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The Good Luck Girls

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Westworld meets The Handmaid's Tale in this stunning fantasy adventure from debut author Charlotte Nicole Davis.

Aster, the protector
Violet, the favorite
Tansy, the medic
Mallow, the fighter
Clementine, the catalyst


The country of Arketta calls them Good Luck Girls--they know their luck is anything but. Sold to a "welcome house" as children and branded with cursed markings. Trapped in a life they would never have chosen.

When Clementine accidentally murders a man, the girls risk a dangerous escape and harrowing journey to find freedom, justice, and revenge in a country that wants them to have none of those things. Pursued by Arketta's most vicious and powerful forces, both human and inhuman, their only hope lies in a bedtime story passed from one Good Luck Girl to another, a story that only the youngest or most desperate would ever believe.

It's going to take more than luck for them all to survive.

352 pages, Kindle Edition

First published October 1, 2019

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About the author

Charlotte Nicole Davis

5 books310 followers
Charlotte Nicole Davis is the author of The Good Luck Girls, a young adult fantasy novel releasing in Fall 2019 with Tor Teen. A graduate of The New School’s Writing for Children MFA program, Charlotte loves comic book movies and books with maps in the front. She currently lives in Brooklyn with a cat with a crooked tail.

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5 stars
1,110 (26%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,108 reviews
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,604 reviews10.7k followers
May 27, 2023
In Arketta, young girls are often sold into Welcome Houses by their impoverished families.

These families are told the girls will be well-cared for and they pull a good price. Additionally, it's one less mouth for a family to feed.

While it's true, the girls have a roof over their heads, clothing and food, let's not beat around the bush here, they've been sold into the sex trade.

Keep in mind, that isn't blatantly expressed on page, but they're living in brothels, run by a Madame, being frequented by wealthy men with money to burn on pleasure.

Initially, when the girls are too young to service the patrons, they provide general labor around the house and are called Sunrise Girls. After they begin to work the house, they are called Good Luck Girls.

When they finally come of age, their first night with a patron is called their 'Lucky Night'. It's a big deal, with everyone prepping the girl to look her finest.

Once she is ready, into a room she goes to await her client and her fate.

Our story opens on Clementine's Lucky Night. She's nervous, but with an older sister, Aster, already at the Good Luck Girls stage, she's ready to join her and the more easy lifestyle she believes comes with it.

When her night doesn't go as planned, and the patron ends up dead, Clementine seeks out her sister for help. Aster knows they need to run, or Clementine will be killed.

Unbeknownst to them, some of the other girls aren't happy at the Welcome House either and they want to go with. They're fed up and they're not going to take it anymore.

The Good Luck Girls took me completely by surprise. I had no idea what it was about going in and ended up really getting into it.

I loved the Western-feel of the setting, as well as the light Fantasy elements sprinkled throughout.

There is a lot of action and the characters were engaging. I wanted the girls to find safety wherever they could.

I also enjoyed the relationships among the girls and the people they met along the way. They basically were following clues from a bedtime story that they felt held the secret to their freedom.

Overall, I felt this was a unique story. It's well-written and kept me coming back for more. I read it so quickly!

If Charlotte Nicole Davis releases more stories in this world, I will definitely be reading them.

Profile Image for Riley.
429 reviews21.7k followers
June 19, 2020
This was everything I wanted from a western fantasy!!!
queer girls + sisterhood over everything else + adventure
I loved all the characters but especially Violet. She was such an interesting character who the more I learned about the more I loved
AND if the next book goes the way I hope it does this will have the ultimate f/f slowburn rivals to lovers
Profile Image for karen.
3,988 reviews170k followers
October 15, 2021
fulfilling my 2021 goal to read one ARC each month i'd been so excited to get my hands on and then...never read

ugh, this was so, so good. it's a feminist fantasy-western set in arketta; an inhospitable wilderness whose harshest region is known as the Scab, which is evocatively described as the ragged line of mountains that cut through the middle of the country.

it has all the trappings of a proper western: mines and trains and guns and horses, but with fantasy elements woven into the dusty landscape: a variety of ghosts whose danger-level increases from the benevolent seraphants, to the neutral remnants, to the vicious vengeants, as well as the raveners; bewitched humans who can inflict intense pain with their minds.

arketta is structured as a generational class system comprised of fairbloods, who have shadows, and dustbloods, whose rebellious ancestors had their shadows punitively removed and who have subsequently inherited the trait. i don't really understand the significance of this shadow-sitch, except that fairbloods are the elite and dustbloods are basically indentured servants with no real chance of earning their freedom.

it's a harsh life, especially for girls.

the young daughters of impoverished dustblood families are frequently sold to welcome houses, to serve as 'good luck girls'—they are sexually sterilized, stripped of their name, and given a magic-laced facial tattoo of a flower, which designates their new name. here, they will serve as 'daybreak girls' and perform domestic labor until they turn sixteen, when they will transition into the role of 'sundown girls,' fulfilling the real purpose of the welcome houses—catering to the various appetites of the house's male customers, known as brags.

compared to what their lives would be out in the scab, here they are at least well-fed and comfortable—the house provides the girls with everything necessary to keep them healthy and viable as the income-generating commodities they are:

Aster had been told, many times, to be grateful for that work. Good Luck Girls never went hungry, always had a roof over their heads, saw the doctor and the dentist twice a year. Entertaining the brags meant they got to wear the kind of clothes other girls could only dream of, too, and enjoy an endless supply of Sweet Thistle.

the girls are encouraged to partake of the addictive intoxicating numbness of sweet thistle, which keeps them dull and compliant (and dulls the edges of their oftentimes painful encounters), but if one should become too damaged to earn $$, they're easily replaced.

aster has already been a sundown girl for some time, but her little sister clementine is about to experience her Lucky Night, and she is dreading clem's initiation into the ranks of the sex trade. when clementine accidentally kills her first brag, the sisters manage to escape with three other girls; mallow, tansy, and violet, with the fingers-crossed hopes of finding sanctuary with lady ghost—a woman who can reportedly remove their tattoos and give good luck girls their freedom—for a price.

it's a high-stakes adventure through a many-periled landscape, where five girls full of righteous anger scrape back a little something for themselves for once—bank-robbing and robin hooding, driven by necessity into pure ingenuity, forcing their way through a world that has underestimated, dismissed and mistreated them. with bounties on their heads, pursued by several interested parties, they are in constant danger, but they manage to find allies; pockets of resistance who help usher them along on their quest.

it's a wild and energetic ride, packed with detail right down to the slang, and it's such a well-constructed story—even though i anticipated some of the conflicts, she resolved these conflicts masterfully, with originality and a deft touch not often to be found in a debut novel.

i can't wait to get my hands on the follow-up to this, The Sisters of Reckoning, to see what happens next, because now i am invested!!

come to my blog!
Profile Image for Miriam Smith (A Mother’s Musings).
1,566 reviews175 followers
September 12, 2019
I don’t normally read fantasy adventure stories but now and again I do like to push my genre boundaries and try something a little different. The premise of “The Good Luck Girls” by new author Charlotte Nicole Davis really intrigued me and I was keen to read this Wild West style YA fantasy story.
When Clementine comes of age at sixteen to become a sundown girl in a ‘welcome house’ in Green Creek, she has to entertain a ‘brag’ (male customer) for the night as part of her ‘Lucky Night’ ceremony. Unfortunately she accidentally kills her brag and knowing she will be punished fatally for the incident by ‘raveners’, bewitching and mind altering men, she goes on the run with her sister Aster and other ‘good luck girls’ - Violet, Tallow and Mansy. They meet up with Zee - a ‘rangeman’, who can assist them with their escape due to his knowledge of the woods but can he help them avoid capture and locate the Lady Ghost? She is the only person, myth has it, who can rid them of their cursed ‘favours’, tattoo like branding that will always give them away as good luck girls. They embark on a journey that is both fantastical and thrilling seeking freedom, justice and revenge. Sold as children they were trapped in an unsuspecting life they never would have chosen and its’s quite saddening to read how they are used as ‘sex slaves’ at such a young age. There’s lots of excitement and action in the story though to keep you thoroughly entertained and although primarily aimed at a YA audience there’s plenty to keep adults addicted to the book too. With tension and some emotional and sensitive content I wouldn’t recommend very young readers to read this but I can see this story being very popular with a female teen audience who enjoy fantasy fiction with a strong message at its core.
The characters are well developed and exceedingly likeable, though I would have liked to have read a little more on the relationship between Tallow and Mansy directly as it developed.
The author has based the story not on racism per se but about a black girl and her sister finding freedom and coming together to stand up against the rich and powerful. The author has produced a story that addresses darker themes in a subversive way that has you both questioning the system within the story and making you think about the world we live in at the same time.
This would make a cracking movie as it has all the hallmarks of a action packed fantasy thriller and I would love to see a sequel to the story to follow Clementine and Aster further on their fight for freedom.

4 stars
Profile Image for Bang Bang Books.
494 reviews219 followers
October 14, 2019
DNF at 40%

The focus is on the wrong thing.

Davis has created a very interesting world. It's set in an old west type of setting which is synonymous with America but Blacks and Whites live together harmoniously. WOW, let's explore this more.

Instead of discrimination based on race, there's discrimination based people who can cast a shadow vs. those who can't. WOW, let's explore this more. How is it physically possible to not cast a shadow?

Davis' world had an Empire and not a government that indentured the shadowless people and made their TEENAGE daughters prostitute themselves because they couldn't get out of debt. WOW, let's explore this more.

These teen prostitutes are branded with some sort of glowing flower implanted in their cheek which they can't cover. This would mean this world still rides horses and work in mines but they have access to technology. WOW, let's explore this more.

This world has supernatural beings including half human half monster dementor type things and large cat like humanoids crossed with vultures? WOW, let's explore this more.

All of those incredibly interesting aforementioned topics are NOT explored. Instead we get a story about five girls who escape their brothel and are on the run. This is a journey book because they have to travel hundreds of miles to find someone who can cut out their brand and they have no money so have to rob people. I'VE READ THIS STORY BEFORE! These girls have no new voice. Aster is the main voice and she's the preverbal girl trying to protect her younger sister and is desperate enough to kill. Then there's a mean girl turned nice girl and the other three girls barely speak so I don't know who they are. And then we get the old enemies to lovers trope when the only guy enters. OMG, I'VE READ THIS STORY ALREADY! WHAT ABOUT ALL THAT OTHER SHIT THAT'S GOING ON IN YOUR WORLD? FOCUS ON THAT!

I was 40% in and none of that other stuff was explored or developed. I DNFed because this book is boring.
Profile Image for Erin .
1,279 reviews1,202 followers
March 23, 2020
Spring Into Reading A Thon: Strong Female Lead

I don't usually enjoy westerns, but maybe I've been too hard on them. Maybe I just don't like adult westerns written by men.

The Good Luck Girls are young girls who have been sold into brothels "Welcome Houses" by mostly extremely poor families. Rich men or men with money to burn, come to Welcome Houses and are able to do whatever they want to these girls. But one night one of the girls accidentally kills a man then she and 4 other girls escape and go on the lam.

The Good Luck Girls was a real thrill ride. It was fun and violent. Girl power was on 10 the whole damn time.

I highly recommend The Good Luck Girls.
Profile Image for kate.
1,226 reviews948 followers
August 8, 2019
This was truly fantastic.

It had everything I could have possibly hoped for and more after having read the summary. It’s got sisterhood, found family, heists, murder, an adorable f/f budding romance, monsters (both human and inhuman), nuanced discussions on inequality and the differences in rights between men and women, strong women in every sense of the term and a desperate fight for freedom, all with a sprinkle of dark magic.

This book somehow sucked me in from page one and despite it being a little slow in places, it still managed to pull me in more and more throughout and the fact that I now have to wait who knows how long until book three is an incredibly painful thought.

TW: sexual assault, discussion of suicide and rape.
Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,478 reviews1,894 followers
October 4, 2019
This is a YA fantasy unlike almost anything I've read. This also feels both dystopian and historical and yet is set in a fantasy world, so is truly neither of those things.

It's about strong women and daring stakes. It's about learning to trust when no one has ever given you reason to. It's about sacrificing your own chance at a happily every after for the benefit of others. It's a whole lot of things. It's also diverse, a little queer, and is all sorts of magical; though not in ways I expected.

Despite my obvious enjoyment, there is still something holding me back a bit on this one. And I don't even know really know why. This was unique and brutal with characters both tough as nails and hella vulnerable with plenty of issues mirrored in this unusual world that are also present in our own. It's a scary possible reality that makes you, as a reader, and a human, and, in my case a woman, want to fight back.

And yet again, I don't know why I just didn't love it. I wasn't bored by anything, necessarily, though I did find sometimes that I would skim a passage or two. I didn't always love Aster, our main POV, and yet could also totally understand why she wasn't always likeable. And.. yeah, I don't know. This one is just a bit of a mystery for me, I think.

But I would definitely recommend it if anyone was already interested in picking it up!

** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **


This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities.
Profile Image for Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer.
1,512 reviews5 followers
October 8, 2019
Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

The Buzz

I had no interest in The Good Luck Girls. It wasn't that it was an all POC cast... it was that it was about prostitution. It's a hard life and I just didn't want to read about their horrible circumstances. Then I read an excerpt... and was TOTALLY sucked in.

The title references what they call the girls at the prostitution houses so its pretty spot on. However when I first saw the cover I sure didn't see the connection. She looks like a fancy war pilot to me and not a forced prostitute on the run using horses as a getaway. And I could barely see the flower on her neck!! Which to me should have been the star of the design. But in person its a pretty cover and features a person of color which is pretty neat!

The Premise

Soooo yeah the premise did not wow me... A girl about to have sex with her first "brag" kills him when she "over" reacts to his "aggressive" techniques. Her sister uses the man's death to facilitate their escape along with two younger daytime girls who haven't transitioned to sundown girls yet and the madame's favorite girl who lords over the others. ... I'm not doing much to make you want to read The Good Luck Girls am I?!

Well the opening prologue changed my mind (and I suspect it will yours too if you aren't feeling it yet)!! First I really felt for Clem as this was her "Lucky Night" and at only 16 years old. I felt like I was witnessing this rape and struggling right along with her. I couldn’t see her reacting any other way... Being drawn into the story so powerfully really captured me. I wanted Clem to get away with her murder even though it was seriously unlikely that she would. Then comes Aster, her sister who somehow makes it work!! I couldn't wait to see what other problems she would boldly get them out of with her quick thinking and love of her sister.

I was prepared for some really crazy things happening because the world of The Good Luck Girls was so brutal and hard. They had a tough handicap starting out (the favors that mark them as Good Luck Girls) and a society that has no sympathy for their situation. The western feel to the story with guns, horses, mines and prostitution fit that brutality. And then we have the ghost mythology which added another layer of problems to their escape.

And then we get into the meat of the story and I'm less wowed. It turns into a road trip which makes sense with the whole needing to escape. The girls decide a little robbery is just what the brags deserve. There are some run ins with the law and the raveners (super powered law for the houses). Both of which also make sense considering this is a western. We travel in mine tunnels and it totally fits the world. Only the plot wasn't quite capturing me like the opening scene did.

I did come to appreciate Aster and how nuanced she felt about being a sundown girl, a sister, a friend, someone who forgives, and someone who gets high, not on drugs, but on power. She really embodied her role as protector and it added some powerful moments to the duller plot. The fact that she wasn't in a romantic relationship with man or woman made sense to me, she had way too many emotions about her experiences to think about love. For a Good Luck Girl she did mighty fine for herself and her posse!

My Experience

I was able to read an excerpt of the beginning, of The Good Luck Girls, a couple of months before I read the book. It's this reading that convinced me that I would be foolish to miss this POC fantasy western. At the time I didn't realize that Clem's chapter was a prologue and hinted at the fact that this opening chapter would be the ONLY time I read her POV. And as I waited to get my copy I started to think that this would be multiple POVs.

Why did I assume this? Well we have 5 stellar girls each with an intriguing POV and it would be a waste to not to get a taste of those perspectives... right?! Here they are in the premise of The Good Luck Girls...
Aster, the protector
Violet, the favorite
Tansy, the medic
Mallow, the fighter
Clementine, the catalyst

They sound fabulous!! And it sounds like they will each contribute to the excellency of the story. But unfortunately since we stick with Aster alone we only get her nuances. Tansy and Mallow have their storyline and Clem has her storyline but they are rather stereotypical and didn't give us that much of a taste of who they were. They were basically the girls that Aster protected. Then we have Violet who was the major secondary character and played a bigger part... only I would have loved to see her guilt and morally grey perspective from inside the character.

The Good Luck Girls is a dark story where some heavy topics like prostitution, slavery, victimization and guilt are explored heavily in a world where females have to seize their power back from the hands of men. We have a POC posse who won't give up and draw strength and power from each other. Join them as they go on the ride of their lives!!

⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐ Authenticity
⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Writing Style
⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐ Plot & Pacing
⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ World Building
B+ Cover & Title grade

Thanks to BookishFirst and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. It has not influenced my opinions.

You can find this review and many others on my book blog @ Perspective of a Writer. Read my special perspective under the typewriter on my reviews...

Please like this review if you enjoyed it! *bow* *bow* It helps me out a ton!!
Profile Image for Bethany (Beautifully Bookish Bethany).
2,208 reviews3,689 followers
November 1, 2019
Can someone PLEASE turn this into a TV show?! Because OMG would it be a good one! The Good Luck Girls is a whole lot of fun, despite some darker elements. It's a fantasy Western adventure with angry ghosts and gang of girls, on the run and out for revenge. It's fast-paced story and action-packed, but it also includes big thematic content. It addresses trauma, misogyny, and systemic oppression, with clear nods to American chattel slavery and separation of families. But it is also about hope, healing, love, and sisterhood, with a side of highway robbery of course!

Meet five women who dare to push back against the system that oppresses them.

"Aster, The Protector
Violet, The Favorite
Tansy, The Medic
Mallow, The Fighter
Clementine, The Catalyst"

In Arketta, the Good Luck Girls are girls and women bought from their families and sold to brothels, with the promise of full bellies and good accommodations. The little ones do housework, but when a Good Luck Girl turns 16, she has the "honor" of joining the glamorous life of the night with no more chores and luxurious bedrooms, all for the small price of "entertaining" the customers of the Welcome House. They are told they are lucky. They have been lied to.

Aster has been working the night shift for two years, secretly refusing to take the mellowing drug the girls are given for their work and longing for a way to protect her younger sister Clem from the same fate. The book begins on Clementine's 16th birthday, her first night as a "woman" auctioned off to the highest bidder, with little understanding of what is about to happen. Except that Clementine accidentally kills the man who purchased her time, and she must go on the run from the law with her sister and 3 other Good Luck Girls.

Most of the book is told from Aster's perspective, although we occasionally get Clem's perspective as well. Aster is prickly and (understandably) doesn't trust men so when Clem begins to fall for a sweet young man she struggles. Violet was Aster's enemy in the Welcome House, but she is the only other girl in the gang old enough to have experienced the trauma of forced sex work, and that binds them together in unexpected ways. Meanwhile, Tansy and Mallow develop a very sweet romance that we see in bits and pieces. We get great character development for Aster and Violet, although I would have liked to see more for the other characters. This one is definitely driven more by the plot, but I did enjoy all of the characters.

In terms of plot, this book follows the escape from the Welcome House and subsequent quest to find a mythical ghost woman who can remove the magical tattoos from the girls necks that brand them as Good Luck Girls. Along the way they waylay some men known to frequent Welcome Houses, rob a bank, and fight against angry ghosts. It's such a great, fun story, but also one with a lot of depth! I'm excited to see more from this author and would love to read more in this world.

Obviously, there are going to be a lot of content warnings for this book given the premise, but there is no on-the-page rape, although we do get Clemenine's perspective in the encounter leading to the initial murder, and that does get pretty intense and violent.
Profile Image for Korrie’s Korner.
1,122 reviews13.6k followers
January 27, 2023
Total transparency here. I one clicked this book based on the cover. I’m a sucker for gorgeous Black women on book covers. What I got was so much more than I could have ever expected. After watching The Woman King a couple days ago I was craving “girl gang” or “woman tribe” type read. This gave me a historical feel with Wild West dystopian fantasy. This book tackled some serious issues such as human trafficking in a way that let you know it was a racial divide and oppression. This was an amazing first book for this author!

If you are looking for a book packed with action, survival, bad ass girl gang with a little sapphic love mixed in (book 2 is set up nicely for it), and freedom on the other side—this is for you!!
Profile Image for TL .
1,880 reviews52 followers
March 1, 2022
So glad I took a chance on this:)

Re-read via Overdrive, narration: 4 stars 🌟

First re-read in a long time:) couldn't find it on my shelves haha so decided to re-read it this way so I can get to the sequel hopefully soon *crossing fingers *

4 stars 🌟 again ✨️:) can't wait to hang with these characters again.
Profile Image for Mara.
1,640 reviews3,893 followers
September 6, 2022
The set up for this is very intense, so definitely make sure you're in a good place to engage if CSA or SA in general is a trigger. But this was a great example of a high action fantasy western that still managed to be quite character driven. I didn't realize there was a sequel, but I will read it
Profile Image for Leora Aileen.
18 reviews3,994 followers
March 7, 2021
Absolutely loved this read! I went in without knowing a lot so everything came as a welcome surprise.

This story is full of the things I love in fantasy, so if you like; groups of friends or unexpected allies going on long journeys/heists, amazing characters with lots of banter that you just love, queer girls, found family, sister dynamics, a fantasy world full of ghosts (?? So cool, had never read anything like it) and lots of action on every page then definitely check out this book!
Profile Image for ♥Milica♥.
1,005 reviews306 followers
July 20, 2021
I've been eyeing this book both in my local bookstore, and on their website for two years now. I knew I'd love it, but for whichever reason I didn't get it until May of this year. I finally picked it up today and my expectations were more than met.

When I started reading, I wasn't expecting to read all of it at once, maybe half. But even early on it proved to be an impossible task, because the book was just too good to put down.

Things are always happening, excitement on every corner, you can't breathe until you know the characters are safe - but when they are, you know something else will go wrong.

This book reminded me why I love reading so much. I'd like to thank it for that.

It starts with Clementine's POV. She's the younger sister of Aster, but the second oldest of the five girls (I believe? I don't remember how old Violet is). And she's about to have her first intimate encounter with a man. NOT!

The man gets too grabby and violent so Clementine accidentally kills him in self defence. Things escalate further and both her and her sister are planning to escape, but not without their friends.

They find themselves on the run from the law, but they didn't escape one prison just to end up in another. The Good Luck Girls follows the quintet on their journey towards freedom, and the mysterious legend, called Lady Ghost who is rumoured to be able to remove the magical brands that mark them as the brothel's property.

I assumed Clementine would be the main character or that the book would have alternating POVs, but only the prologue is in her head, the rest of the book is in Aster's.

In a way, I mind. Because those ten pages made me love Clementine and I grew very attached to her. She's still one of the main characters, but we see her through Aster's eyes the whole time.

Aster I like, the protective side of her anyway. Sometimes it can be too much. I love her with Violet though. I wanted them to be friends and then there's this one scene where it hits you that they're supposed to be more and it works. For now though, they're not the F/F couple.

Violet I only disliked in the beginning, but when she decided to come along with the girls I knew she had her own reasons, and the dislike melted away. And said reasons became predictable the more she opened up.

On the other hand, I don't like to think too much unless if I pick up a uni book, so I appreciate that the Violet clues weren't hard to follow.

The other two girls, Tansy and Mallow, they came as a packaged deal and so they stayed. I was so focused on Aster and Violet's relationship that I completely missed their developing one so it came as a surprise that they had feelings for each other.

Tansy stood out to me more than Mallow, maybe it was the "medic" thing. I don't have a lot to say about them, other than they're cute together and brave when needed.

Zee is the boy of the group who joined them later on. He's a curious case, I don't like him on his own, but I ship him with Clementine. Before I saw the Aster/Violet vibes I was so worried he'd like Aster because of his first and second entrance into their lives. Luckily though, that's not the case.

I'd like to point out the world building, which is close to perfect? Not the dystopia-like world itself of course, but the way the places are described, like the Scab. You can imagine brothels of this kind in locations like those.

And there's other interesting things to explore in the next book(s), like why only certain people can cast a shadow and why others can't and why that's such a big deal.

The ending is bitter-sweet, some characters get a happy ending, for others we don't know their fate.

To wrap this up, The Good Luck Girls is worth every penny. Books are expensive where I'm from, especially in English, so 99% of the time I wait until they're at least 20% off. But this one I bought full-price and I have no regrets.
Profile Image for rose ✨.
187 reviews99 followers
August 23, 2021
“i’m not okay. it was a simple thought, but there was something huge and terrifying in it.”

the good luck girls is the fantasy western i didn’t know i needed. it’s an absolute whirlwind of an adventure, complete with heists and standoffs and magic. davis crafts an entire world, drawing elements from the american old west and blending them with the fantastical to create something unique.

the heart of the novel is, without a doubt, the sisterhood between these five girls (and later zee, the rangeman who offers to guide them on their journey). while there are two perfectly sweet romances (one f/f, one m/f), i really appreciate davis’s decision to focus on friendship and found family considering the trauma and abuse all five girls have survived. and i really hope i’m not misinterpreting hints of what could be an amazing f/f slow burn… 👀

i do feel like the novel could have benefited from another 50+ pages to explore certain characters and storylines (mallow and tansy felt particularly underdeveloped), but i sniffled my way through the last 70 pages and just adored aster in particular.

rating: 4/5 stars
Profile Image for Elvina Zafril.
538 reviews89 followers
July 15, 2019
the good luck girls

The Good Luck Girls is incredibly addictive. Once you picked up the book, you wouldn’t want to put it down.

A really great debut. At the very beginning, I felt kind of boring because maybe I just didn’t understand what’s going on. A few of characters appeared and I couldn’t remember their names. But after a few chapters, I started to like the story because it became more interesting. Obviously because of the incident that happened where Clementine accidentally murdered a man.

The characters - Aster, the protector, Violet, the favorite, Tansy, the medic, Mallow, the fighter and Clementine, the catalyst. To me I think Aster is the main character in this story because she is the protector, obviously. Aster and Clementine are sisters. Aster would do anything to keep Clementine safe.

When everyone knew that Clementine accidentally murdered a man, Aster created a plan to escape the “welcome house”. She didn't want Clementine to get caught for the murder and scared something worse is going to happen to her. She gathered her trusted girls and working on the escape plan. They risked their lives just to find freedom, justice and revenge in Arketta. But, are they going to survive?

The author clearly trying to send us a message about the equality between men and women and rich and poor. Reading this book made me realize and remember about the era where people had tyrannical government and cruel people that were hungry for power. I fear if this world is facing that kind of situation again. I hope we are going to live in peace. The supernatural part got me hooked and I just have to say that this book has a different vibe. I was so caught up with the girls. What they have been through and how they deal with everything are so inspiring. They are indeed strong women.

Well written and the plot is amazing.

The only thing that I think wasn’t necessary is the romance part. I wasn’t enjoyed the insta-love between them (not going to say their names) but I feel the author should switch the characters and maybe the romance part would be more interesting.

This book is worth reading. And I need the sequel because they are a lot of things I want to know! Highly recommend this book.

Disclaimer: Thank you, Pansing for sending me a copy of The Good Luck Girls in return for an honest review. This book will be released on October 2019
Profile Image for Schizanthus Nerd.
1,194 reviews249 followers
August 23, 2021
Aster, Clementine, Mallow, Tansy and Violet are Good Luck Girls, something that sounds fortuitous until you know what that term truly means. With the exception of Violet, they were taken from their families to Green Creek welcome house with the promise of a better life.

Favors, the welcome house version of branding, are such a contradiction: aesthetically beautiful, yet representative of such pain and suffering.

Good Luck Girls begin working as daybreak girls. On their sixteenth birthday, daybreak girls become sundown girls, through a rite of passage called their Lucky Night.

When Clementine accidentally kills a brag on her Lucky Night, her sister, Aster, is determined to protect her. Now five Good Luck Girls are on the run, pursued by both the living and the dead. Their only hope is to find the Lady Ghost, but as far as anyone knows she’s only a bedtime story.

This book could have broken me, given the darkness of what the girls have experienced, if it wasn’t for the girls themselves. Initially I thought Clementine was going to be the star of this show but Aster and Violet were the two I bonded with the most.

Slightly older than the others, Aster and Violet have experienced trauma the other girls haven’t. I loved them for their strength and courage, despite the odds stacked against them. Given what they’d been through, it would be easy for the darkness to overwhelm them but they refuse to give up, holding onto whatever scraps of hope they can carry.

Although it’s not specifically named here, the girls clearly exhibit signs of PTSD. What I loved, if you can say you love anything where PTSD is concerned, were the nuances. The trauma was expressed differently amongst the girls, with each utilising their individual strengths to survive, both physically and emotionally. There was an authenticity to their portrayal, from the dissociation and flashbacks to the difficulties trusting others and themselves.

The character that caused me the most conflict was Zee. I so wanted to trust him but, like Aster, I wasn’t sure if it was safe to do so. I ended up spending most of the book silently pleading with him to be worthy of the girls’ trust.

It felt as though Aster and Lei from Girls of Paper and Fire were kindred spirits. The raveners reminded me of Dementors, but as a physical embodiment of PTSD. The names of the girls brought to mind Lex and the other girls I met in What Unbreakable Looks Like. This book stands on its own two feet, though.

I was immersed in this world. The threat of the raveners and vengeants were ever-present. The divide between fairbloods and dustbloods was clear. The danger was unrelenting. But hope shone through as brightly as a covered favor.

This is a real underdog story, where you have the opportunity to cheer on a group of girls who have been so downtrodden that you can’t help but become invested in their journey. You want them to win. You need them to win. Because any other outcome would hurt too much.

Content warnings include .

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Hot Key Books, an imprint of Bonnier Books UK, for the opportunity to read this book. I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel!

Blog - https://schizanthusnerd.com
Profile Image for Claude's Bookzone.
1,535 reviews215 followers
June 15, 2020
I absolutely loved the dynamics between the women in this book. The world building was as wonderful as the ravenors were terrifying. I look forward to reading the next book.
Profile Image for Starlah.
393 reviews1,589 followers
September 30, 2019
Westworld meets The Handmaid’s Tale in this wild, wild west YA fantasy.

The story takes place in a wild west type of country called Arketta, where there are “welcome houses” where girls are sold and branded with cursed markings and forced into sex work. The girls are called Good Luck Girls because it is thought that since these girls are housed, fed, and regularly see a doctor, they are lucky. Despite the work they are forced to do.

The story kicks off when one of the Good Luck Girls accidentally murders a man. She and 4 other girls decide to risk everything on a dangerous escape and a harrowing journey to find freedom. Along they way they are being hunted by humans and inhumans, and their hope kind of lies on a bedtime story.

I THOROUGHLY enjoyed this. I really enjoyed the wild, wild west fantasy adventure. Along with magic and creatures, there are bank heist and chasing a train and chases on horseback, like … I looved that. Though I will say I was a little disappointed there wasn’t a stand-off. I know all of those things are a little cliche and some people may not like that, but I loved that. I think all of those things really help give that wild, wild west feel and atmosphere.

It was sooo awesome to follow a group of badass young women who will do anything to get their autonomy back, to fight for the freedom they deserve. This book has racial diversity - the majority of the main chast of characters are black/brown. There was a little bit of queer representation. And just great, women fighting back rep. We have a group of girls who are all different. Who all have different strengths and weaknesses. They all are tough as nails as well as vulnerable in different ways.

This story did a really good job at mirroring issues that women deal with today as well as in American history.

As much as I really, really love and enjoyed this book, it wasn’t perfect. I felt like the story could have used another set of eyes looking over it because there were a handful of grammatical errors and just like kind of tripped over itself which was very distracting and a little annoying. I know that’s not going to bother everyone, some people might not even notice but I did, and it does bother me so I thought I’d mention it.

Also, the language and dialect of this book, obviously, was mostly - somewhat - western. But it wasn’t always consistent. Again, a kind of small thing that may not bother everyone.

The book obviously, is strong in it’s female power and that is amazing. So, I was a little - very little - not happy with the appearance of a character, who is not female, who did a lot for the group of women. Again, in the end, I don’t really mind because … I enjoyed the story, I enjoyed ALL of the characters. But I just think going into it, with how it opened up, I wasn’t really expecting or - wanting - a man to come along.

And lastly, while a lot of the book has really good descriptions and very nicely painted a picture, I did find that it wasn’t the best with it’s world-building. Even now, after finishing it, I’m not super sure what some stuff is. There are like Dustbloods and Fairbloods, and Dustbloods don’t have a shadow … and I’m like not super sure why. It seemed like Dustbloods were mostly, if not all, brown or black people. Fairbloods were white. But I’m not super sure… There were also these creatures that I know WHAT they were but I don’t really know WHY they were … does that make sense? And these like half human/half not? Things and like their magic just wasn’t super well explained. That’s just what it is. Like the story was great, the picture was painted well, but it wasn’t explained well.

Overall, super SUPER enjoyed this. Will definitely continue with the series. I also REALLY loved the ending and how our main, main character ended things. I can’t say cause spoilers, but it was great. 4 stars, definitely recommend.
Profile Image for Connor.
694 reviews1,660 followers
December 7, 2019
I was pleasantly surprised by this one! I don't tend to gravitate toward books pitched as westerns, but I thought this sounded like I might like it. Five girls escape their brothel and are on the run from the law after a client ends up dead, hoping to find a mysterious woman which legends say can remove their tattoos called favors (these mark the girls as property of a brothel/welcome house).

After finishing the novel, it seems like there are some mixed opinions on goodreads, so I'll be weighing in on things I've seen people say in other reviews.

I really enjoyed Aster as the main character. She's bitter and pissed off but loyal and a good person when it comes down to it. I've seen other reviewers wish a different character was followed. I disagree. I think Aster was the perfect choice. She's one of the older girls that we get to follow, so she's suffered and knows more about the welcome houses than most of the others. I like that she's conflicted between doing whats right and looking out for herself first (and her sister Clementine). I think the story would have lost a lot of its nuance if one of the others were followed. I also like that Aster is still processing. Her and Violet have really been through some tough shit, and it's more difficult to adjust or to be optimistic and trusting after what they've been through. I appreciated that Aster doesn't currently have the energy or vulnerability to let many people close to her.

Of all the characters, Clementine held the least appeal for me, but that's not to say I didn't enjoy reading about her. I just didn't connect with her as much as some of the others.

I've seen some criticisms that Tansy and Mallow read quite similar to each other and were difficult to distinguish or connect with. I listened to the audiobook, which may have prevented this for me. The narrator does a great job of giving the girls distinct voices. Mallow was given a deeper, more masculine-sounding voice as she is described as relying on her physical strength often. Tansy is given a more quiet, passive voice which I think fit her character rather well. So, the audiobook is a great option for people wanting to pick this one up. I love backstories, so I was happy each of the main group that we follow has a backstory that's sprinkled into the narrative.

I really liked the world building we got. This novel puts you into the world and doesn't spoon-feed you with extra details. These characters already know what a favor (a magical tattoo that cannot be covered without causing the person immense pain) is. They already know what raveners (men who manipulate and torture people's minds but at a cost) are. They already know how the ghosts work. So it's more up to the reader to put the pieces together and get on the same page as the characters while they're fleeing for their lives.

I liked how Davis wove historical elements into the story. I watched an interview of her with Arvin Ahmadi, and she talks about how she included some lesser known western and American history into the story. She lists some of the sources she pulled from in the acknowledgments which I appreciated a lot. I think she strikes a good balance between heavier topics like generational poverty, sex trafficking, racism (in the form of whether you have a shadow or not), sexism etc. with lighter moments of the characters having a good time and finding small moments of happiness even while being chased constantly.

I will say that readers may find the constant traveling and running from the law to be tiring, but I thought it just enough to really get the point across without being exhausting. I've already written too much, so all else I'll say is that I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens next. I don't think it ended in a true cliffhanger, but it definitely makes me want to know what the characters will do next.
Profile Image for CW ✨.
670 reviews1,714 followers
March 19, 2020
Oh, I really enjoyed this! The Good Luck Girls is such a compelling western-fantasy adventure with a great cast of characters.

- Follows Aster, a 'Good Luck Girl', or girls branded and sold to 'welcome houses' to serve as either housemaids or, prostitutes, when they are older. When her little sister accidentally kills a man, she and four other girls escape the welcome house in search of the fabled 'Lady Ghost' who can remove their brands so they can be free.
- I loved the worldbuilding! It's a mix of fantastical and western vibes, and it works amazingly. There's an overtone of fear as the girls try to escape - as danger lurks at every corner and every new town - and I felt that so distinctly while reading.
- This book isn't heavy on discourse, but the book also explores systemic injustice, oppression of women, the weight of freedom, and revenge.
- The relationships in this were wonderful. I loved every single girl by the end of the book and I thought their character developments, especially Aster and Violet, were fantastic.
- I just really enjoyed this. The adventure was fun, I felt invested, and every new endeavour they take upon gripped me. I had a minor qualm with the ending , but I thought the end of their journey was satisfying and meaningful.

Trigger/content warning:
Profile Image for Angela Staudt.
400 reviews108 followers
November 10, 2019
“You had to keep running, that was the trick. If you stopped, your troubles would catch you.”

What an utterly captivating book full of adventure, sadness, friends, family, and hope. I loved how this was such a breath of fresh air, because of how unique the storyline was. The Good Luck Girls follows 5 girls who are from a Welcome House, only they have escaped and are on the run.

I immediately became attached to the main characters and couldn’t imagine their lives and how they are sold to the welcome house and are basically sex slaves every night. No matter where they travel, people know they are good luck girls and are always looked at with hate and nastiness. Following their journey to try and find freedom was very compelling to read. I loved their friendship and loyalty to one another, and learning about their pasts. Why they were sold into the welcome houses to begin with.

All the girls are so brave and deserve a better life than what they were born into. I really enjoyed their look at life, how even though they all have had the worst luck, they still see the good in the world. The girls just want to be free and to be able to live a normal life. I absolutely loved this story from the beginning to the end and I can’t wait for the next book to see where these good luck girls go next!
Profile Image for Keyona.
296 reviews156 followers
August 26, 2019
I enjoyed this book so much. After Clementine accidentally kills a well-connected brag (client), her sister Astor and a few other Good Luck Girls go on the run to finally be free. These girls were sold into slavery at very young ages and forced to have sex with men once they reach 16. These girls go on this adventure to try to gain their freedom. On the way, they meet many different characters. Some helpful and some very unhelpful. Some human and some not so human. I love how they banded together against everything and everyone that tried to stand in their way. I can't wait for the next one in the series!
Profile Image for The Captain.
1,096 reviews409 followers
October 1, 2019
Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this young adult fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . .

Upon seeing the beautiful cover and reading the synopsis, I thought this novel would float me boat.  The highlight was the comparison to the handmaid's tale.  Sadly, I stopped reading at the 15% mark because I really wasn't feeling it.  But because this is supposed to be a woman driven story with a gangster escape and social commentary, I did an unusual thing and looked up other reviews and spoilers before deciding to fully abandon it.  Those tipped me over the edge and caused me to stop reading because I didn't like what I was seeing.

First let me explain me viewpoints on the section I actually read.  I did feel the beginning was nicely set-up.  I really liked the odd mix of Japanese courtesan-type setting, magic, and western.  I adored the idea of the how the tattoos worked.  I liked the idea of two sisters with different personalities being main characters.

That said, I also felt that both the world-building and the characterization was too surface level.  I felt like I was getting the shiny ideas with no real substance.  Neither people nor world felt real.  Both seemed like caricatures.  The older sister was led too much by her emotions and rage with no real thought.  The younger sister was too naive, didn't really think, and seemed to want her sister to do everything for her.  The other three girls seemed two-dimensional.  Then the plot broke down because how the girls escaped the whore, I mean welcome, house was just so unbelievable and silly.

I wasn't sure if pushing through would make the story better and I wanted the book to be as good as its premise.  So I read reviews.  I won't get into the major details because of spoilers but suffice to say that many people claimed that the two-dimensionality of the characters didn't improve and it remained hard to connect to them.  Insta-lust makes an appearance.  The ending was said to be problematic and thanks to someone who wrote the entire ending in their review, I can say that it would have made me angry to have read the whole story only to get to that (even if it is a book one in a series).

The reviews did seem split 50/50 on whether it was liked so if it does sound good, it still might work for ye.  But basically this book was very much not to me taste and I am glad I stopped when I did.  

So lastly . . .

Thank you Tor Teen!
Profile Image for Beth Cato.
Author 114 books563 followers
July 29, 2020
I'll say straight up: I'm sick to death of the trope of old west bordellos. Therefore, I started this YA book with trepidation. I was soon surprised by the book's thoughtful take on the horrors of human trafficking, all in an original weird west fantasy setting.

The "Good Luck Girls" aren't that lucky at all. They are girls sold into sexual slavery at 'welcome houses' that pepper the wilderness. All of this is referenced in delicate ways, but you know what is going on. When Clementine's debut night goes horribly wrong, she flees town along with her sister and other girls. They become bandits out of need to survive, but they ultimately have one goal: freedom, which means finding their way to the mythical Lady Ghost who can remove their magical brands.

This book handles difficult subjects like rape and abuse with great sensitivity. All too often now, I come across that kind of thing in books and stop reading. I'm sick of how some authors use it as a crutch for female character development. This novel, though, shows strength and resilience in its cast of women. It feels real, fantastical as the setting is, and that's all the more important since it is for a young adult audience.
Profile Image for MariaWitBook.
321 reviews22 followers
October 21, 2019

I just loved it from the first line. In less than 60 pages you have an entire world with rules and history. Characters full of potential! People that you hate or love in an instant! From the first chapter I found myself wishing not to finish the book in one sitting but wishing for this book to be the beginning of a whole series. I can’t think of any other book that will have the same type of story line. The oppression of the girls/women as familiar a thousand years ago as it sometimes now and how some authors think that will still be part of the world in the future. The love and bond between sisters is as strong as the bond between people that find themselves in tricky situations where they need the support of one another.
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