Title: The Lucky Kind
Author: Alyssa Sheinmel
Publisher: Knopf Books
Pages: Hardcover; 208
Release Date: May 10, 2011
Intended Reading Group:
Mild language; Sexual situations
5 Keys to My Heart
High school junior Nick Brandt is intent on getting a girlfriend, and Eden Reiss is the one that he wants. He has exactly four semesters to get the girl, but when the phone rings on an otherwise ordinary Tuesday night, life for Nick and his parents will never be the same. What had been a seemingly idyllic home life has become something else entirely. But with this shake-up comes a newfound confidence for Nick; he's become a bolder version of himself, no longer afraid to question his parents, and no longer afraid to talk to Eden.
Alyssa B. Sheinmel has written a powerfully gripping story about family secrets, falling in love, and finding luck in unexpected--and sometimes unwelcome—circumstances.
My first thought when I started reading The Lucky Kind was that Nick, the main character, was someone that I would love to hang out with. He's sweet, slightly awkward, has a wit to be contended with, and really seems to think things through. Add in his sarcastic and amazing friend (essentially brother) Stevie, and the focus of his admiration, Eden, and you have a group of characters that will steal your heart. Despite anything else I have may thought while reading this book, these characters never stopped making me love them.
At the heart of this book is a story of an adolescent boy who is growing up. Nick knows he's smitten with Eden, but he doesn't know how to talk to her. Stevie is like the ying to Nick's yang. He is the one who is smooth with the girls, witty when it's called for, and never seems to be awkward in situations. Then Nick finds out some information that turns his life upside down, and suddenly he's the strong one. He finds the confidence to talk to Eden, he finds the ability to question his parents when he feels they aren't being truthful. Unfortunately with this new found freedom comes the need to question himself as well.
The chemistry in this book between all the characters is pure perfection. As a girl who grew up with a "Norman Rockwell" family, only later to discover that the older you get the less perfect they seem, I felt Nick's emotions perfectly. His disbelief over the news he is given, his inability to cope with it the way everyone thinks he should, right down to the way that he projects those feelings into other areas of his life. Nick is just a boy who is trying to grow up "right", and now has been given something huge to overcome in this already difficult time in his life. I felt for him, and I loved it.
His relationship with his parents is one that I think a lot of teenagers will appreciate. Too often out there the parents are hidden in the background, not caring what their children do or say. Or they are too weak to stand up for themselves if their children make bad decisions. Nick's parents aren't perfect, but really what is perfect? No, his parents are the type that are there for him, but let him have space. They banter with him, and talk to him like an adult when he needs it. Nick's parents reminded me a lot of my parents, which is probably another reason why I so connected with this book.
As you can tell from reading my ramblings above, I really connected with Nick and his struggles. The Lucky Kind is a book that tells a story that really could belong to anyone. However Alyssa Sheinmel has created, I think, the perfect character to live this story in Nick. Sweet, touching, and more than a little emotional, this is a book that I think readers will really enjoy. I highly recommend you get your hands on a copy as soon as you can.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.