Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Lucky Girl by Jamie Pacton. This tour is being hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours.
Lucky Girl by Jamie Pacton
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publishing Date: May 11, 2021
Content Warning: deals with parental mental health (hoarding, depression caused by grief) and loss of a parent.
A hilarious and poignant reflection on what money can and cannot fix
58,643,129. That’s how many dollars seventeen-year-old Fortuna Jane Belleweather just won in the lotto jackpot. It’s also about how many reasons she has for not coming forward to claim her prize.
Problem #1: Jane is still a minor, and if anyone discovers she bought the ticket underage, she’ll either have to forfeit the ticket, or worse…
Problem #2: Let her hoarder mother cash it. The last thing Jane’s mom needs is millions of dollars to buy more junk. Then…
Problem #3: Jane’s best friend, aspiring journalist Brandon Kim, declares on the news that he’s going to find the lucky winner. It’s one thing to keep her secret from the town, it’s another thing entirely to lie to her best friend. Especially when…
Problem #4: Jane’s ex-boyfriend, Holden, is suddenly back in her life, and he has big ideas about what he’d do with the prize money.
As suspicion and jealousy turn neighbor against neighbor, and no good options for cashing the ticket come forward, Jane begins to wonder: Could this much money actually be a bad thing?
I really enjoy Jamie Pacton’s writing.
Jane is a seventeen year old living in Wisconsin. Her father died years earlier and her mom became a hoarder in her grief. It started with her getting emotional that people throw out memories and it grew from there. It’s to the point that the whole house is covered in random items. The yard is full of broken kids toys. It’s really bad. So when Jane wins the lotto, she isn’t sure what to do. Her best friend Bran is determined to investigate to find the winner. Everyone in the small town is angry that the winner hadn’t come forward. Jane starts reading about the lottery curse. She’s terrified to have that much money and is worried it will not just change her, but also the people around her. Then Jane finds out that you can’t buy or cash a winning ticket if you’re seventeen. It’s a crime.
Jane starts to think about who could cash the ticket for her. She worries her mom will blow through the money. Her grandma is a bit of a hippy and doesn’t think lots of money is good. Bran is also seventeen. But Jane’s ex, Holden, is eighteen. The problem is the ex. Jane’s still heart broken over their breakup. Holden changed and became obsessed with money. So could she trust him to give her the money? They do start hanging out a bit and it’s obvious Jane wasn’t over him. Was it possible that Holden regretted the break up? Or was there another reason he started talking to her again. He even bought her presents from his trip to Hawaii. Bran doesn’t trust Holden at all. Jane goes back and forth on what to do. Winning the lotto should be the best thing to happen to someone, but Jane is worried and wonders if she should even try to cash it.
I loved Jane’s relationship with Bran. I felt for both Jane and her mom. I don’t know much about hoarding, but it felt pretty real. The grief was just too much for her mom.
I gave this book 4 1/2 stars rounded up to 5 on Goodreads.
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my review copy.
Warnings for grief, hoarding, money issues, death, and an unhealthy relationship.
Some people are only steady on land, but for me, I’m most myself when I’m on the water. It’s like some core component of me slots into place with the waves.
This is how a house should be. A place where people can live, not a place where stuff lives.
How can love be there one moment and gone the next?
“Amen,” says Grandma. “Aging is hard enough without being forced to stay in your house, knitting and supposedly never thinking about sex again.”
Jamie Pacton is a Young Adult and Middle Grade author who grew up minutes away from the National Storytelling Center in the mountains of East Tennessee. She has a BA and MA in English Literature, and currently teaches English at the college level. While pursuing her dream of being an author, she worked as a waitress, pen salesperson, lab assistant, art museum guard, bookseller, pool attendant, nanny, and lots of other weird jobs in between. Her writing has appeared in national and local magazines, and she spent many years blogging for Parents.com. Currently, Jamie lives in Wisconsin with her family and a dog named Lego. The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly is her YA debut novel and her sophomore novel, Lucky Girl, is forthcoming in Spring 2021. She has also published a MG novel, Farfetched, under the pen name Finn Colazo.
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