Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett
In this coming-of-age romance perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen, scandal and romance collide when an ambitious teen returns to her hometown only to have her plans interrupted after falling for the town’s “bad boy”—a.k.a. her childhood best friend.
Sometimes to find the good, you have to embrace the bad.
Budding photographer Josie Saint-Martin has spent half her life with her single mother, moving from city to city. When they return to her historical New England hometown years later to run the family bookstore, Josie knows it’s not forever. Her dreams are on the opposite coast, and she has a plan to get there.
What she doesn’t plan for is a run-in with the town bad boy, Lucky Karras. Outsider, rebel…and her former childhood best friend. Lucky makes it clear he wants nothing to do with the newly returned Josie. But everything changes after a disastrous pool party, and a poorly executed act of revenge lands Josie in some big-time trouble—with Lucky unexpectedly taking the blame.
Determined to understand why Lucky was so quick to cover for her, Josie discovers that both of them have changed, and that the good boy she once knew now has a dark sense of humor and a smile that makes her heart race. And maybe, just maybe, he’s not quite the brooding bad boy everyone thinks he is…
Expected publication: May 5th 2020 by Simon Pulse
At this point, I think I could read Jenn Bennett’s grocery list and give it 5 stars. I can’t stress how much I love her books.
What was there to like in Chasing Lucky? Everything. The setting, the people, the photography, the drama, and the curse. I loved it all.
Josie and her mom left Beauty five years earlier after a fight with her grandma. Josie had no warning and they just left. Her best friend, Lucky, had recently been in a fire and she couldn’t even see him. They were gone. She tried e-mailing, but he never responded. Josie’s mom moved them around a lot. She never stayed long enough to have any friends. Josie’s mom, Winona, had a bit of a reputation. She didn’t date, but she went out late at night often. All of the Saint-Martins had some type of reputation. After all, their family is cursed at love. Or at least that’s how the story goes.
After her grandma decided to spend a year in Nepal, Josie and Winona came back to Beauty to run the family bookstore. Her mom’s end goal was to end up in Florida. Josie had a big secret though. She planned on going to LA to live with her father and hopefully do photography there. Her dad is a famous photographer who is much older than Winona. They had a relationship when she was 19 and in college that resulted in Josie, but nothing else. Josie is a photographer, too. She photographs a bit of everything, but her big thing is signs. And she’s not a fan of taking photos of people. Josie’s cousin, Evie, is staying with them in grandma’s apartment and also helping out at the store. She’s in college and Josie has just finished up her junior year in high school. They were close even though they only saw each other once a year.
Lucky Karras was known as a bad boy with a reputation. He was also Josie’s best friend when they were kids. His family works on boats across the street from the bookstore. Things are weird between them at first. But Josie and Lucky start spending more and more time together after he takes the fall for something she did. I loved Lucky. I love all the boys in Jenn Bennett’s books. He was smart and loyal. But he did have a massive fear of abandonment. He was afraid to get close to Josie because she would just leave again.
Josie was a schemer, but also a bad liar. Lucky liked to close himself off, even after Josie tried being more open and honest. She was able to break through, but not always. While Josie knows that Beauty is full or gossip and rumors, she still struggles with how much might be true about Lucky. The more time they spend together, the more romantic feelings come out. They’re best friends. Or they were. But Josie wondered if they could be more.
There is a lot of family drama and secrets that come out. I loved the focus and relationships with the Saint-Martin women. Lucky’s family was great and I loved how he was with animals. There really wasn’t a single thing in the book that I didn’t like.
I gave this 5 stars. Thank you to the publisher for my review copy (both physical and earc through Netgalley). I will forever request Jenn Bennett books from you. 🙂
Warnings for teacher/student relationship (college age), asshole rich kids, family secrets, fire, there is some sex, toxic relationships between family members and two people dating, revenge porn (sort of, nude photo shared), teenage pregnancy, abortion, anxiety, and vandalism.
Have you read Chasing Lucky? Are you a Jenn Bennett fan, too? Which book is your favorite so far?