Friday, November 27, 2015

Julie's Review: If You're Lucky

Author: Yvonne Prinz
Series: None
Publication Date: October 20, 2015
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Pages: 288
Obtained: publisher
Genre:  YA, Mystery
Rating: 5/5
Bottom Line: Fascinating look at mental illness in young adults
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab!
Summary: 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 that 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 Lucky’s girlfriend. Georgia begins to wonder: Did Fin murder her brother 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. She 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 the deadly truth.  

Review: If You're Lucky sucked me right in and pretty much didn't let me go until I closed the back cover. Even then, I'm pretty sure that Georgia and her struggle will stay with me for a long time.
It isn't as if Georgia hasn't suffered enough already but losing her brother Lucky puts her at the breaking point again. 

It's easy to like Georgia right off the bat, she's honest about who she is and her mental illness. She hasn't had it easy in school or at home. She's always thought of herself as the other child, so when her beloved brother dies, her parents and his friends are at a loss on what to do. You see, Lucky had it easy. He found making friends easy, had a zest for life and adventure. He was never in one place too long but managed to charm those people he came into contact to quickly.

Since Georgia is on medication for her illness, she can't feel much with the death of her brother. She often laments that she hasn't even cried and she can't stand the dull feeling of the medication. It isn't until she meets Lucky's charming and mysterious friend Fin that she feels something. She's quickly enamored with him. Until it seems, she isn't because something about him doesn't feel right. Knowing that people won't believe her because of her medication, Georgia is out to prove that Lucky didn't just die but he was murdered. First though, she needs to ween herself off the medication. I think we all know that this isn't a good idea.

Now, the ending of the novel isn't a surprise to me at all and it won't be to most adult readers enjoying this novel. What was eye-opening for me was how Ms. Prinz got us into the mind of a teen with a mental illness and how disastrous going off medication can really be for those suffering. As the book marches on, you feel almost as out of sorts as Georgia does and begin to wonder what is real and what isn't. Is Georgia's mind making her hallucinate or is her paranoia really warranted?

It's actually scary at how quickly the medication for these illnesses start to lose their effect as you lower the dosage. I can only imagine how it dulls their senses and emotions but the ramifications of not taking them are much more grave and dangerous.

If you are looking for a non-dystopian, YA novel with a mystery than you need to read  If You're Lucky.



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