Kathryn Ormsbee - Lucky FewExpected publication: June 7, 2016 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
In the tradition of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl comes a hilarious, madcap, and quirky debut novel about a group of oddball teens struggling to find themselves when facing their own mortality.
The life of homeschooler Stevie Hart gets all shook up when she meets a strange boy, Max, who survived a freak near-fatal accident and is now obsessed with death. He enlists her and her best friend, Sanger, to help him complete his absurd “23 Ways to Fake My Death Without Dying” checklist. What starts off as fun begins spiraling downward when Stevie’s diabetes sabotages her fumbling romance with Max, Sanger announces she’s moving out of state, and then death—real death—cuts close to home.
|I was hesitant in snatching this because the whole idea of "a list of fake deaths" had me on the fritz, but it kinda works.|
This freak turns out to be Max Garza. After a tragic accident, which has left him missing a few fingers and traumatized into the next century, he decides on the Fake Death list to help qualm his fear. Sanger is all for it, but Stevie isn't. With good reason, obviously.
Eventually, Stevie stops being such a wuss and joins her friends in their creepy adventure, and I honestly don't have much of a problem with this novel. It's so hilarious and I hadn't even expected it to be. Sanger absolutely makes the novel. I burst into laughter numerous times. So I'm glad I didn't read this in public.
"I took him to a strip club."
I said nothing.
"Kidding," he said. "Kidding. We went to Zilker Park. We walked around. We fed ducks."
"Strip club was more believable."
"I'm serious, Stevie. We fucking fed ducks. I'm not even joking. We brought a loaf at Central Market, and we fed the ducks. Ducks are crazy. Like, vicious, too. One of them nearly took a bite out of the other one's wing trying to get to the bread first. Canniducks."
Something I found odd, though. While they were helping Max achieve all his "fake deaths" neighbors never questioned it. No one ran out of their house or called the police. Nothing. And Max and Stevie, who start off as weird friends, then abruptly then jump into a relationship. It's not exactly instalove, but there's no such thing as a "fake kiss."
I was endlessly infatuated with Sanger and Stevie's friendship. A few reviewers made it sound like the book ends tragically, but it doesn't. I think it's predictable. But honestly, I do like the ending.(view spoiler) I wish Joel and Sanger received a bit of a happier ending. He should've kissed her, at least. Otherwise, it's mostly cute. I think this'll be a favorite of Summer 2016. Texas is shone beautifully, and the cast is diverse and empowering.