I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Lucky in Love by Kasie West
Also by this author: The Fill-In Boyfriend, The Distance Between Us
Published by Scholastic on July 25th 2017
Pages: 333 •Goodreads
In this new contemporary from YA star Kasie West, a girl who wins the lottery learns that money can cause more problems than it solves, especially when love comes into the picture.
Maddie doesn't believe in luck. She's all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment --
In a flash, Maddie's life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she's talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun... until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn't sure who she can trust.
Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn't seem aware of Maddie's big news. And, for some reason, she doesn't want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?
With tons of humor and heart, Kasie West delivers a million-dollar tale of winning, losing, and falling in love.
*Many thanks to Scholastic for providing a review copy of this book!*
Lucky In Love was a book I wasn’t planning on picking up at YallWest, having had mediocre experiences with West’s other works (The Fill-In Boyfriend, The Distance Between Us). However, when I heard Kasie was signing the copies and got a look at the GORGEOUS ARC (seriously, the cover AND the back are too cute!) I knew I had to give her books another shot. While Lucky In Love won’t be topping my list of all time favorite books anytime soon, it was a very cute, very easy read that tackles the age old question everyone like to ask themselves for fun: What Would You Do If You Won The Lottery?
Maddie, the protagonist, buys a lotto ticket on a whim on her 18th birthday and, surprise! wins $30 million dollars. Literally just has it dumped into her bank account after all of the claiming paperwork/taxes. etc. are done. What ensues is a story of Maddie learning to manage that money in ways that protect both her and her interests. She’s not inherently irresponsible, but she lets far too many people take advantage of her true nature, and learns the hard way, multiple times, that being that rich suddenly changes everything.
Running parallel to the lottery narrative is her job at her local zoo and her slow burn romance with her coworker Seth. Seth is friendly, charming, hilarious, and Asian (diversity! I love it!) and his budding relationship with Maddie just feels so sweet and real and full of mutual respect for one another (in a way I haven’t really felt a contemporary YA novel do since My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick). While the relationship is a super slow burn, I loved that Seth also served as a strong friend and coworker for Maddie, proving that friendships with crushes can be genuine and real and not just based on ~teenage hormones~ and a desire to date someone. In fact, I think I may have a best-friend crush on Seth more than anything.
West also brought some more complex family dynamics to this narrative than I’m used to in her novels. Maddie’s parents’ marriage is constantly on the rocks and coupled with her brother’s irresponsible behavior, she has a lot of misplaced guilt on herself about having to stay local for college and always having to think about her future in conjunction with what will keep things the smoothest for her family emotionally. I think this is a struggle a lot of teens face, especially when they have the grades and drive to leave to go to a top tier school yet feel a gravitational pull back into their troublesome family cycles and situations. I’m glad that Maddie had problems before she won the lottery that added to her character’s obstacles and growth (although she certainly DID have problems after she won the lottery too).
Adding to the fun of the reading experience of Lucky in Love was the fact that it’s set in California (which always bumps a book up on my TBR, to be honest). I had no idea going in that Lucky in Love takes place in Orange County, but I loved the local references and the SoCal feel, especially when it came to the shenanigans Maddie got up to with her money (yacht cruise, anyone?)
Overall: Lucky in Love was a fun, wish-fulfillment read as there’s few things as fun as fantasizing about what you would do if you won the lottery. It’s cover is as cute as its content, and I loved the diverse love interest, the somewhat heavier family problems the protagonist has to struggle with and overcome, and the overall charming feel to the narrative. While it’s still ultimately a pretty fluffy read that doesn’t have quite as much substance as I’d like in my contemporaries, this novel is a solid 3 star read that is perfect to indulge in this summer.