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If You're Lucky by Yvonne Prinz
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If You're Lucky

by Yvonne Prinz

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Kudos to the author for tackling schizophrenia. But unfortunately, the unreliable narrator works against the story, not with it. ( )
  olegalCA | Dec 3, 2017 |
This book was about a girl suffering from schizophrenia. I usually love unreliable narrators, but I never warmed to Georgia; maybe having a family member with the same mental illness made it too close to home . . . the paranoia, the distrust, the lies.

The beginning of "If You're Lucky" had my attention, but the plot lacked the drama and tension is should have had, and it was too predictable. Sadly, this book could have been so much more but, once again, another author failed to deliver. ( )
1 vote HeatherLINC | Mar 25, 2017 |
Both the readers and George (short for Georgia), the protagonist of Yvonne Prinz’s latest engrossing entrée into YA Fiction, If You’re Lucky, aren’t quite sure where reality ends and George’s scrambled mind takes over. Lucky, George’s older brother, was killed in a surfing accident in Australia. Considering he was an excellent surfer, George can’t grasp that it was an accident. To her it resembled drowning in an inch of water, possible, but not probable.

A bunch of Lucky’s friends congregate at George’s California home for a party, not a memorial service, because Lucky would prefer it that way. When one of the friends, Fin, decides to stay in the sleepy little town and ingratiates himself into Lucky’s family (even Lucky’s dog, Rocket, is enamored of Fin) and starts seeing Lucky’s girlfriend Sonia, George becomes suspicious. Was Lucky’s death an accident or murder? Does Fin want Lucky’s life? Unfortunately for George, her grasp on reality is fragile, and no one is willing to take her warnings seriously.

Reading If You’re Lucky conjured up memories of Gail Giles’ excellent book Dead Girls Don’t Write Letters, another psychological drama. On the outside all appears normal but on the inside something is amiss.

I could not put If You’re Lucky down, especially as I got closer to the end. Prinz, author of Vinyl Princess and All You Get is Me, does a great job putting readers in the mind of a schizophrenic to the point reality and fantasy merge in both George’s and the reader’s minds.

If you’re looking for a great book, If You’re Lucky should definitely be on the list. ( )
  EdGoldberg | Feb 9, 2016 |
Plan on staying up late if you choose "If You're Lucky," by Yvonne Prinz, for a bedtime read. This young adult novel, which goes on-sale in October 2015, is a quick read and a gripping thriller.

It's the story of 17-year-old Georgia, "George" to her friends, and the aftermath of her brother's drowning while surfing in Australia. Losing a sibling would be tragedy enough, and her brother's nickname, Lucky, belies his fate. But George also suffers from mental illness, and the meds she takes leave her feeling isolated and alone.

Then handsome, enigmatic Fin shows up, saying he was a close friend of Lucky's, although George has never heard of him. Fin charms his way into her family's life, even earning the devotion of their dog, and he begins to romance Lucky's girlfriend. He fits so perfectly into her small California town, George begins to wonder if he came there to deliberately assume Lucky's life. She starts to question whether he might have murdered Lucky, just so he could take his place.

I won't give away the specific nature of George's mental illness, which isn't revealed until about the middle of the book, as the tension starts to build. The reader is left to ask herself: Is George right about Fin? Or is she delusional?

In many ways, this feels like a Patricia Highsmith novel, The Talented Mr. Ripley, in making us question whether or not we have a reliable narrator. But Prinz has written this in an easy-to-read style, with short chapters and short, simple sentences, that most young adults will breeze through. (I wouldn't have minded if the writing had been more complex or challenging, but that's just my preference.)

My only real criticism was the use of the name Lucky, and how it played into the title and eventually, into the resolution. It felt gimmicky, to me. But I did think that George's objections to taking her meds--and sometimes, her outright refusal to take them--rang true, from what I know about mental illness. In general, her voice felt realistic and believable.

I think younger readers will enjoy this book.

I received this book as an advance reading copy from the publisher, but that has not influenced the opinions I've expressed here. ( )
  LynnCoulter | May 8, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 161620463X, Hardcover)

Is Georgia’s mind playing tricks on her, or is the entire town walking into the arms of a killer who has everyone but her fooled?
 
When seventeen-year-old Georgia’s brother drowns while surfing halfway around the world in Australia, she refuses to believe Lucky’s death was just bad luck. Lucky was smart. He wouldn’t have surfed in waters more dangerous than he could handle. Then a stranger named Fin arrives in False Bay, claiming to have been Lucky’s best friend. Soon Fin is working for Lucky’s father, charming Lucky’s mother, dating his girlfriend. Georgia begins to wonder: did Fin murder Lucky in order to take over his whole life?  

Determined to clear the fog from her mind in order to uncover the truth about Lucky’s death, Georgia secretly stops taking the medication that keeps away the voices in her head. Georgia is certain she’s getting closer and closer to the truth about Fin, but as she does, her mental state becomes more and more precarious, and no one seems to trust what she’s saying.

As the chilling narrative unfolds, the reader must decide whether Georgia’s descent into madness is causing her to see things that don’t exist–or to see a deadly truth that no one else can.  

“A remarkable page-turner . . . Keep[s] readers wondering, twist by twist, if Georgia’s universe will simply burst apart.” —Andrew Smith, author of Grasshopper Jungle

 

(retrieved from Amazon Sun, 19 Jul 2015 11:05:16 -0400)

Determined to clear the fog from her mind in order to uncover the truth about her brother's death, seventeen-year-old Georgia secretly stops taking the medication that keeps away the voices in her head.

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