The Lucky Ones

Liz Lawson. Delacorte, $18.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-593-11849-8
In this intense, affecting debut, May McGintee is “one of the lucky ones,” though she feels anything but. Back in school for junior year, May is consumed by survivor’s guilt: 11 months ago, she hid in a closet as her genius twin brother Jordan, favorite teacher, and five classmates were shot and killed during band practice. Following an ineffectual stint of homeschooling after she was kicked out of school for fighting, this is likely May’s last chance to graduate with her peers. Angry, isolated, and regretting the distance between Jordan and her when he died, with parents who are detached themselves, May is a mess. So is classmate Zach Teller: his mother is the shooter’s lawyer, which means he’s a social pariah whose house keeps getting vandalized. When Zach and May meet, they form a real connection, strong enough that it survives May’s fury upon learning Zach’s identity. Lawson does a good job at conveying how out of control May feels alongside her friends’ continued love for her, and though parts of the plot feel predictable, the book credibly depicts the terror of “the frightening places and the daily places” being “one and same,” building to a tentatively hopeful ending that feels earned. Ages 14–up. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 03/05/2020
Release date: 04/07/2020
Genre: Children's
Book - 978-0-593-11851-1
Library Binding - 352 pages - 978-0-593-11850-4
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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