June 21, 2014

That Time I Read Lucky Us... (Review)

After I muscled through thoroughly enjoyed reviewing I Dated This Guy Once..., I eagerly submitted an application to participate in the 20sb blog tour of "Lucky Us." To be fair, this is a sponsored review but I probably would have wanted to participate in the blog tour either way since I really liked having external motivation to do some reading for the last review.

Lucky Us is being released July 29th but stay tuned... at the end of this post I'm hosting a giveaway of the book. One lucky reader will receive a copy of the book from the publisher by entering below!

"Lucky Us" Review

Lucky Us is a novel by Amy Bloom about a young girl growing up during World War II. We follow her adventures across the country (and back), and through her life, overcoming ups and downs, and meeting all sorts of people. The overall theme is pretty much love, loss, and the struggles along the way.

Something I found to be somewhat unique about Lucky Us was that Bloom told part of the story though other character's points of view in the form of letters written to the protagonist, Eva. I felt that it added depth to the story because it wasn't just one person telling everyone else's stories the entire time, and I got to experience the points of views from the characters who found themselves across the world in Germany and England.

Amy Bloom is a New York Times bestselling author and has previously written Away, Where the God of Love Hangs, Come to Me, A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You, Love Invents Us, and Normal. 

Lucky Us starts off "My father's wife died. My mother said we should drive down to his place and see what might be in it for us." So we learn instantly what Eva's lovely mother is like and that Eva does not have the healthiest living situation. We do find out that her father is pretty scummy, and that Eva and her mother are his second family, but... still. Eva's mother ends up leaving her with her father, never to be heard from again. Thus leading to Eva and her newly-met-half-sister's journey from Ohio to Hollywood.

Eva's sister Iris is beautiful and talented and she was ready and determined to become a star. The summer after Iris' high school graduation, when Eva was about 14, the sisters snuck out of their father's house with every penny Iris managed to save up from every contest she'd won and headed west. They landed in a grungy apartment complex. It was what they could afford. The land lady, Mrs. Gruber almost made up for it with her kindness and friendship.

Just when Iris was becoming known, and was moving up in the ranks, scandal broke and Iris was made the scapegoat. Essentially on the blacklist of Hollywood, it was back to the drawing board and who knows what Iris was going to be able to do for work. Even restaurants and retail shops where Iris would be recognized wouldn't consider hiring her.

Along comes Edgar, their father. He managed to track them down, and the timing was actually somewhat fortuitous for the girls. Along with make-up artist, Francisco, who sympathized with Iris' downfall and wanted to save her, the group hatched a plan to move back across the country but this time all the way to Long Island, New York.

In New York, Iris and Edgar worked as the butler and governess of a newly-wealthy family. From here the girls and their father make new friends, find new relationships. Iris changes her last name and finds work on Broadway and Eva slowly but surely finds her calling. After several twists and turns and some turmoil and heartache, the gang learns what it is to feel lucky with what they have.

I found Lucky Us to be truly captivating throughout the entire story. It left me wanting to know how Eva's story goes on after the book ends. There were certainly some parts where I just wished the the author wrote it differently (why do people have to die?) but that's the point of storytelling isn't it? I've mentioned previously that I don't care for novels because I'm so aware of it being fiction and therefore "a waste of my time" but Lucky Us was easy to read and all of the emotion and details about the time period made me enjoy reading it. I might even find time to read another title by Amy Bloom if I ever make it through my stacks of unread books I already have.

In short, Lucky Us is highly entertaining and a great read and I would recommend it to anyone who likes things that are good. Bloom's writing really made it easy to fall in love with all of the characters, even the ones I sometimes wanted to hate.

Lucky Us will be released July 29th (available for pre-order).  For more information visit http://amybloom.com

The giveaway: 1 copy of Lucky Us by Amy Bloom

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1 comment :

  1. i dont know how i missed this on 20sb, but like 4 of the blogs i read have a review up!