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The Lucky Kind by Alyssa Sheinmel
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The Lucky Kind

by Alyssa Sheinmel

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The Lucky Kind is a young adult novel written from the perspective of a high school junior named Nick. It was a nice change to read a young adult book from a boy’s point of view since most of the YA books I read have female main characters. This book was written by a woman, and while I thought she did a decent job getting inside a boy’s head I really am not an expert judge, being a girl myself. I would be curious to hear a guy’s perspective on this book as to how realistic her characterization was.

In The Lucky Kind Nick is face with two problems: figuring out how to approach the girl that he has a crush on, and discovering what secret his parents are hiding from him. Once he finds out the secret it wreaks havoc on the rest of his life, and causes him to reexamine how he sees himself and his parents.

I have to admit that reading this book was a lot like watching an after-school special. You don’t know quite how the character is going to mess things up, but you’re pretty sure he’s going to learn some life lessons about relationships in the process. This is great for me because I’ve always enjoyed after-school specials. On the flip side, I have to wonder how much this story would really appeal to teenage boys.

Some young adult books have crossover appeal to the adult audience, but I think this is one that is going to appeal mostly to a younger crowd. I should also mention that the following issues play a role in the book: teenage sex, drinking, and smoking. More than anything else though, it is a story about the difficulties of keeping open and honest relationships between teenagers and parents. ( )
  akreese | Dec 21, 2012 |
The story of Nick and his family is touching and believable. It's written in such a way that you feel for the characters and are pulled into their world. All of the characters are well drawn out, including the parents. ( )
  faither | Aug 14, 2011 |
Nick Brandt is a lucky kid, so he believes. He is a junior at an exclusive Manhattan high school, has the greatest parents a kid could want, a best buddy who is more like family and he knows this is the year he talks to Eden, his crush since elementary school. One night Nick answers a mysterious phone call. The caller asks for his father by a name he rarely uses, and when told Mr. Brandt is not home, the caller hangs up.

Eventually, Nick realizes his parents have been keeping an important family secret from him for many years, and decides he may no longer be able to trust his parents. While his home life hits a snag, his relationship with Eden grows by leaps and bounds. Then Nick finds out what, or rather who, the secret is and his entire world starts to spin and sputter.

This is a good book. Why? The characters are believable, the scenario plausible for any teen today with Baby-Boomer parents, and the writing will have you glued to the pages. I think I took a couple of little breaks, and I mean little, while I read this in one sitting. Nick finds out a family secret only he did not know, and it makes it angry. His girlfriend, Eden, learns her parents are divorcing and she is upset. These two emotions play off each other bringing the two teens closer.

Once Nick learns the secret is arriving for Christmas, he loses it, feeling he has lost his perfect little family and his place in it. The anger grows and starts to take out those around him. I could feel his indignation, but at the same time, I got frustrated with the way he was acting. Reading this was like watching a soap I watch regularly and yell at the TV as if the actors and scenes are real. The Lucky Kind is that involving. It pulls you in that deep.

I was never sure whether Nick’s relationship with his parents would mend. Then there was Eden. Would they reconnect? The only character I positively knew Nick would find his way back to was Stevie, Nick’s lifelong best friend. Those kinds of friends never leave. The change this one little secret causes in each character is profound. Do you have any secrets?

note: received from publisher. ( )
  smmorris | Jul 20, 2011 |
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This book is for Joel E. Sheinmel
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It's 7:42 on a Tuesday when the phone rings.
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Having always felt secure within his small family, Manhattan high school junior Nick is unsettled to discover the existence of an older brother that his father put up for adoption many years ago.

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