist who will inspire the hundreds of thousands of children in foster care, whether in Canada or its southern neighbor.

In the interest of full disclosure, I received this book from NetGalley and Second Story Press in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own

A story of a girl who is searching for a permanent home after being placed in foster care cause she’s to young to take care of her ailing grandmother alone. 
It’s a very short book with short chapters so it’s easy to read.
Was this review helpful?
ARC provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Synopsis: This book is about a girl who was named Lucky by her mother because she had won a jackpot while she had her baby in her belly. So, Lucky lived with her grandparents since she was a little child. But at the age of fifteen, her grandpa died and it was discovered that her grandma had Alzheimer after a terrible accident. Due to this, she is moved from one foster home to another as accidents keep happening.

This book is about the quest to find a sense of familiarity when things begin to change drastically in your. It talks about several social issues and stigma we face in today's world, discussing homophobia, the general notion about how a religion is practiced, racism etc. It talks about how difficult it is to find a good foster home, homes which can be trusted.

I liked the way the story begin and it was purely a joy to see the relationship between Lucky, her grandparents and Ryan, her best friend.

"By the time he left, we had made plans to explore my basement together the next day and had already decided we were going to be best friends forever."

"Nothing had changed. But his parents weren’t like me. Or you. Or anyone normal you’ve ever met. His parents were religious."

“Don’t ‘Grandma’me!”Her eyes were blazing. “This…”she gestured at Ryan’s bruised face. “This is not all right. And it’s certainly not ‘Christian.’”

Her best friend was gay and as his family was 'religious', he was kicked out of their house. This is one mention of discrimination mentioned in the book. At her first foster home she had to deal with a pedophile and a family which felt like had come from the past. It was that bad. Apart from that, as Lucky was switching from house to house, she had to deal with particularly racist people who didn't know anything better. During such encounters, she had resorted to physical violence, which, truth be told, is particularly satisfying when you are dealing with turmoil in your life. But despite this, Lucky finally found a place she could call home after the rollercoster seeming life she had to live in a span of few weeks.

So yes, I really liked this book. Especially the ending which reflected how despite problems in your life, you'll always find people with whom you feel you belong.
I sat beside her son who still hadn’t said a word to me. 

“Hi,” I said, smiling at him. He flushed and looked away. “Bobby, say hi to Lucky,” Mary instructed him. “Hi,” he muttered. Okay then. Off to a great start. Clearly we were destined to be BFFs.
Was this review helpful?
Set in a modern society where one's backstory play a vital role in justifying their presence, this book tells a story of Lucky, a fifteen-year old girl who had to lose almost everything when his beloved grandfather passed away and she was only left with her grandmother to take care of. Knowing the fact that her grandma's failing memory will soon alter their lives altogether, Lucky knows she soon has to admit to bid her goodbyes and let her grandma to get the care she most needed, a healthcare system for Alzheimer sufferers. This plot will allow you to follow Lucky through her different experiences in each foster system and how she manages to survive whilst still maintaining close eye on her grandma.

The diverse social issues mentioned in this plot are the ultimate reasons as to why I enjoy the book, especially the fact that the representation of racial subject was indeed poignant and genuine all throughout. The characters are very lovable and I adore Lucky and Ryan's friendship and how he was at times may seem very mature in giving advice to Lucky, despite their age. 

However, I was a tad bit apprehensive at first to devour the complex situation of Lucky's journey to find the 'homey' foster system. I personally considered the complexity was too illusive in certain parts, but still bearable for me to enjoy.

All in all, this book is amazing and I highly recommend for anyone who's interested in this type of contemporary.
Was this review helpful?
A cute and simple read! Lucky's relationship with her grandmother was undeniably endearing. I just wish it was longer though.
Was this review helpful?
My parents, who had five children of their own, took in one of my brother's teen friends, Bobby, as a foster kid. That boy was broken. My father was a stay at home Dad after an accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down.  Someone was always there if you needed help. We offered Bobby as much love as we could. It wasn't enough.

In my twenties I worked with teens who were in care. Most of them were girls who had been sexually abused in their homes, and for some, the abuse continued in foster homes.

There is a shortage of good foster homes, especially for teens. I have known this since then. I wish that we had opened up our home up for kids who needed them. But my partner and I both worked full time. I worked with children all day, and felt I couldn't deal with more our own two when I got home.

My cousin and his partner, two of the people I admire most in the world, have fostered over 30 children. They make a commitment to those kids and make them part of their family forever. Family get togethers are quite the event.

You are probably wondering why I'm going on about foster care here. It's because of this book. It's because I know the truth in Melanie Florence's novel.

Lucky is a smart young teen who lives with her Cree grandparents. Her mother, an addict, is incapable of taking care of her, but she has a good life. Her best friend, Ryan, lives nearby. Grandma has been getting more and more forgetful, but Grandpa is there to help out and look after her. When he dies unexpectedly, Lucky tries to take care of her, but then Grandma almost burns the house down and is diagnosed with Alzheimers. Grandma ends up in a home and Lucky ends up in the foster system.

As soon as Lucky landed in her first placement, I had to put the book down. I needed to prepare myself for what was about to happen. Unfortunately she ends up in four homes before finally ending up in a place that works for her.

In spite of the difficulties Lucky has to endure, she is blessed with a good friend in Ryan who she has known since they were little. While in care Lucky manages to befriend many other children. I loved that it was often through a shared love of graphic novels and comic books. Through them we come to know the gamut of experiences that land kids in care in the first place.

I appreciate the diverse characters in this book. I appreciate that Florence shows us the racism that Lucky has to endure and how many adults just don't understand it.

While I think this book is appropriate for students aged twelve and up, my wish is that teachers and other adults will read it. At the least they will understand what it means for the children they work with who are in care. At best, maybe they will decide to open up their own homes.
Was this review helpful?
Omg this book was so good but so so very sad. As I write this I’m in tears. It was beautiful and gave me all the feelings. It’s a must read! Thank you netgalley for the ARC 💖
Was this review helpful?
It became clear very quickly that I am not this book's intended audience. The narration felt so childish that I couldn't manage. If it had read a little older I would've enjoyed it much more and kept going. This is absolutely not a fault of the book or the author! I am just not the intended audience here.
Was this review helpful?
Lucky is 15 year old girl who lives with her grandparents. She has good friends, a loving home, and even though her mother abandoned her at birth, she loves that her grandparents are her caregivers.

Things with Lucky’s Grandmother could be better, as she keeps having ‘forgetting spells’, and it worries Lucky. But things all come to a head when Lucky’s Grandfather passes away unexpectedly.

The stress of Lucky’s Grandfather’s death exacerbates her Grandmother’s symptoms, and after a fire related incident, Lucky is placed in an emergency foster care house.

It isn’t all it’s cracked up to be – the “wholesome Christian family” she’s placed with are not nice people. The mother uses meal cancellations as punishment, and the father is a serial abuser of any girls placed with him.

Lucky’s entire world is turned upside down, and she, understandably, doesn’t know whether she’s coming or going, and things grow intense for her at several points during this book.

--

This book was very quick to read. The chapters were short, and the pace was fast. It had a gripping enough storyline that I was intrigued to find out what happens next.

The situations that Lucky finds herself in, or is placed in, are mostly beyond her control. She just wants a stable home with her Grandmother, but she rapidly finds out that it’s just not possible, even though she desperately wants it to be.

Lucky faces so much in such a short amount of time, and I commend her strength at getting through each day like she does.

Though she faces a fair amount of hardships, Lucky finds new (and lasting) friends along the way in the form of some of her foster siblings.

This book is just one small peek into what it is, and can be like, as a foster care child, when life unexpectedly turns upside down.
Was this review helpful?
Spoiler alert.
I really enjoyed the story about Lucky. She is a girl who lives with her grandparents because her mother had addiction and gambling issues. She is happy with her grandparents but she notices her grandma is forgetting things. Her grandpa dies and her grandma has an episode and sets the house on Fire. She does to live in a series of foster home. She learns the meaning of family and who it may not be that regular 2 parent 2.4 kids with a dog family. I think at some points it could be more detailed. It feel like it jumps out yucky from one scene to another but it’s a very good atory and I have already recommended it to others.
Was this review helpful?
Lucky always felt fortunate to be part of a loving trio: her, her grandfather, and her grandmother, but she knew something was wrong with her grandmother. She had been forgetting and becoming more and more confused each day. After her grandfather's sudden death, Lucky was left to care for her grandmother, and that was when she realized she would not be able to provide the appropriate care. With no other familial options, Lucky was forced into the foster care system. It was a roller coaster of ups and downs, but eventually, Lucky believed she could find a "home". 

My heart went out to Lucky. She had experienced quite a bit of loss and disappointment in her 15 years, but she was resilient. There were moments, when I thought she had given up, but with some support from her friends and found family, she was able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

We spent a lot of time watching Lucky move from house to house, which I know is very common in foster care. I was worried at first, that it was just going to be a disaster parade, but Florence actually illustrated several different types of situations wards may encounter while in the system. My heart broke as Lucky bounced from place to place, but I found some solace in the fact that she was able to make some lasting connections in a few of those homes. 

Loved!

• Lucky's grandmother and the special bond they shared
• Ryan, her steadfast best friend
• Lucy, Charlie, Jake, Isabelle, and Janie - her found family
• Lucky's love of comics 
• THE ENDING!! (There were happy tears)

Overall: A fast-paced story of one young woman's challenges navigating the foster care system, while also dealing with a profound loss of her loved ones in her daily life.
Was this review helpful?
First off, this is super short. I feel it needs to be fleshed out so much more. The main story line is great, I really enjoyed it, and the author's writing style. It was still a basic plot line though. This happens, then this, then this. The first half especially, the second have felt to have more merit.

I was a bit put off at the start, though, with how she portrays all the Christians displayed in the story. I know there are rotten apples in the world, but I just find it odd that any Lucky comes in contact with are of this aspect. And I find that most of the situations, involving Lucky, with the homes, with kids at school, every one was done to an extreme. I mean, I don't have experience with foster homes, or foster kids, or anything like that...but I just feel like, some girl isn't going to completely HATE you, from the very first second, just because you live with the guy she likes. Or, that she would get so completely angry, to jump into fist fighting, for some words someone says. That anyone would say such utterly rude and racist things and not get away with it (that's only a couple examples). I just felt like it was all done to the max, to progress the story in the direction the author wanted. 

Also, some things need to be more researched and backgrounded. A kid can't just be homeschooled, usually. There is legal rules, per state, of what needs to be done for homeschooling kids. And kids have to be withdrawn...one wouldn't be in public school one day, and then moved, and homeschooled the next day, without a process of paperwork. You do not need to wake a patient every hour, just because they have a concussion. 

However, I did really enjoy the story, and the perspective it gives us with a child going through the foster care system. Some things need to be fluffed out, and that would make it longer, and then it'd be a really great book!
Was this review helpful?
A pretty quick read. I was not sure if I was liking it at the beginning, but as I got to know the characters I ended up enjoying it very much. Lucky's situation, going to foster home and moving over and over again, is something that happens to lots of children and teens. Seeing the types of families Lucky encounters and how she deals with getting further away from her family and friends, with no option but to go with the system, frustrated me.

The pacing was great, it kept me entertained at all moments. I liked the characters, but didn't really felt a connection with any of them.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity. I want to excuse for the time I took to review this book. 

This book is a 3,5 for me, it gives you a lot of important social topics but some of them are just left out "open" (without a proper discussion to fulfill the curious reader. On the other hand, is one of the few books that talk about foster homes and how different they can be and can affect the child in them. Besides this, we have problematic topics as how Lucky just fight when she felt like she needed to confront something. 

It is a rollercoaster of emotions, even more to readers like me that have seen members of the family deal with Alzheimer's and how it affects everyone around them. Even though it covers what I mentioned early, I think it left things in the open that would have been good to see more explored (not to make the book be 400 pages long but to inform the reader how those topics affect others, including the author, for example, the heritage). 

Any reader that would like to read this book should first research about the content and trigger warnings as family disease/conditions, homophobia, addiction, abuse, etc.
Was this review helpful?
Lucky is 15 and lives with her grandparents. Her best friend, Ryan, is literally the boy next door. When her grandfather dies, Lucky does her best to take over the role of caring for her grandmother, who has Alzheimer’s. An accident brings the attention of the authorities to their home situation, resulting in Lucky being placed in foster care.

A series of foster placements take her away from the familiarity of what used to be her life. Some placements are weird, some are okay and some are downright creepy. None of them are home. All the while, Lucky holds out hope that soon she and her grandmother will be able to return to their own home.

Although the publisher’s website states the target audience for this book is 13 to 18 years, the writing style felt more suitable for younger readers, with the exception of some swearing. This made me think this was a Hi-Lo book, although I cannot find any information to support this assumption. This was a short book with over sixty very short chapters, and a quick read. I didn’t have any problems with the overall story but I wanted it to be fleshed out more.

While I was told what was happening I never got beyond the idea that I was reading a series of, ‘this happened, then that happened, this person said this, then that happened’. There weren’t many expressed emotions, other than some tears (after which I was consistently told that Lucky wasn’t a crier) and the fact that almost every time Lucky encountered confrontation she resorted to physical violence, even though there was no indication she had ever behaved that way before.

I stand by my previous reviews where I’ve said we need more books about foster care. While I loved that this book talked about foster care and did explore a few of the different types of homes foster kids are placed in, I felt there were some missed opportunities as well.

I’ve read a few books recently that have included so many young adult social issues that it began to feel like I was reading social issue soup and this book felt like that too. Although plenty of boxes have been checked (most are included in my content warnings) it felt like their existence was only acknowledged in Lucky’s story rather than adequately dealt with. 

Lucky is Indigenous; her grandparents are Cree. While bannock is mentioned (which I definitely need to try for myself) and Lucky experiences racism based on her heritage, this was pretty much the extent of its inclusion in this book. The author also has Cree heritage and I would have loved to have learned more about this.

There were gaps in the story that I filled in myself. For example, Lucky’s best friend comes out to his conservative religious parents, his father beats him up because of it, Lucky’s grandmother confronts his parents and comes back to the house with some of his belongings, saying he’ll be staying with them for a few days. Then there’s no follow up, except a couple of years later he’s mentioning his aunt and uncle, yet we’re never told that he moved in with them. I made up scenarios of when and how that went down myself.

The descriptions were quite repetitive. While there were a few more that I’m not mentioning here, food smelt “heavenly” four times and something was “amazing” nineteen times. If this is a Hi-Lo book the repetition makes sense. If it’s not, I have a problem with it. Because I don’t know for sure, I’m currently sitting on the fence about it.

Content warnings include abandonment, bullying, drug addiction, foster care, gambling addiction, homophobia, neglect, physical abuse, racism, attempted sexual assault and slut shaming (I hate that phrase but couldn’t think of a better, less offensive one).

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Second Story Press for the opportunity to read this book.
Was this review helpful?
Fifteen-year-old Lucky loves her grandparents. True, her grandmother forgets things, like turning the stove off, or Lucky's name, but her grandfather takes such good care of them that Lucky doesn't realize how bad things are . . . until she loses her grandfather and is left caring for her grandmother on her own. When her grandma sets the kitchen on fire, Lucky can't hide what's happening any longer, and she is sent into foster care. She quickly learns that some families are okay, and some aren't. And some really, really aren't. None of them feel like home. And they're certainly not family.

For such a short book, it sure packs a punch! It was over and I was crying before I knew it. I think this is definitely going on my shortlist for the year.

*Book received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
Was this review helpful?
Just Lucky was a great & easy read. I appreciated reading Lucky's story and how she bounced from house to house after the tragedy. 

One thing I wish there was more of - they would briefly mention her Cree heritage. I wish it would have been more of a point, rather than just a mention here or there.

At times it read like an early writer, but it had great moments and overall an important story.
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars

I've never read a book centered around foster care before and it was quite interesting. Seeing Lucky go through her life while facing countless difficulties and obstacles and then seeing her grow as a person and find some closure and happiness was great.

I felt that it was too short, though, in order to truly connect with the characters and the story. Also, some characters felt like caricatures of tropes.
Was this review helpful?