Another cutesy hit from Kasie.
Genre: Y/A, Contemporary, Romance
No. of pages: 337
Can’t buy me love…
Maddie’s not impulsive. 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?
I went into this book with mixed feelings… on the one hand – I love Kasie West novels! They are always a light romcom, quick easy reads. Immediate satisfaction and a candy coated escape. In the other… Reading ‘By Your Side’ left a lack-luster feeling with her writing with the premise of the novel resting on treacherous ground. But ‘Lucky in Love’ proved to be another West-styled novel worthy of a sunny afternoon lounging in the sun.
I will say that it is the first book that had me frustrated for most of its entirety – but for some good reasons. The characters are flawed. The protagonist Maddie is a little naïve and too trusting causing her to make some shaky decisions. So while I wanted to scream at the book for Maddie to wake the hell up, it had me engaged and mostly invested in her story. It was a fine line between disinterest because she was acting like a flake, and hoping she would wake up… and seeing how she would handle the situation.
Perseverance is the key. I really enjoyed the journey ‘Lucky in Love’ takes us. We get a dysfunctional family, struggling with finances and life, best friends and new friends clashing, an adorable love interest, and the perfect setting – a zoo! Who doesn’t love the zoo? And Maddie’s obsession with the anteater is endearing.
While I got very annoyed at some of the decisions Maddie was taking after her big lotto win, I appreciated the world she was flung into, how she navigated this new landscape. And let’s face it – she’s a teenage millionaire – who wouldn’t go a little nuts? I would be terrified to have that kind of responsibility, and I love the emotional rollercoaster Maddie went on dealing with her windfall. It can certainly open new doors, test old relationships, and bring out the best, and worst in people.
Maddie’s parents did feel a little superfluous. I enjoyed their story arc, but they never felt like they were necessarily parenting her. My first reaction would have been to educate Maddie and get her in to see a financial professional before the money even hit her account. But that’s me – too sensible for my own good sometimes. So I had a little gripe with these authority figures: I wanted more, well authority.
Maddie’s brother, Beau reminded me of every teenage boy I ever wanted to kick up the butt. While endearing, he still managed to draw out those frustrated feeling that we get from boys at times – like they are from a different planet, and what the hell were they thinking? But it was nice to see the sibling dynamic work, and it was the one saving grace for Beau in my eyes.
Elise and Blair, Maddies best friends felt like her voice of reason; compared to her new friend, Trina, who seemed to be the serpent offering the apple in the Garden of Eden. I have to say, I love how West used these characters in the story. It’s really worth getting to the end of the book to find out what happens.
And finally, Seth, or Zoo Seth. Co-worker at the zoo. Dorky, penny collecting for luck boyfriend material Seth. I instantly liked him and felt he had that air of a true old fashioned gentleman. I feel if he wasn’t present in this story it would have been a disaster. It was like he was the lynchpin for the plot to rotate around. A fixed point for Maddie to return to when her life was spiralling out of control. Because he loves control.
Yes it is all drama-filled and spoony. But that is exactly what West’s novels are. Gorgeously fluffy romances meant for entertainment and a contented sigh at the end.
The writing style and pacing are easy and engaging, I managed to consume the novel in half a day. And I’d definitely recommend this to lovers of romance, YA and West-o-philes.
The cover art sticks with the tradition of her previous novels – two young models in a cheesy pose, love hearts abound, and an element taken from somewhere in the story (a carousel.) It certainly harks exactly what is between the pages, a cutesy romance not to be taken too seriously, but to enjoy and indulge.
Looking forward to her next few releases ‘Love, Life and the List,’ ‘Listen to Your Heart,’ and ‘The Sun, the Moon, and the Truth.’
Overall feeling: all the fluffy things!
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