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Review: How Lucky by Will Leitch

Title: How Lucky

Author: Weill Leitch

Year Published: 2021

Category: Adult fiction
Pages: 304
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location (my 2021 Google Reading map) USA (GA)

Summary (from Amazon): Daniel leads a rich life in the university town of Athens, Georgia.  He’s got a couple close friends, a steady paycheck working for a regional airline, and of course, for a few glorious days each Fall, college football tailgates. He considers himself to be a mostly lucky guy—despite the fact that he’s suffered from a debilitating disease since he was a small child, one that has left him unable to speak or to move without a wheelchair. 

Largely confined to his home, Daniel spends the hours he’s not online communicating with irate air travelers observing his neighborhood from his front porch. One young woman passes by so frequently that spotting her out the window has almost become part of his daily routine. Until the day he’s almost sure he sees her being kidnapped...

Review:  I haven't really seen much about this book in the blogosphere; I got it from Book of the Month and wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading it. The description makes it seem a little dark, but the cover seems upbeat....

That juxtaposition is exactly what this book is. It's a thriller. I think. There's a kidnapping, a creepy guy, police, and a protagonist who is wheelchair bound and lives (mostly) in his house. But, Daniel, our main character, is upbeat, has friends and people who care about him, and he enjoys going to University of Georgia football games. He fully explains his disease (Spinal Muscular Atrophy), even answering questions that you know the reader has, he has a job, he takes us through socializing with his best friend (who is super goofy and fun), and he has a fantastic attitude about life in general. Except for the creepy guy, it's an uplifting novel.

The story is pretty good and the writing flows well in this book. I think what I appreciate most about it is the ending where the main character talks about why he considers himself lucky and what really matters most in the world. And he's right: friends and family are key and he manages to remind the reader of this without being mushy and sappy.

Challenges for which this counts: 
  • Cloak and Dagger
  • Diversity--wheelchair-bound main character

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