So for the O.W.Ls Magical Readathon, I read Chasing Lucky by Jen Bennet for the Defense Against the Dark Arts prompt (Grindylows: book set at sea/coast). This book takes place In Beauty, a small touristy New England beach town full of fancy summer homes and boats.
Budding photographer Josie Saint-Martin has spent half her life with her single mother, moving from city to city. When they return to her historical New England hometown years later to run the family bookstore, Josie knows it’s not forever. Her dreams are on the opposite coast, and she has a plan to get there.
What she doesn’t plan for is a run-in with the town bad boy, Lucky Karras. Outsider, rebel…and her former childhood best friend. Lucky makes it clear he wants nothing to do with the newly returned Josie. But everything changes after a disastrous pool party, and a poorly executed act of revenge lands Josie in some big-time trouble—with Lucky unexpectedly taking the blame.
Determined to understand why Lucky was so quick to cover for her, Josie discovers that both of them have changed, and that the good boy she once knew now has a dark sense of humor and a smile that makes her heart race. And maybe, just maybe, he’s not quite the brooding bad boy everyone thinks he is…
I love anything Jen Bennet writes, and Chasing Lucky was no exception! I had no idea it was set at a coastal town, so I’m glad it fit into my O.W.Ls challenge.
Things I liked:
- The setting: Jen Bennet always has the most fun settings like a beach/surfing town, the Californian National Parks, and Downtown San Francisco. So a small coastal town in New England was definitely a different setting than all her other books that take place in Northern California (where I’m very familiar with), but it was just as fun! I loved when Lucky would take out Josie on a boat to go swimming, or to the bird sanctuary island for an awesome exploration date.
- Josie lives in a bookshop! While it wasn’t that important to the book, Josie, her mom, and her cousin Eldie all live in the small apartment above their family bookshop! It was so charming, and I was insanely jealous the whole book!
- I loved Josie’s character quite a lot! While she obviously wasn’t perfect, I loved her dedication to photography, and her willingness to communicate her feelings, especially to Lucky.
- Lucky!! He was by far my favorite character of the whole book! He’s really sweet and the perfect boyfriend. Joie’s and his relationship was super refreshing because (besides a little hiccup in the end) they were always honest with on another.
- This book was also very sex positive, as it promotes safe sex amongst teenagers if they do make such a decision, and it doesn’t glorify the experience. It was realistic and refreshing YA, which I am so happy to see!
- The development of familial relationships in this book was super sweet to read about. Josie and her mom, Winona, don’t have the closest relationship, which I can totally relate to. However, throughout the books, they both learn more about one another, and slowly start to rekindle their relationship. The same goes for Josie’s mother and grandmother’s relationship. I also love Josie’s and her cousin, Eldie’s friendship in the book, as they are there to help one another through their mistakes, and never stay mad at each other for long.
The only thing I wish was a bit different was the ending. It felt a bit rushed, and I would have liked to see more of Lucky and Josie’s relationship in the end after they make up. Overall I really loved this book, so I highly recommend it to those of you guys who are looking for a fun read, that’s not super serious, but still has a lot of family drama and a super adorable relationship!