The Lucky Kind by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
High school junior Nick Brandt is intent on getting a girlfriend, and Eden Reiss is the one that he wants. He has exactly four semesters to get the girl, but when the phone rings on an otherwise ordinary Tuesday night, life for Nick and his parents will never be the same. What had been a seemingly idyllic home life has become something else entirely. But with this shake-up comes a newfound confidence for Nick; he's become a bolder version of himself, no longer afraid to question his parents, and no longer afraid to talk to Eden.
Alyssa B. Sheinmel has written a powerfully gripping story about family secrets, falling in love, and finding luck in unexpected--and sometimes unwelcome—circumstances.
After reading Alyssa's unique and beautifully written debut last year, I've been eager to find out more about her upcoming projects. I was beyond excited when a copy of her sophomore novel, The Lucky Kind, landed on my doorstep. It was just as intriguing and original as her debut and I definitely recommend it.
The Lucky Kind tells the story of sixteen year old Nick, an ordinary high school guy navigating life the best he can. Nick is in love with the beautiful and elusive Eden Reiss and I liked being able to watch their relationship develop and turn into something more. Nick has always been happy and has a good relationship with his parents, and he's even happier when he and Eden start dating. He also has his best friend Stevie and is doing well in school. But then his life is turned upside down when he learns his father had a son with his girlfriend 29 years ago that they put up for adoption and this almost thirty year old man is now contacting Nick's (and his real) father. Nick starts to wonder if his father really is the kind and honest guy he always knew and trusted and their relationship changes drastically in just a day. Suddenly Nick is a new person.
The concept of The Lucky Kind was one I've never encountered before and I felt for Nick when he learned his father had been keeping something so serious from him. The fact that Nick was indeed not his father's first born son. Alyssa B. Sheinmel made sure Nick's parents had a key role in the story and his relationship with them was a key part of the novel. Nick's character is very complex and he goes through a lot over the course of a few months and changes quite a bit.
Eden and Stevie are also very developed secondary characters and have a large role in the book. One of my favorite aspects of the book was reading about Nick's relationship with not only his parents but Stevie and Eden. He learned a lot about himself from those two even though they had their ups and downs.
The plot is well executed and Alyssa manages to capture all the turmoil and emotion brought forth by a family secret perfectly.
While some may think the ending was a bit abrupt I think it was the best way to end the story. Readers can make their own guesses as to what happens next. Overall, The Lucky Kind was an original and well written second novel and I finished it very quickly. Alyssa B. Sheinmel created a great character in Nick and I think many teenagers will feel for and relate to him. I'm sure Alyssa's third book will introduce a new, rarely touched topic that will intrigue readers as well!
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
May 10, 2011/Knopf BFYR/208 Pages/Young Adult
Source: Publisher (ARC)
Other books by this author: The Beautiful Between