Review of The Lucky Ones by Liz Lawson
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
I listened to the finished audiobook but also had a review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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.
The Lucky Ones is an emotionally charged and hauntingly poignant novel that follows of the aftermath of a school shooting and the lives of those affected by it.
They call May the lucky one. She is the sole survivor of a school shooting that takes the lives of her twin brother, fellow classmates, and her favorite teacher. But May doesn’t feel lucky. She’s angry. She’s heartbroken. And she’s lost.
When May meets Zach, she sees in him a kindred spirit and they immediately click. They find themselves feeling both invisible and under the spotlight, only good for pity or anger. Together, they navigate the pain and loss around them, and find the courage to dismantle the walls they’ve built around themselves to let others in.
This novel focuses on some heavy subjects – such as mental illness, death, school shootings, trauma, drug and alcohol use, PTSD and parent neglect – but it’s also full of hope and little moments of joy. It’s easy to look at school shootings and focus solely on the event and what preceded it. Rather, The Lucky Ones examines what happens after, and how devastating these events are on the family, friends, and community of those lost.
This is a touching debut and I want to thank the author for bringing a gentle, yet realistic, voice to these stories without dramatizing them.
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