Aaand another Kasie West! Are you really surprised at this point? I’ve mentioned before that her books are very hit or miss for me, and this one was definitely on the “miss” end of the spectrum. *sigh*
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?
With tons of humor and heart, Kasie West delivers a million-dollar tale of winning, losing, and falling in love.
Maybe a 2.5 stars, but I wanted to be harsher with this one because I know Kasie West has some good books and this just is not one of them.
The premise is cute, the execution is not. I thought Maddie would be funny, relatable, and a cute lead. Instead, she was just plain annoying! I didn’t find myself rooting for her, understanding her actions, or caring much about her at all. The way her character was described in the summary doesn’t at all match how she was written. I know she’s only 18, has the peer pressures of high school, and it’s a cheesy YA book, but her decisions were so stupid and her naivety made me really not like her. She didn’t come across like the confident no-nonsense lady I was led to believe she would be. Seth and Blaire were the redeeming characters while everyone else was boring, annoying, two-dimensional, etc. Seth is the cute and quirky love interest I love to read about and Blaire is the type of friend you want to have in your life.
The plot is boring. I’m sorry, but it is. It seems like the plot didn’t really serve a purpose, and I didn’t realize a plot could be so pointless. Usually I think it’s the characters or setting that can make a plot fall short, but I truly don’t think anything happened in this book. So much of the book was just Maddie feeling great one second then sorry for herself the next. The plot only served to try to develop Maddie’s character, but that didn’t happen either. I mean, fine, stuff happened but the book didn’t seem to progress despite these supposed conflicts and literal “I got up, I did this, I said that, etc.” actions.
Speaking of conflicts, can we talk about those for a sec? Let’s start with Maddie’s parents. They fight all the time and Maddie is adamant that she can fix it. As much of a big deal this tries to be, it really takes the backburner in the story. It makes me wonder, why even include that if you’re only going to give it a tiny bit of page time? I honestly kept forgetting about that conflict until it was brought up again, so it isn’t like it was some big driving force in Maddie’s daily life. But I figures, “Eh, no big deal. I can get over the pointlessness of this.” But then whenever the issue came up again, it was just treated so inconsequentially. It was really bugging me that this Big Problem was treated in such a light way. Just pick one! Is it going to be a big problem and really shape the plot and Maddie or is it going to just be a minor talking point to a) bring Maddie closer to her crush and b) try to give Maddie some depth and not have any actual meaning?
Another conflict that didn’t work out for me was the whole interacting with people after winning the lottery thing…so basically the entire premise of the story. Hah, awkward. But really, the way this aspect of the plot was written just made Maddie seem more annoying to me.
So, you might be wondering why I gave this 2 stars instead of 1. Well, for one I feel like I can’t do Kasie West like that. It’s hard to give an author you usually like such a low rating. There were also a couple minor things that helped me not totally dislike this book. I don’t really like zoos irl (don’t most just seem so sad and profit-oriented?) but the zoo Maddie and Seth work at seems nice. I like how West brought up zoo funding and animal science. Like I mentioned before, I liked Seth and Blaire. Seth’s personality is awesome and his date idea was adorable. I loved Blaire’s no-nonsense, tough love attitude. The times that I liked Maddie the best were the times she spent with these two, which says more about Seth and Blaire than Maddie.
Honestly, those are the only real things that I enjoyed about Lucky in Love. I thought the book sounded good and, after reading it, I can say that it had potential. I know West’s books are light and fluffy, but she usually manages to include some important themes, conflicts, and character development that keep me involved and that make me care about the book. Lucky in Love just didn’t have any of that. The main character didn’t seem to grow or change at all throughout the book, opportunities to have a more impactful message with different conflicts were passed over, and the writing style overall felt more amateur than West’s usual writing. Lucky in Love is not a book I’ll be recommending.
Kasie West Books I Actually Recommend
Not all hope is lost! Kasie West does have some very enjoyable books, like:
Listen to Your Heart, and
So, what do you think? Did you like or dislike Lucky in Love? How do you think it ranks among Kasie West’s other books? Let me know in the comments!