When her mother mysteriously vanishes from the small town of Plains, Montana, 12-year-old Lucky Bird’s childhood comes to an abrupt end. Left to defend herself against her suddenly abusive grandmother, Marian, and forced to endure the twisted predatory games played out by Marian’s lover, Lucky soon finds herself trapped in a nightmare.Review:
Even when she manages to escape, the outside world can’t take away the brutal images of her past. Still haunted by her mother’s disappearance and the trauma that followed, Lucky is easily led down a path of self-destruction—a path that only the intervention of a young stranger and his family can guide her away from. But first, Lucky will have to confront her demons, and the dark truths kept hidden.
I have to admit I didn't expect much going into this one. The cover didn't really scream "read me!". Plus the story line seemed like it could have been anywhere from horrifically bad to amazingly good. As it turned out, I shouldn't have had been worried about I Am Lucky Bird one bit. It turned out be an well written and emotionally fueled book, one that had me hooked from the first page to the very last, and even then, I was still dying for more Lucky Bird.
As far back as she can remember, Lucky Bird has always been told how lucky she was to have been saved from the dumpster of a restaurant as a young infant. In some ways, Lucky can agree with this. She loves the time she spends with Anne Marie, her adoptive mother of sorts. However, in other ways (such as her Anne Marie's mother Marian's loud complaints to the creepy guy who always seems to be there at the wrong time) she can beg to differ. Everything changes, though, when Ann Marie suddenly disappears into thin air one day. Lucky isn't sure what happened, but she's positive Marian had something to do with it. Her theory only becomes clearer when Marian begins to get even worse than usual. What will happen to Lucky Bird? Will she be able to save herself in the end, or has her journey of terror only just begun? Only time and more pages can tell in this intriguing and heartbreaking as well as heartwarming story of coincidence, love, loss, and starting over.
From the first page, Lucky Bird's voice instantly pulled on my heart strings. She was such a sweet girl with lots of good intentions, even with the horrible circumstances she had been given. I enjoyed seeing her prescriptive of things as well as seeing how she developed as the story progressed. She starts out as a timid girl, and while she faces a few hardships and bad times as the book progressed, she really becomes her own by the end. What I also enjoyed about Lucky's story was the wide variety of other characters that came with it. Some of my favorites included Rika, Lucky's first "real" friend who showed her a different side to life, as well as Jason, a boy who manages to save Lucky latter on in life. Each character (even the bad and truly nasty ones) added something amazing to the book, and without it, the book surly would have suffered.
The plot in this was interesting as well. From the summary, I thought it was going to only focus on Lucky's life at age 12, so I was surprised when it covered ages 12 to 18. I really enjoyed this part though. It added a lot of development to Lucky's story, and I especially loved how Fleur brought coincidence into it all. It was interesting to see how the littlest of things could mean the most latter on, and truthfully, it really made me think as I read this book.
The writing was also beautiful. Fleur did a great job of bringing Lucky's story to life. She showed every part (good to bad, especially the bad) and managed to really bring out the feelings and emotions of Lucky's. I especially give her props for not scurrying away from some of the tougher parts of Lucky's story. Instead, she dove into them completely, and while sometimes it was a bit hard to stomach and handle, it ended up doing a lot for the book.
In all, if you love contemporary, you should check out I Am Lucky Bird for sure. It's simply a spectacular book, one I really think people will enjoy if they give it a chance. I can't wait to see what Fleur writes next!
I Am Lucky Bird (Amazon, BN, Goodreads) is now out!
Source: BookSpark Publicity
Note: While this one is YA, it has some mature themes and situations (such as rape, abuse, drug use, etc.) that I feel may be off putting to some young teens. So I only really suggest it to older readers.