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YA Review: The Lucky Ones by Liz Lawson

Title: The Lucky Ones

Author: Liz Lawson

Year Published: 2020

Category: YA fiction (romance)
Pages: 352
Rating: 4 out of 5 (4.5 if I were a high school student)

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

Summary (from Amazon): May is a survivor. But she doesn't feel like one. She feels angry. And lost. And alone. Eleven months after the school shooting that killed her twin brother, May still doesn't know why she was the only one to walk out of the band room that day. No one gets what she went through--no one saw and heard what she did. No one can possibly understand how it feels to be her.

Zach lost his old life when his mother decided to defend the shooter. His girlfriend dumped him, his friends bailed, and now he spends his time hanging out with his little sister...and the one faithful friend who stuck around. His best friend is needy and demanding, but he won't let Zach disappear into himself. Which is how Zach ends up at band practice that night. The same night May goes with her best friend to audition for a new band.

Which is how May meets Zach. And how Zach meets May. And how both might figure out that surviving could be an option after all.

Review:  I have had this book on my shelf for quite some time so I am glad that I finally got around to reading it. 

The Lucky Ones deals with a lot of intense ideas: what is it like to be the survivor of a school shooting, how do we listen to friends and family when they tell us it's "going to be okay" (when we're convinced it won't), how do you deal with a Parent who is depressed, how much effort can you put in to helping someone who doesn't want help, and more. I think high school students could really relate well to the issues and people in this book.

And I must say that I was cruising along, reading the books, doing well, then I got to the last 20 or so pages and BAM! I was gutted. Cried my way through the end and I just didn't see that coming. Typical for me, it's the good side of humanity that does it. I like that the story isn't wrapped up perfectly, but there is hope.

Challenges for which this counts: none

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