November 11, 2020

Friends with ARCs: Chasing Lucky + Rebel Rose

Chasing Lucky
is the newest contemporary young adult novel from author Jenn Bennett. The story centers around Josie St. Martin, who returns with her mom to their family hometown determined to simply get through her senior year and then get out of this place to go and live with her father. But when she’s reunited with her childhood best friend Lucky and he takes the fall for something she did, Josie realizes that her future might not be just like she planned. Chasing Lucky was an enjoyable slice of life story set in a small coastal town in the Northeast. I enjoyed being immersed in the lives of Josie and the women of her family, from the minute we first meet these unique individuals and see how complicated their relationships (with each other and with others outside the family) are. While there’s not too many big inciting incidents, there are catalyst events that really force Josie to see the situations and people in her life through a different perspective. I appreciated that journey nearly just as much as I enjoyed seeing the rekindled relationship between her and Lucky (which had its very sweet moments, as well as misunderstandings and misconceptions that felt true to both characters). All in all, I really liked Chasing Lucky and can recommend it to fellow YA contemporary fans.

Favorite non-book photo you've taken in 2020? I actually haven't taken all that many non-bookish photos in 2020, but I ended up settling on this photo that I took when I was in the car on my way into the city. I love capturing sunsets on my phone, simply because no two sunsets are ever the same.

Chasing Lucky was published November 10, 2020 by Simon Pulse.
I received an e-galley from the publisher through NetGalley for review.

I was so excited when I originally heard about Rebel Rose because it has a stellar concept centering around what happens to Belle after she breaks the curse and weds the prince… especially since this is around the time of the French Revolution. I was interested to see what sort of tale debut author Emma Theriault would come up with, so it makes me sad to have to report that this novel fell short of my expectations. The potential for a tale I would love (complete with court intrigue, a dash of magic, nods to the original source material and the Disney film, and a French setting) were all there. But, in the end, it was the character execution where this tale faltered. I wanted so badly to care about Belle (and the rest of her newly constructed family), but I didn’t really feel too deeply for the plight they found themselves in. In tandem with a less plot-driven story and a series of events I found pretty predictable, this unfortunately made Rebel Rose fall flat for me in the end.

if you had a magical object in your possession, what would it be? I'd really want a magic mirror that serves as a portal to specific destinations that are linked to it, like my family's home in the Philippines and my best friend's home in Australia, to name a few.

Rebel Rose (The Queen's Council #1) was published November 10, 2020 by Disney Hyperion.
I received an e-galley from the publisher through NetGalley for review.


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