Cover Image: The Lucky One

The Lucky One

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Member Reviews

Thanks to Netgalley for this ARC review copy. I was over the moon excited to have my hands on another book by Lori Rader-Day. I came late to the party and just read all her previous books back in January. As usual, I flagged the newest upcoming book by her, so I could hopefully get my paws on it as soon as possible. This is a bit of a slow burn type of book with alternating viewpoints that really draw you into the story.

Alice was kidnapped and found by her policeman father within 24 hours as a child. They have moved on and from the town because they wanted to put it all behind them, but even as an adult, Alice can;t quite let go. That leads her to volunteering for The Doe Pages. A website that tries to bring lost people home, whether that be alive or deceased. While browsing one day, she comes across the face of her kidnapper, but then the post vanishes. Alice must try to find who posted it and warn others of what this man did to her. While on her quest, she meets Merrily, who has so many questions to her odd past that she wants answered as well. But what they both don't know is how connected to each other they are, and that things are not as they appear to be,

While the first 1/4 of the book was a bit slow for me, once you are past that point, the book swiftly moves to a thrilling conclusion.
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The Lucky One is a chilling read.  The writing is engaging and is a page turner.  The writing is fast paced and readers are carried along with all the action.
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I received an advanced reader copy of The Lucky One from HarperCollins Publishers via NetGalley, in return for my honest opinion.

The Lucky One by Lori Rader-Day is a story about long buried family secrets. When Alice was a toddler, in rural Indiana, she was kidnapped from her backyard. Her father, a police officer at the time, rescued her. Looking for a new start, Alice and her parents moved to Chicago.

Now Alice works alongside her dad at the family construction business. In her free time, Alice studies information posted on The Doe Pages- a website dedicated to reuniting unidentified people with their families. Alice’s father thinks this is a waste of time. When Alice recognizes her kidnapper, she knows she can’t tell her father. Alice and some friends from The Doe Pages set their sites on finding this man.

While Alice and her friends are searching for this man, they meet Merrily, who also happens to be looking for the same man. Merrily has her own reasons for looking for this man and her mother seems to know more about this man than she is letting on. In their hunt to find this man, Alice and Merrily unknowingly put themselves and their families in danger. Will the secrets of Alice and Merrily’s past finally be revealed to them? Will they find this missing man?

I’m undecided on this book, I never got to the point of caring about the characters or the outcome of their story- one day I would enjoy reading this book and the next I wouldn’t. This book wasn’t for me, but maybe it’s for you, The Lucky One is available today, Tuesday, February 18, 2020.

#loriraderday #theluckyone #netgalley #arcs #advancedreadercopy #mystery #mysterybooks #readin2020 #harpercollins #harpercollinspublishers #whatthebook #bookreviews #readersofinstagram #bookaholic
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Make sure you don't start this book before bedtime or when you have other things going on because once you start reading you won't want to stop or put it down until you're done. I couldn't stop reading or put it down and neither will you. From its flawless plot to a character you will cheer for from page one this winner of a book deserves a spot on your keeper shelf. Happy reading!
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Although one of the author's earlier novels is already in my massive TBR, this book is actually my first experience with Rader-Day's writing. And I know it won't be my last!! I had no idea that she is a Chicago author - and I really enjoyed the setting here mainly in Chicago, but with some scenes in Milwaukee, and Indiana that really provides a realistic backdrop to the plot. 

Split for the most part between two narrators, Alice and Merrily, this is an engaging read that makes it easy to keep turning pages. Alice is a young woman who doesn't really have a lot of friends - she's pretty sheltered, working for the family construction company, but has one rebellious hobby - she volunteers her time with the Doe project - a website that aims to match missing people with unidentified remains. Merrily, is also a young woman living in Chicago, who is interrupted at work after a day off to learn that the man that she was closest to of those her single mother had been with had been reported missing.

As events intersect to bring these two women together, the plot gets twister and the book becomes harder and harder to put down! While I never really connected with either main character, I was still curious throughout to see where the story was going. I do wish that I had liked them better - Merrily for being 30 is so immature and Alice feels impossibly sheltered to me... some of the supporting characters also act in very contradictory ways, too. A few of my predictions regarding the plot turned out to be right, but there were definitely surprises, too! I did enjoy it - though the action in the ending was a bit convoluted, detracting a little bit from my satisfaction with the story. But, I liked the multimedia frame of the Doe project a lot. and though the characters'  motivations and development are not quite as strong as I had hoped for, for the most part, this is a fast-paced and entertaining read. I am definitely looking forward to checking out more books from this author - plus, it's always fun to read a local author!
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Chilling tense a thriller that drew me right in.An amazing story line told from dual perspective.Read this book late into the night .This author never fails.#netgalley #The luckyone
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Be patient with this one and you will be rewarded.  Alice and Merrily are connected, somehow, through Rick. Alice was kidnapped as a child and while she was returned home safely, she's never really gotten over the experience- she's obsessive about child abduction.  And then one day, she sees the face of the man who took her on a website. Merrily is engaging in unwise behavior on the internet.   The story is told by these two women and things take off when they find each other.  No spoilers here.  You might think Alice is immature (and she's definitely got some issues) and that Merrily is out there but they're well drawn characters.  Thanks to the publisher for the ARC.  Good story telling and a well thought out plot make this a good read.
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An internet group that works cold cases to find missing persons sounds like a very good plot for a book...and it was.  The story centers around the group with particular emphasis on two teenage women who each have their own reasons to help.  Lori Rader-Day builds each of their stories in layers, adding to the overall suspense.  The teenagers met through the online group but eventually find they have common history.  The suspense and the conclusion are well written, you are given clues but you have to watch for them.  This was a very good read.
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Thanks to Netgalley for providing a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review. This book was very interesting - a novel concept (to me at least) concerning people who, in their spare time, help ID missing persons via a website, the Doe Pages, devoted to the topic. But one of those people was almost a statistic herself - the "lucky one" who was rescued by her then-cop father. But the details are sketchy, and Alice doesn't remember more than snatches of the episode, until the day she sees her kidnapper's face as a missing person on the Doe Pages ...

Where this book really shines is in its characters: the main ones are real, diverse (there is a handicapped supporting character, which you just don't really see much unless it's a vehicle for the plot, a la "Rear Window"), and fairly fleshed out. Unfortunately, many of the other characters are ... not. In part, this drives the plot in such a way as to provide many avenues for the reader to drive down and hit a dead end in solving the mystery ahead of the end of the book, but it's notable. There are some things alluded to in the book that sort of never come up again, or are just not relevant to the plot - this to me is an editing issue.

Alice is a good character but she has a sluggishness that makes her difficult to relate to - her life is going nowhere and she seems to have been stumbling through adulthood after her mother's death. What isn't really discussed (until the big reveal at the end) is how her mother never showed her any warmth, affection, or even much interest. Why is Alice stuck in this quicksand as a character?

Merrily is rather more interesting, with her unconventional mom and her side hustle that involves video chat with lonely maybe-incels who pay to see her knees. She's in a dead-end job but at least she gets away from it when her mom's ex-boyfriend goes missing - and provides a link to the Doe Pages and Alice.

Juby and Lillian, Doe Pages volunteers of the finest stripe, are the best characters for me, and I'd be interested in a book of just their exploits, or just more of how the Doe Pages work, the moderators, etc. 

This was my first Lori Rader-Day book; I know she has been around for awhile. I was engaged in the story, but this one just didn't do it for me at the end.
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I really hate to say it, but this book really wasn't for me. I understand "slow burn" plots - especially in the mystery/thriller genre to create a sense of darkness, of unease, of fear - but this one was such a slow burn that you couldn't even describe it as a simmer. I felt that I was slogging through the majority of the book, reading about two characters whom I did not identify or sympathize with - Merrily and Alice just were not interesting to me. Each chapter told in their perspective was too short and left me wanting to know more about them - it felt more like telling than showing, and every time I was interested in something that happened with one of them, the chapter would end and switch to the other woman. Finally, when the plot did start to pick up a bit, I was still not invested in the story enough to care what happened - it never ended up "catching fire" for me and the climax didn't make the slowness of the rising action worth it. I requested this because the premise sounded intriguing, but I don't think the execution worked here for me.  I really enjoyed Little Pretty Things by the same author so I was hoping I would like this just as much, but no luck. Thank you for the opportunity to review!
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This book was a slow burn, but never really caught fire.  With a long ago kidnapping, a missing person website and two story lines that we hope are somehow going to connect, this one should have been a great read.  Unfortunately, the writing style was somewhat clunky and disjointed.  It wasn’t a bad read, but lacked the suspense needed to carry it clear through to the end.
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At first I thought premise sounded very interesting but as I started to read it I find the pace to be very slow and with the 2 pov's just seemed sort of disjointed for me.  Sadly, I couldn't continue and it just wasn't for me.

I received this book at my request and have voluntarily left this unbiased review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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An intelligent thriller with a tight and unpredictable plot, The Lucky One delves into the world of missing persons or “does.” Alice works with an online network that tries to find them after the police gives up and the trail goes cold. Alice’s handle is “The Lucky One” because she herself was abducted as a toddler, even if only for a few hours before her cop father found her and got her back. The other main character, Merrily, is also a young woman. Where Alice is fearful and scared, Merrily is outgoing and lazy. They both want more from life but seem content enough in their lives. Alice lost her mom, but her dad is very present. Merrily has no dad, but she’s really close to her mom. When an old boyfriend of her mom’s who has been in touch with her all her life seems to disappear, she adds him to the doe pages and Alice sees him, recognizing the man who abducted her. They both start looking for him, opening a can of worms with unimaginable consequences that they won’t see coming. Alice and Merrily are both very flawed. Some decisions they make had me screaming at my Kindle. Still, they are realistic and compelling. Their relationships with other characters and their perceptions of them are colored greatly by their experiences, so they vary greatly. It is a little slow at times, but the final twists were truly unexpected, so I couldn’t stop reading. 
I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. Thank you, NetGalley/ HarperCollins Publishers!
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On paper The Lucky One is exactly what I like in a mystery/thriller: two female protagonists with intersecting pasts. Alice was kidnapped as a toddler and years later spends her days working in a construction office and her nights playing amateur detective on a missing persons website called the Doe Pages. Merrily just quit her job, but has a side gig as a "cam girl" making money off of sad, lonely men. Their lives cross paths as both hunt for a missing man named Richard. Alice suspects he's the man who kidnapped her many years ago, and for Merrily he once was her mother's boyfriend, and is someone she's never quite lost touch with until now.

The set up was great, but for me the book just never took off. I don't need to like characters to enjoy a book, but I do need to understand them and that just didn't happen in The Lucky One. I found it difficult to even care about either of the women and frankly, grew a little bored with both their stories. Sadly, this just wasn't the book for me.
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I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book was very fast paced and thrilling! I enjoyed the premises of this book a lot. I liked the mystery of this book. I love the dual perspectives, but ultimately it felt too predictable for me.
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I can definitely see a reader for this book! I read it on a plane and it's a pretty good read for that, a thriller, fast paced, with unreliable/unlikable narrators. If anything, I think the explanation at the end was a little too complicated and overworked to make sense.
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Wow. This mystery is crazy & I had no idea where it was going! So clever & really cool how all the pieces of the puzzle finally fit together.
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This was my first Lori Rader-Day book and I was quite impressed with most of it. The character development was good, and the flow of the storyline was excellent. 
We first meet Alice, a young woman working in a man’s world of construction in the family business. She has been haunted by the memory of being kidnapped as a small child and works with other friends, such as Lillian and Juby, in a volunteer group of “The Doe’s or the Doe Pages”. This is a group investigating lost or missing persons. They use whatever means they have to research and possibly track down information concerning these situations. 
Then enters Merrily and her mother. Took me a little bit to figure out what type of work Merrily does. The chapters switch back and forth between Merrily and Alice. There was really two developing mysteries, one at work and one missing person and they always left you with a thought that something wasn’t stacking up, but it is just out of reach to try and figure it out. The only downside I found to the story was the lead up to the ending. There was so much happening with so many different characters I had to re-read it to get it all straight. Other than that, it was a quick enjoyable read. Comes in with 4 stars. 
I was given an advance copy from Harper Collins Publishers through Net Galley for my honest review, this one gets 4 stars.
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This had a lot going on and I had a hard time staying with everything but in the end it all came together.  If you like trying to connect the dots on your own, you will enjoy this one!!
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In Lori Rader-Day's newest, she's taken the current fascination with true crime and citizen detectives and crafted an of-this-moment, creative story. There's a great element of tension and suspense in Alice's story in particular, as she pieces together her past and present to come to the thunderous conclusions. There are a lot of characters to keep straight in this one, but the overall push of the plot made up for it.
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