I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
TITLE: Chasing Lucky
AUTHOR: Jenn Bennett
Publisher: Simon Pulse
PUBLICATION DATE: November 10, 2020
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
In this coming-of-age romance perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen, a rule-abiding teen embraces her more rebellious side while falling for her ex-boyfriend’s arch-nemesis.
Josie Saint-Martin is well-versed in the art of concealment. Bullied as a child, she’s spent most of her life with her single mother, moving from city to city, covering up what she doesn’t want others to see, comfortable behind the lens of her favorite vintage camera . . .until Josie’s grandmother dies and they return to her mother’s historical New England hometown to run the family bookstore. There, Josie pulls off the ultimate camouflage: dating Adrian, the Harvard-bound son of the most influential man in town.
But her smokescreen is blown when Adrian breaks up with her during his high school graduation party, and Josie’s poorly executed act of revenge lands her big-time trouble—jail alongside the last person she’d want to share a mugshot with: the mysterious and brooding son of the boat mechanic next door, Lucky Karras.
Forced to spend the summer together in mandatory community service, Josie and Lucky become the talk of their coastal town—shamed, trolled, and publicly disgraced. The weird thing is, Josie starts to not mind, because the pair have more in common than she once thought. A lot more. But during a summer of secrets, in a town built on gossip, everything rises to the surface. Can Josie and Lucky swim past these obstacles, or will they both go down together?
Setting the Scene
Review in 10 Words (or Less)
Cute, but not as good as I hoped.
Mood Before Reading
Three words: massive reading slump.
It was really bad, like I had to DNF a bunch of books within the first chapter, bad.
August 27, 2020 – September 5, 2020
A Jenn Bennett book about Josie, a teen photographer, reconnecting with her childhood best friend, Lucky, who’s now the town’s bad boy? Sounds like a great read, right? But unfortunately, as much as I liked it, it fell a little flat for me.
To be fair, I had high expectations (did I mention it features an old childhood friend who’s now the bad boy?!?), and I was stuck in a pretty bad reading slump. But Chasing Lucky just — ugh, I wanted it to love it so badly, but I just couldn’t.
The first quarter was sooo hard to get through. I have a pretty well-documented problem with secondhand embarrassment (it’s a “me” problem), and let’s just say Josie, our lovely main character, did not help with that. At all. I wanted to shake some sense into her so badly! In Josie’s defense, I do feel like some of my issues with Chasing Lucky, and my annoyance with all the secondhand embarrassment is related to the age of the characters. I might be getting a little too old for YA contemporary – there’s a bit of a disconnect between me and the characters (it’s like a five year age gap) that I can’t seem to get past.
Still, the secondhand embarrassment was so bad that I had to put off continuing this book for a few days. I thought this would be a short and sweet read, but it ended up taking me (who usually prefers to read books in one sitting) over a week to finish this.
Part of why it took me so long to read Chasing Lucky (by my standards) is that I feel like it’s missing something. Despite her rash behavior, I actually did like Josie. And as far as love interests go, Lucky is a pretty good one. But there was just something to keep me from becoming fully invested in their story. They had me smiling and laughing so much my cheeks hurt (when I wasn’t too busy being embarrassed). And I had a great time reading it; it just failed to draw me in and keep my attention during the first half (the second half had less awkward and embarrassing moments and had more things going on).
Chasing Lucky was a cute read that had me grinning until my cheeks hurt. But it was missing a little extra spark and had too many awkward and embarrassing moments for comfort. Out of the three Jenn Bennett books I’ve read, this would be my third favorite (Starry Eyes has the top spot, followed closely by Alex, Approximately).
Have you read this? What did you think of it?