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We Wish You Luck

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  95 ratings  ·  31 reviews
An exhilarating novel about a group of students who take revenge on a wunderkind professor after she destroys one of their own-- a story of collective drive to create, sabotage, and ultimately, to love.

It doesn't take long for the students on Fielding campus to become obsessed with Hannah, Leslie and Jimmy. The three graduate students are mysterious, inaccessible, and
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 14th 2020 by Riverhead Books
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Suzanne thebookblondie
We Wish You Luck by Caroline Zancan (#112 in 2019)

Thank you to Riverhead Books for my gifted copy. Check this one out 1/14/2020!

The first thing that makes this book unique is the narrator's perspective... or should I say narrators' perspective. It's told from the point of view of a GROUP of MFA students at a fictional college called Fielding. The group-narrator, a limited omniscient narrator, tells the story of Hannah, Leslie, and Jimmy, three of the MFA students who have very distinct
The Artisan Geek
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, bookcase
----------------AUTHOR INTERVIEW----------------

I had the amazing chance to talk to the author as well, if you're interested you can check out the link! :)

This was so ridiculously good, like what even?!

I honestly thoroughly enjoyed this book!! Full review to come :)

Yeeey thank you Riverhead Books for gifting me a copy of this book!! :D I just starting reading it and I've been enjoying getting to know the characters, gaah - my first campus novel!!

You can find me on
Youtube |
Dec 20, 2019 added it
Shelves: read-in-2019
Told through a collective voice, this is a slow-burn story that is a telling of a story of revenge. It's the first residency for a class of MFA writing students at a small college in Vermont (think: Bennington). Everyone is feeling one another out, making choices about who they'd be connecting with over the course of these residencies. But there's one new teacher, an ingenue, who immediately commands everyone's attention.

As the story goes, Simone -- this new teacher -- tore apart one of the new
Sarah at Sarah's Book Shelves
Thanks to Riverhead Books for an advanced copy of this book.

This novel took me completely by surprise! I knew nothing about the author going into it, but I picked it up because I love campus novels and Susie at Novel Visits liked it. The writing is out of this world…Zancan’s commentary on the social hierarchy of the MFA students is perfection and her introductions of each new player in the story make you feel like you know the depths of their psyches from just a few paragraphs. The story is told
Dec 25, 2019 rated it liked it
At first, I was enamored with the writing style and excited for a story that would immediately grip me. From the first few pages, I thought I had found a book that would make me finish it in a few nights. But that promise didn't fulfill itself.

While the writing is quite beautiful, with surprising word choices and moments of grace, it does get a bit tiring. The story is told by a collective "we" made up of MFA writing students, and after awhile it seems as if the writing style is just their
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
WE WISH YOU LUCK is unlike anything I have ever read. Written from the point of view of a collective group of students in an MFA program, the novel is stirring, enveloping, and breathtaking. Zancan's way with words is so special, and her writing about writers (and what they might write about) is both funny and awe inspiring. In the book, the class the story focuses on writes about an incident that shapes their time at the fictional college. Two students band together to take down a professor who ...more
Chelsea | Thriller Book Babe 🔎
This book first caught my attention because it is written from the point of view of a group of students. I thought that was such an interesting idea and I was right! I loved the idea that there were so many narrators, and because I work at a college, I loved that it was the setting here. The book is about three MFA students who are each unique in their own way. They all want to become a famous writer and everything is fine until an author, Simone, comes to Fielding.

When Simone destroys a
Jan 15, 2020 rated it liked it
I absolutely adore books set in a school but this one was hard to get into. Told through the collective "we" as a group of MFA writing students, the novel introduces thirteen characters in the first few pages. Later I realized we really only needed to focus on the main characters of Leslie, Hannah, Jimmy, and instructor Simone, but it took way too long to figure that out. It's a book about jealousy, revenge, and retribution; it's often been compared to The Secret History which I loved. I did ...more
kerry cullen
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
gorgeous, particular, deeply satisfying, with images of light, & of bodies arranged in space, that i won't forget.
Susie | Novel Visits
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary-fiction
I love a good campus novel and We Wish You Luck delivered that and much more. Set at a small Vermont campus, the book followed students in a low residency MFA program. (Meaning they had two intense 10-day sessions a year and the rest of the time wrote, and submitted work from their homes.) The students all quickly became fascinated (some might say obsessed) by three of their own, Jimmy, Hannah, and Leslie, who over the years had become near legends to their classmates. It’s those classmates, ...more
Jan 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Disclaimer-- as a wannabe novelist who was soundly rejected from my local university's MFA program, maybe I'm a little less than impartial, but I have to say that I was underwhelmed by this novel.

I listened to it on Audible, and I will admit that Zancan's language can be evocative, although at times it devolves into MFA-speak. (The Pulitzer Prize-winning director of the MFA program from which I was not accepted taught his acolytes that the best writing consisted of what we ordinary MA students
Tracy Manaster
Jan 23, 2020 rated it liked it
So. There are few things I adore more than Narratives of Vengeance. There are few things that bore me more thoroughly than Books about Writers and Writing, which (to my taste) so often struggle to rise above self indulgence. The early reviews and deliciously bonkers premise here led me to hope that the former would outweigh the latter.

It didn’t. And I’m sad.

Despite the moody brilliance on the line level (rarely has an author so effectively captured the zing of reading something that moves you
Jessica Klahr
Jan 20, 2020 rated it liked it
I’d been looking forward to this one for months but it unfortunately fell short for me. The idea of having a group of students narrating the story of three other students sounded interesting at first, especially given the small and closed setting of a low residency MFA program, but instead of making me feel like I was getting a well rounded multi-dimensional point of view on things, it, for the most part, felt like I was still missing a lot of the heart of the story. I, like the other students, ...more
I did really like this book even though I found the premise somewhat thin... A famous author targets and destroys the life of one of her students because... he overheard her being rude to a bartender? And she hopes he doesn't tell anyone? Though I wish being an asshole to customer service workers was viewed as an unforgiveable crime worthy of banishment or jail time that's just not the case. I just felt the whole time that I was reading A PLOT DEVICE and not reading a story in which anyone was ...more
Kathleen Gray
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interested in an MFA program? You might be a bit leery about them after reading this carefully constructed novel of a group of students and their instructor. Hannah, Leslie, and Jimmy are distinct characters, each of whom has a special interest, but their voices are blended into a collective "we," which gets a little much at times. After Simone savages Jimmy's work in the front of the group, he struggles and ultimately, well, things aren't good. Revenge on Simone, who the group views as a bully ...more
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

This is the first book I have truly loved in a long time, and my favorite and many years.

It was a reminder that reading is not just a race to the finish, and was one of those rare times where I wanted to revel in the story AND the things it is saying AND the way it is saying them.

This book feels both like a montage of everything else I’ve ever loved, and like its own singular entity. I guess I was truly its target audience, since I write, I went to Bennington every fall as a child, and I throw
Cari Cole
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
To say the claustrophobic setting of this story is cause for all the madness is an understatement, but it isn't wrong. When you're stuck together, you can get really stuck together, which Zancan takes to a literal level as the collective We manages to observe everything that happens on a small campus. Forty pages into this book, you won't be able to separate yourself from We, and you won't want to. Zancan has flawlessly translated a collection of character studies into a juicy (for lack of a ...more
Rebecca M
We Wish You Luck is a delicious, slow-burning tale of revenge. Told from the perspective of a collective narrator (a graduating class), it is, like some have already said, unlike anything I’ve ever read before. The story follows a low-residency writer’s MFA in which an interaction between a teacher and a student leads to deadly consequences. The tone is distant, dark, and strung tight with tension wire from the beginning to the very end. Readers who enjoy unraveling mysteries with strong ...more
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“I have no patience for people who speak of ennui - my experience was always wonder.”

This twisty, ethereal book just blew up my world. It’s somehow both a treatise on how the way we treat each other matters and also a sharp, literary mystery full of zing and perfect light. It’s narrated by a Greek chorus of MFA students that provide the perfect buzz to the background of the dark, redemptive story. I do not even have the words to tell you how fantastic this book is, so I just want you to read it
James Beggarly
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fun and brainy book about an MFA program for writers that meets for ten very intensive days every six months. We meet a wide array of characters, students and faculty, but the obsession is on the three best writers and what happens to them over the course of a few semesters and the lengths they will go to seek revenge on a teacher that they feel has wronged them. Told with great humor throughout.
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Character-driven. Slow burn. Though I appreciate her writing, there were times a felt bogged down. I read it in one sitting. I’ll be recommending this to my patrons who enjoy reading for the writing style—
Jan 26, 2020 marked it as never-finishing
DNF @ 50 pages. Thought I would like this, but it’s all over-the-top setup with characters that aren’t the least bit compelling. I liked the Greek chorus device at first, but it was distracting after a bit.
Sharon Tucker
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
We Wish You Luck #NetGalley

I do not wish to rate this book. I tried several times to read this book, but couldn't get interested. I would like to try something else by Caroline Zancan.
Jan 25, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2020-wish-list
Painful, can I count it as read if I was bored out of my mind by page 63 and threw in the towel?
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary
It's a well written, gripping and interesting read that I strongly recommend.
Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this ARC, all opinions are mine
Jan 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Beautiful descriptive writing and well thought out characters but not a lot of action. I was waiting for the . Never happened.i skimmed the back half. ...more
Oct 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for an ARC!

We Wish You Luck will inevitably draw comparisons with Donna Tartt's The Secret History and Marisha Pessl's Special Topics in Calamity Psychics. It certainly reminded me of these two books, except the stakes seem lower.

WWYL is about a group of people taking part in an extended MFA (Master's in Fine Arts) program, where they come together for several weeks on a college campus a couple times a year to workshop each other's writings. Most of the
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Really spectacular writing, a flowing and intriguing plot, and a masterfully written exploration of academics. Brutally honest and wonderfully shameless.
Rhiannon Johnson
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
(I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review)

When a famed professor sabotages one of their group with no repercussions from her superiors, the group puts a plan in motion to bring justice to their friend and fellow writer.

“But even before the things we’re about to tell you started to happen, no pair interested us half as much as Leslie Spencer and Hannah Arya, and eventually Jimmy Fiero, their unlikely third—the heroes of this story, we think, at least,
Dena Soffer
“And publications, and reviews good and bad, and favorite students Leslie never took too many pains to hide were her favorite – they were the weak and meek and broken and strange ones, always.” (306)
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“We must have smelled something feral and broken and searing to the touch in what she said, though, instead of just her normal bravado, because of all the things we might be tempted to hold against Leslie, both as individuals and as a group, this workshop isn't one of them. Like the plan she eventually set in motion - one so daring and foolish and bold we still hardly believe it now - it was an unthinkable overreaction that somehow felt just right.” 0 likes
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