The Lucky Ones is an emotional contemporary about survivor’s guilt, friendship, and forgiveness. I read this book in a day because I fell in love with the attention to detail Lawson gives to her characters. The ways they feel at both utterly relatable and also removed from my own personal experiences. Keep reading this book review of The Lucky Ones so you can find out all the things I loved!
How do you put yourself back together when it seems like you’ve lost it all?
May is a survivor. But she doesn’t feel like one. She feels angry. And lost. And alone. Eleven months after the school shooting that killed her twin brother, May still doesn’t know why she was the only one to walk out of the band room that day. No one gets what she went through–no one saw and heard what she did. No one can possibly understand how it feels to be her.
Zach lost his old life when his mother decided to defend the shooter. His girlfriend dumped him, his friends bailed, and now he spends his time hanging out with his little sister…and the one faithful friend who stuck around. His best friend is needy and demanding, but he won’t let Zach disappear into himself. Which is how Zach ends up at band practice that night. The same night May goes with her best friend to audition for a new band.
Which is how May meets Zach. And how Zach meets May. And how both might figure out that surviving could be an option after all.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: PTSD, depression
The Lucky Ones is an emotional book about grief, guilt, and friendship. Tackling survivor’s guilt, The Lucky Ones is emotional and heart wrenching. It reminds us that grief is a process, one that re surges and never truly feels like it’s over. It also reminds us that everyone processes guilt differently. The characters in The Lucky Ones are where the book truly shines and it was hard for me to pick which is my favorite.
May is in so much pain, struggling with issues of guilt and the way the world seems to have kept turning despite the hole inside of her. She’s also full of so much anger, anger at the world for what happened, and anger at herself. Whereas Zach is trying to balance the ways he feels like the only one keeping his family functioning. His mother’s decision to give the shooter a fair trial has turned him into an Outsider and has changed the way others see his family. They’re complex and allowed to make mistakes, to grapple with forgiveness, and to figure out their own friendship.
All in all, The Lucky Ones is a book that allows characters to be complex and messy. To have failings, to make hard choices, and to ask forgiveness with open answers. Talking about character who are struggling through grief, the disappointments we have with our family, and trying to tackle our own feelings of guilt. Parents who are only human and coping the best way they can. The Lucky Ones is about when people leave our lives. The grief that instills in our heart. The feelings of resentment and loss.