Monday, October 19, 2015

Review: If You're Lucky

Title: If You're Lucky
Author: Yvonne Prinz
Release Date: October 20th, 2015
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Pages: 288 pages
Rating: 4 Cows

Goodreads Description: 
Is Georgia’s mind playing tricks on her, or is the entire town walking into the arms of a killer who has everyone but her fooled?

When seventeen-year-old Georgia’s brother drowns while surfing halfway around the world in Australia, she refuses to believe Lucky’s death was just bad luck. Lucky was smart. He wouldn’t have surfed in waters more dangerous than he could handle. Then a stranger named Fin arrives in False Bay, claiming to have been Lucky’s best friend. Soon Fin is working for Lucky’s father, charming Lucky’s mother, dating his girlfriend. Georgia begins to wonder: did Fin murder Lucky in order to take over his whole life?

Determined to clear the fog from her mind in order to uncover the truth about Lucky’s death, Georgia secretly stops taking the medication that keeps away the voices in her head. Georgia is certain she’s getting closer and closer to the truth about Fin, but as she does, her mental state becomes more and more precarious, and no one seems to trust what she’s saying.

As the chilling narrative unfolds, the reader must decide whether Georgia’s descent into madness is causing her to see things that don’t exist–or to see a deadly truth that no one else can. 

            If You’re Lucky by Yvonne Prinz is both a murder mystery and a psychological thriller all in one.  Georgia has always been the problem child in her family and her older brother, Lucky, is the golden boy.  He’s the one everyone always wants to be friends with and be around.  His free spirit leads him to adventures all over the world, until his most recent one, a surfing trip in Australia, ends in his death.  What appears to be a tragic accident might actually be something else entirely.  Georgia starts to question her brother’s death after she meets his friend Fin, who stays in her hometown after Lucky’s funeral.
            First of all, kudos to Yvonne for featuring a main character with a mental illness in her book.  And not only that, but one who isn’t the most popular or most beautiful character, but just your average teenage girl.  Georgia suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, which she has to take medication for and see her doctor regularly.  When we first meet Georgia in the book, she’s in a good place and her episodes haven’t occurred in a while.  Then she learns of her brother’s death and his friend moves to False Bay, claiming he wants a change of scenery and a chance to experience the town Lucky talked so highly of.  Georgia knows better though. Despite her brother’s love for his hometown, he was never one to stick around False Bay for long and some of the things his friend Fin claims don’t add up. 
            While I was rooting for Georgia throughout the book, I was also continually torn between wanting to believe her and thinking her doubts about Fin were a side effect of her mental illness. Initially as a reader you want to believe Georgia and you can see through the false pretenses Fin puts on for the rest of the town, but then some of Georgia’s past starts to make its way to the surface and I started to second guess myself.  Similar incidents have occurred in the past with Georgia before and once she goes off her medicine her thoughts become more erratic and her behavior takes a turn for the worse.  By the time I got to the end of the book I honestly couldn’t tell how it was going to end and whether Georgia’s claims against Fin would prove true or turn out to be a delusion. 
            Besides the thriller aspect of this book, If You’re Lucky has those small town feels that make you wish you didn’t live in a town of 99,000 people (I always thought my town was small until I found out how many people actually live here).  I think any fans of Gilmore Girls will LOVE this book for this aspect alone! False Bay really reminded me of Stars Hollow! It could be because Georgia works as a dessert baker for an Inn in False Bay called Heron’s Inn.  I kept thinking of Sookie St. James from Gilmore Girls whenever Georgia went to work in the book!
            All in all, I loved If You’re Lucky for everything that it had to offer. It was a great book that brings awareness to mental illnesses for the YA crowd, as well as told the story of an average teenage girl.  YA needs more main characters that aren’t always the most popular, most pretty, or even the most talented.  I think it serves as a great reminder to teens that they don’t need to be the best or do outlandish things to be noticed or to be special.  Prinz’s story is not only an inspiring one, but also one that will keep you on the edge of your seat reading it and it comes out TOMORROW!  


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