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Chasing Lucky

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Budding photographer Josie Saint-Martin has spent half her life with her single mother, moving from city to city. When they return to her historical New England hometown years later to run the family bookstore, Josie knows it’s not forever. Her dreams are on the opposite coast, and she has a plan to get there.

What she doesn’t plan for is a run-in with the town bad boy, Lucky Karras. Outsider, rebel…and her former childhood best friend. Lucky makes it clear he wants nothing to do with the newly returned Josie. But everything changes after a disastrous pool party, and a poorly executed act of revenge lands Josie in some big-time trouble—with Lucky unexpectedly taking the blame.

Determined to understand why Lucky was so quick to cover for her, Josie discovers that both of them have changed, and that the good boy she once knew now has a dark sense of humor and a smile that makes her heart race. And maybe, just maybe, he’s not quite the brooding bad boy everyone thinks he is…

406 pages, Hardcover

First published June 11, 2020

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About the author

Jenn Bennett

23 books4,694 followers
Jenn Bennett is the author of over a dozen books, including the young adult titles: ALEX, APPROXIMATELY; STARRY EYES; SERIOUS MOONLIGHT; and THE LADY ROGUE. She also writes romance and fantasy for adults. Her books have earned multiple starred reviews, been Goodreads Choice Award nominees, and have been included on annual Best Book lists for both Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. She lives near Atlanta with one husband and two dogs. Visit her at www.jennbennett.net.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,118 reviews
Profile Image for Hailey (Hailey in Bookland).
600 reviews86.9k followers
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April 21, 2021
I really enjoy Jenn Bennett! My only thing is sometimes I think she drags out her stories a litttttle too much just for my personal tastes. But this was another great book by her. It's definitely not my favourite, I'd say I enjoyed it maybe a little bit more than Starry Eyes which is my least favourite of hers (but still a good read too). This time we're following a budding photographer who provides a really realistically flawed main character. You get to see her make mistakes and learn from it and move on past it. She has a rocky relationship with her mother which was interesting to explore. She has a second chance romance situation with her childhood best friend Lucky. Lucky is the town bad boy, but she kind of questions the legitimacy of that reputation. This was a particularly slower slow burn with their friendship blossoming into romance and then the romance kind of had a fade to black quality. There were some cute moments but they had great chemistry so I would've liked a bit more. There's a lot of talk of sex positivity in here too which was nice to see. I felt transported to this little seaside New England town. There was a fair amount of drama that kept the story going, family and town drama particularly. I also wish we'd gotten to see more of Josie's cousin Evie. She was in the story a fair bit but I was really intrigued by her as a character and hated that we only really got to see her in relation to Adrian her terrible ex/boyfriend. Overall I enjoyed this! Not my favourite but a solid contemporary.
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,068 reviews38.1k followers
January 4, 2023
I.LOVE. IT. SO.MUCH.
I cannot help myself. I keep dancing, my heart is singing, I’m head over heels for these sweetest characters, hooking story-telling, love at first side charm of Beauty. This book makes you feel like you just recently chased your lucky stars and makes your heart pound faster.

Winona and Josie have no idea when they take their first steps to their hometown they’d left five years ago, they just entered to the highway to hell. Even I could hear AC/DC’s blaring lyrics as a threat. They came to take over Josie’s grandmother’s bookstore. The very same grandmother, her mother had a terrible fight and made them leave the town in the middle of the night. Josie still regrets to leave the place without saying goodbye her boy, her only real friend Lucky Karras who just survived from the terrifying fire accident.

And guess what, as soon as they enter the bookstore, Josie bumps into him. But his friend has completely changed, giving her deadly glares, not talking to him, turned into a bad boy, trouble maker, loner, outsider.
Josie resents her hostility and the worst part is the entire town people, her new school friends keep whispering behind her.

She wants a new life, clean slate and getting away from her impulsive, unpredictable, eccentric mother who prefers to hide behind her emotional walls. ( Her flirty, dysfunctional relationships with men reminded me of Gillian Anderson’s character at “Sex Education” but if this book adapted into a movie my candidate to play her is absolutely Winona Ryder!) She wants to concentrate her photographing, patching things up with her father who is also famous photographer, moving to LA for becoming his apprentice. So she has a plan, only a year to endure in this gossipy hell and then one way ticket to the West Coast! But…. When she decides to join a house party with her cousin and bumps into Lucky one more time… Let’s say the night turns into a nightmare and Josie finds herself reconnected with Lucky AGAIN! And she owes him so big, this time!

As soon as Josie rediscovers her best friend, she finds herself to question her own life, realities and her dreams. She finally realizes that she missed her friend and Lucky is someone more than a friend for her. But does chasing Lucky mean she lose her luck for her future dreams and make things worse for two of them? As like William Faulkner said: “You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore!”

OVERALL: Story-telling-mesmerizing, captivating, 5 million “awwwww” and 4 billion sighs worthy!

Characters: Sweet, lovely, heart melting.

Pacing: Unputdownable, you never want it end sooner.

Ending: Satisfying, puts an ear to ear smile on your face and warms your heart.

RESULT: Of course five swoony, soft, sweet, romantic, emotional stars.
Special thanks to NetGalley and Simon&Schuster/ Simon Pulse to share this amazing book on the NetGalley website so entire book lovers can enjoy this ARC COPY!


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Profile Image for jessica.
2,478 reviews29.7k followers
September 11, 2020
lately, ive been feeling waayyyy too old for YA contemporary. theres just been some disconnect that hasnt been there before, so its a relief that JBs stories never fail to deliver.

it could also be that this particular book has so many of my favourite tropes - childhood best friends to lovers, a small town setting, a bad boy with a soft heart, and bookstore quaintness. all of these things have definitely made this one of my favourite JB stories.

this is classic JB - important, heavy topics about coming of age told with a lighthearted, sweet warmth. its perfect for those not quite ready to let go of that summer feeling.

thank you so much to simon pulse for the ARC!

4 stars
Profile Image for ✨ A ✨ .
423 reviews1,594 followers
December 1, 2020
Me: I'm so sick of the stereotypical YA bad boy with his leather jacket, motorcycle, sarcasm and tragic past
Jenn Bennett: May I introduce to you Lucky Karras!!
Me: I've changed my mind


For the last five years Josie Saint-Martin has been living with her single mom going from town to town in New England. Now Josie and her mom are returning to their hometown, Beauty, to run the family bookstore while her grandmother is away. Josie knows that it's only a matter of time before her grandmother returns and she and her mom have to move on to a new town.

Josie has a plan to go west and live in Malibu with her famous photographer father in hopes of having the stable family she always wanted. She has no time for getting attached or putting down roots in Beauty. But that all changes one night when she lands herself in serious trouble and the town bad boy, which happens to be her former best friend, takes the blame for her.


Chasing Lucky reminded me why I love Jenn Bennett's books. She writes stories that are easy to fall into. With loveable and interesting characters, and a plot that keeps you hooked! Chasing Lucky had all that.

Best-friends-to-lovers is an underrated trope and deserves more love. Josie and Lucky's were lovely to read about. I also really liked Josie's cousin Evie. Josie's family seem interesting and I wouldn't mind if Bennett decides to write another book featuring all of them.

The only thing I wish Bennett could have done better was the ending of Evie's story line. While I loved that she included a toxic relationship and showed how easy it is to be trapped in one, it felt a bit unfinished and hastily wrapped up.

This is an easy summer read, featuring classic YA tropes but I loved that the author wrote it in a way that wasn't super cringy and left me feeling happy.
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Buddy reading with Warda
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Me: *Sees mysterious Jenn Bennett book*
Me: *clicks want to read before I get to Bennett*

I'm a simple girl.
Profile Image for Warda.
1,091 reviews17.4k followers
June 27, 2020
4.5 ⭐️

Stories written by Jenn Bennett make me so happy. And make me feel so much.

What can I say other than I loved it and I know it will be reread and that sums up how I feel about this book?

Thanks to Simon and Shuster Children’s UK for gifting me with a copy of this book.

———————

Buzzword: Jenn Bennett.
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,154 reviews97.7k followers
July 12, 2020

ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss

I think this was very much the perfect story for me right now at this time. Hopefully a longer review to come before release! <3

Content and Trigger Warnings for talk of loss of a loved one, the sharing of personal photos without consent, abandonment, homelessness, talk of abortion briefly, driving under the influence (the bad guy, and in a negative light), talk of trauma, talk and depiction of depression, talk of grooming (college teacher and student relationship) in the past, and mention of a low-level panic attack.

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Buddy read with Isabella & Maëlys! ❤
Profile Image for Arini ~ Miss Casually Reading.
666 reviews1,499 followers
November 22, 2020
3.75 Stars

This was messy and complicated, but in all the best ways possible. It was also full of YA clichés and tropes that I freakin’ adored, so no problemo.

Loved the quaint, beachy, harbor-ish setting. Every single place and scene in this book was first date worthy and instagramable. Seriously they were places you’d wanna go and activities you’d wanna do on a date or with friends. The antique bookshop, the sightseeing and photography, the boat/yatch, the beach, the lighthouse. It was paradise.

Loved the friendship and family dynamics even though I think the squabble between Josie and her cousin could’ve been handled better instead of being sort of compressed. I also wish there’d been a bigger argument going down between Josie and her mom. LOL. I mean, they bottled up a lot of mixed feelings and emotions over the years, so it was only fair.

The childhood best friends to lovers romance was cheff’s kiss. Lucky was the perfect bad boy hero with lots of hidden soft sides. Him and Josie were everything you imagined a first love to be. Unfortunately, Josie screwed up. That little drama at the end was one I didn’t need and like. It was also one that I don’t think Josie gave a good enough of a grovel to make up for.

That said, this was a solid 4 stars up until that fight at the end. Now, I’m still giving it four stars but begrudgingly and with a little side eye directed towards Josie.

(Read as an Audiobook)
Profile Image for Christy.
3,709 reviews31.6k followers
November 13, 2020
4 stars



I love Jenn Bennett’s YA books and Chasing Lucky was another fantastic read from her. Josie Saint-Martin comes from a family cursed in love, and she’s back in her home town of Beauty for her last year of high school. She has a lot of obstacles to go through with being home, but is seeing Lucky Karras one of them? 



Lucky and Josie were best friends before she left when she was twelve but they lost contact. This book is such a great coming of age story and a story of friendship and family. My favorite part about this book was Lucky. He was so fantastic. I also loved how Josie came together with the other women in her family by the end. Overall, I thought this one was great! 





Audio book source: Audible (purchased)
Story Rating: 4 stars
Narrator: Rebekkah Ross
Narration Rating: 4 stars
Genre: YA
Length: 10 hours and 29 minutes

Profile Image for sarah.
377 reviews397 followers
July 1, 2020
So... Jenn Bennett has become one of my favourite YA contemporary authors? That title may be a little hasty considering this is only my second book of hers, but I love them so much! While I didn't love this one as much as Starry Eyes, I am convinced that she can do no wrong!

Chasing Lucky follows 17 year old Josie St Martin a budding photographer who, after being constantly on the move for the past 5 years, is returning to her hometown Beauty. This abrupt move was spurred on by her Grandmother hastily deciding to go travelling, and needing someone to run her bookshop. Josie decides to just try and keep her head down in Beauty before finally escaping to LA to her famous father. However, things don't go entirely to plan when one night Josie makes a mistake and her former childhood best friend, Lucky, ends up taking the fall.

I loved the setting of this book. Small towns are some of my favourites to read about, and Beauty did not disappoint. It made the whole book have a quiet, small town atmosphere which I really enjoyed. The setting also lent itself to some social commentary about the economic disparity between some of the citizens and how that manifests itself in the local justice and political systems.

I adored the romance between Lucky and Josie. Childhood friends to lovers is one of my favourite tropes- I love the angst, tension and shared history. While I liked Josie, she wasn't as intriguing or developed as Lucky. Lucky was a really loveable character, responsible for a large amount of my investment in the romance and plot. Some of the scenes had me swooning

What else is there to say? This was an immensely enjoyable read that while did nothing exceptional or original, was successful in making me happy for the duration of my reading experience. I doubt this will stick out to me as a particularly memorable read even a few months from now, but it served its purpose and it did it well!

I would recommend this if you have loved Jenn Bennett's books in the past, or are in the mood for a cute, fluffy YA romance!

Thank you to Simon Pulse for this ARC

Release Date: 5 May 2020 (Pushed back to 10 November 2020)
Profile Image for ♛ may.
801 reviews3,762 followers
March 1, 2021
Jenn Bennett writes magic and i have proof because i've been unable to read more than 20 pages in one sitting for the past 6 months

but then i go and finish this 416 paged book in a little over 24 hours.

Magic, I'm telling you.

RTC
Profile Image for preoccupiedbybooks.
439 reviews972 followers
February 8, 2020
3.5 STARS

A cute YA contemporary about falling in love, learning from our mistakes, and the importance of communicating with loved ones.

17 year old Josie Saint Martin is returning to her hometown of Beauty, after leaving town dramatically five years ago with her mother. Since then they have constantly been on the move, but now they are back to run her grandmother's bookstore whilst she is travelling. Josie has plans to go and live with her father on the west coast, to start her career as a photographer. What she doesn't plan for, is to fall for Lucky Karras, the town's bad boy and her former best friend.

I enjoyed this cute coming of age story, but I didn't love it as much as Alex, Approximately and Starry Eyes. It was a cute, quick read though, and I do love Jenn Bennett's writing. In fact I plan to catch up on some of her other books soon, since they are available as books on Scribd.

I loved the setting of this story, set in Beauty, a small town in Rhode Island. It was so well described, and I felt like I was there for the summer with the other tourists! I loved that Josie's family ran a small bookshop because, well books!!
description
I really liked both of the main characters, as they were written in a realistic way. Josie was very likeable, but I found her quite frustrating sometimes because she made some really bad decisions! Ultimately though, she was a teenager, who was still growing and learning from her mistakes. I really felt for her because no one wants to spend their teenage years moving from place to place, never putting down any roots! Her mum wasn't the best parent or role model, and Josie had to grow up too quickly, often having to be the responsible one, causing her to be envious of other people's family set up. So although Josie could be annoying at times, I did like her, and she had great character development in terms of her career goals, her relationship with her mother, her absent father, her grandmother and her cousin Evie.
Lucky was also a great character, also with flaws. He was a loner, considered a bad boy, and was still suffering from the after effects of a fire from when he was 12. He was also sweet, an animal lover and a bookworm 😍
These two cuties had great chemistry, and I loved their sarcastic banter! 👌 Friends to lovers doesn't always work for me, but this one was really cute!

The main theme in Chasing Lucky was about being honest, and communicating with loved ones, which I loved! It was also about finding yourself, accepting change, and it dealt with small town gossip and politics. It definitely pulled at my heart strings, and made me smile.

I really liked the descriptions of the signs, which Josie loved to photograph, at the start of each chapter! I wonder if there will be photographs to accompany these descriptions in the final copy?! It would be amazing if there were!

The reason for my 3.5 stars was because I felt that there were some missed opportunities. I wanted to know more about Josie's mum Winona's story. There were also other unresolved issues with both Lucky and Josie's cousin Evie, that I don't feel were handled very well.

Chasing Lucky is definitely perfect if you're after a quick, cute contemporary YA romance, and I definitely enjoyed it, just not as much as I would have liked.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for making this digital ARC available as a download. I am so glad that I got to download a copy before it was abruptly archived!
Profile Image for Lia Carstairs.
396 reviews2,054 followers
July 24, 2020
I'm starting to think that maybe Jenn Bennett's books are just not for me.😪

Also why did this feel like the longest book I've ever read?🤔

So many loved Chasing Lucky, so I'm sorry to say that it was kind of a pain to read this. Around like halfway through the book, I really wanted to give up on it and mark it as DNF.
But I decided to push my way through thinking that maybe it'd get better.

Well.......turns out that it did get a little better, but I was still bored. I skimmed some parts too because at that point I just wanted to finish the book.😅

The story begins with Josie and her mother just arriving in the town, Beauty. It's been years since they were last there and her mother isn't really happy about the move. It's temporary until they can get enough money to move to Florida, although that's what her mother thinks...........

Josie really wants to move out and live with her father—who happens to be one of the best photographers around. The only way she'd be able to go live with him is if she's able to catch his attention with her own photography skills. Josie knows that living in Beauty is only temporary, so she has no plans of getting attached to anyone or anything, but all that changes once she comes across her former best friend............
Lucky.

It wasn't that Chasing Lucky was bad (it's just me who didn't like it). I kind of just couldn't care about the MC, Josie, and her problems. I didn't care much for any of the characters except I really did hate Adrian Summers.👿 That guy really annoyed me to the point where I was surprised that nobody had punched him in the face yet. Haha but maybe that's just me and I wanted to see some violence. (This is what happens when I read too many action shows/books😅)

It's sad, but all I felt after I finished the book was relief that it was over.😣

I may or may not try Jenn Bennett's books one day. Only time will tell..........🧐

Buddy Read with a_strange_bookworm

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Profile Image for Angelica.
803 reviews1,000 followers
April 14, 2021
This was my first Jenn Bennett book. After years of eyeing her novels on the YA shelves of libraries and bookstores, I finally decided to pick this one up and it didn't disappoint. I really enjoyed reading this one, and yet, I question, did I really though?

Starting off with the things I liked, let me just say that I really enjoyed the writing. I also really liked the characters, especially near the end. I love seeing different family dynamics in books and it was interesting to see the function and dysfunction of Josie's family. I really liked seeing the mother/daughter relationship between Josie and her mother unfold. I also just generally liked Josie and Lucky as people. I liked them but didn't love them. I don't know what it was but I wanted more from them, especially Lucky. I wanted more emotion. More backstory. A reason for him being the way he is and why he feels the need to take the blame for everything and be seen as a failure. 

Plot-wise, I felt like not mu h actually happened. And yet, a lot did? There was a lot of unnecessary events that happened, in my opinion. There was a lack of communication between the characters and nothing bothers me more than miscommunication as a plot device to start up conflict. That being said, I was definitely here for the romance part of the plot. I shipped it.

Overall, I think the book was fine. I simply wanted more from it. This isn't a book that will be memorable for me. By the end of the year in a month and a half, I probably won't even remember the character's names. That being said, I'm certain that a lot of you would really enjoy this, especially if you're a big fan of YA contemporary romance.

**I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.**

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Profile Image for Bookphenomena (Micky) .
2,349 reviews365 followers
June 18, 2020
What Jenn Bennett does to my reading soul is simply the best, I can rely on her that her books will hit the spot, make me happy and smile. CHASING LUCKY was no exception and this story of old friends getting to know one another as teens was gorgeous. There was an eclectic story that had Bennett’s characteristic uniqueness and whit; I got wholly wrapped up in all of it.

Lucky was Josie’s best friend until she left town with her mom, age 12. Returning at age 17 was a different experience with Lucky 2.0, family issues, a mom who frankly was hard to fathom and the grandmother matriarch from hell. Lucky 2.0 though, was the kind of puzzle worth fathoming.

“Whoa,” Evie says, leaning over the counter to peer out the window with me. “Got to admit. Phantom cleans up real nice. He’s the male Medusa. Don’t look into his eyes. Might get your pregnant.”

If you’re familiar with Jenn Bennett’s male characters, you’ll be pleased to know that Lucky was one of her most excellent beta male creations. I loved him in every way; he was genuine, with personality in bucket loads. Josie’s journey to friendship and more with Lucky was worth every page turn.

Josie’s family relationships made for avid reading. The family was truly dysfunctional but not beyond help in most cases. Josie’s relationship with her mother was probably the most frustrating but I felt pretty annoyed with Evie too at moments. The family was able to make me laugh though.

“Be careful” is all Mom warns me very seriously. I’ve got this. It’s only grandmother. Not an actual weapon of war.

I read this book with a smile on my face some of the time. That’s all the recommendation that you need. Go forth and enjoy.

Thank you to Simon and Schuster for the early review copy.

This review can be found on A Take From Two Cities Blog.
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,670 reviews701 followers
November 8, 2020
I only need to see Jenn’s name on a book and I will pick it up. I didn’t even read the synopsis beforehand.

I loved Josie. She’s a looking for stability and maybe a bit lost. Lucky is all crunchy exterior and a gooey inside. I loved reading these two together. Their history is great and it really made every interaction supercharged. I also loved all of the other Saint-Martin women.

Plot wise, it was a bit more angsty than I was expecting. A lot of this story is about a family finding it’s way back to each other and the secrets that have kept them apart. It was fantastic reading so many strong women supporting, even if it didn’t seem that way at times. Be prepared for wanting to shake everyone into having a 5 minute conversation.

Overall, I could have easily read another 100 pages of these characters and definitely wanted just a bit more from the epilogue, but I’m guessing that’s just me being greedy.

FYI: talks of stalking and several scenes of something similar to revenge porn

**Huge thanks to Simon Pulse for providing the arc free of charge**
Profile Image for Caitlin Reads.
178 reviews51 followers
February 7, 2020
Jenn Bennett is one of my favorite young adult authors and Chasing Lucky might be my favorite book yet by her. This book takes place in Beauty, Rhode Island which is basically Newport. Jenn's description of the setting was on point and made me feel like I was just starting a summer in Newport. Josie has just returned to the hometown she left with her mother when she was 12. She has spent the last 5 years jumping from town to town never staying in one place long. When she walks into the bookshop her and her mom will be running for the year while her Grandmother is in Nepal she comes face to face with the best friend she had left behind, Lucky.

I loved the development of both of the main characters and loved the banter between them. They had great chemistry. This book is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen who are yearning for a cute young adult romance in a small beach town complete with an adorable bookshop. I absolutely loved Lucky. Josie could annoy me at times and I didn't love that she let Lucky take the fall for her in the beginning of the book but she grew on me throughout it. Chasing Lucky was more than a young adult romance. It was about family and finding yourself and what you want while learning to be honest with one another. I devoured this book in 2 days and will definitely reread it in the future. Highly recommend!

Thanks to NetGalley for the digital copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Emma.
893 reviews871 followers
February 29, 2020
The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

3.25/5 Stars

Jenn Bennett is definitely one of my favourite contemporary authors, but I was a bit disappointed with this new novel of hers. I truly felt like something was missing in this book and in my opinion there were just a lot of miscommunication and unnecessary drama which is something I don't particularly enjoy.
On a more positive note, I really liked Lucky as a character. I think he was the one who made me want to really read the story and see what happened next. Also, the family dynamics among the Saint Martin's family were very realistic and definitely added something new and original to the main storyline.
Overall, it was a cute read, but I did expect more from it.
Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,335 reviews1,821 followers
April 7, 2020
I started reading this the same day the release date got pushed back to November. I'm not normally this much of a keener.

I went into CHASING LUCKY with a little bit of trepidation as my last few forays with Bennett post-STARRY EYES haven't been great. Some I liked ish, others I didn't at all, so when the first 30% of this book was both not wow'ing me and also veering into not great, uncomfortable, directions? I was anticipating the worst.

But this did, eventually, level out for me. And that up there isn't a pity round up.

I don't know that I quite liked Josie but I could feel for some of her baggage. And I really liked Lucky. And, as a pair, I really liked when they were sweet on each other and to each other; even when they bickered. Maybe especially then? This story is a bit strange in that so much happens and also not much, it's both loud and kind of quiet. I did get to that like stage for CHASING LUCKY but this won't be a favourite.

If you're a Bennett fan, I think you'll be very happy. If you've yet to read this author and are looking for more good YA contemporary, you can't go wrong.

** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **
Profile Image for Alaina.
5,931 reviews216 followers
April 5, 2021
Okay, Chasing Lucky was all kinds of cute guys. It was definitely something I needed to dive into over Easter Weekend as well. Mostly because I was so sick over the weekend and needed something, other than Disney movies and tea, to keep my spirits up. Trust me, it all worked out in the end.

Now in this, you will meet Josie and Lucky. She lives with her mom, who is single, and has hopes/dreams to live with her super famous dad and become an awesome photographer. It just so happens that she and her mom are currently running a bookstore - which again, sounds like an awesome life. Then Lucky walks into her life and her dreams are starting to change now.

Lucky is your typical bad boy who sort of dips his toes into all the clichés out there. Yet, I ate it all up. Their romance was just easy to get into and then I started to ship them hard. Both characters were interesting enough that I never felt bored watching them grow together and whatnot. Or whenever drama came their way.

In the end, I feel like some things felt rushed but I ended up enjoying the book a lot.
Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
2,854 reviews1,494 followers
December 21, 2020
I enjoyed this YA romance, though not without reservations.

I really liked Josie from the start. She's struggling with her relationship with her mother and has built her dad up into a scenario that seems unlikely from the start (though in a way that makes sense for her to manufacture at her age and experience level). So she's mostly just hanging on, waiting for her life to start and all of her focus is on the next steps in her "plan". She hadn't counted on being so notorious in her one-time home-town or that her former best friend would still be there, let alone that he'd dislike her as much as he evidently does.

I'm afraid I never really warmed to Lucky, though I really wanted to. He's a bitter brooder and that's not a great look for a teen in High School. I kept waiting for him to have a reason for it that made any kind of sense and that never really manifested. I mean, the author makes a play for it being about an over-assumption of guilt for a childhood lapse in judgement but that's not supported by any other story element, not least his overtly caring parents. Indeed, his parents were a little too idealized, especially when it came to accepting and supporting Josie (just as they always had, we learn, which also undermines Josie's core dysfunction). But the part that was hardest for me to swallow was his ability to unerringly detect when Josie was dissembling, sometimes knowing better than she, herself, that she has defaulted to a comforting self-deception. It bordered on mind reading and that's bad enough. But it is also at the heart of Josie's eventual honesty and vulnerability with him since he demands that she "drop the invisible barriers" or he'd continue ignoring her. So she's not really strong or making a choice to be emotionally brave so much as she's submitting to blackmail from a magical mastermind who happens to have the key to her inner soul. Somehow.

It got a lot rockier when we meet the core douche, Adrian, who is, essentially, evil incarnate and a lying manipulator to boot. I kept waiting for there to be some reason, any reason at all, for Josie's cousin to be involved with the entitled snot because his actions start with inexcusable and escalate from there. But no, he's just irredeemable and a character smirch on the cousin, frankly.

And I know all of that sounds awful, and I did bog down occasionally under those elements. But I kept coming back because I liked Josie and seeing her work out her relationship with her mother and cousin. And even though I never really warmed to Lucky and think the author didn't play fair with his character, I still liked her learning to understand herself and the world around her through being brave and facing tough truths with Lucky as the catalyst.

So this is 3½ stars that I'm not quite able to round up with.

A note about Chaste: While there is sex in the story, it isn't explicit and the lights go out before you see much and description from that point is emotional, rather than physical. So this is barely chaste on my personal scale, but if you're at all strict by that designation then you're likely to disagree with giving it that slack.
Profile Image for Ambriehl Khalil.
Author 2 books146 followers
August 9, 2020
I don’t really know what to say except that I love everything Jenn Bennett does. She’s by far my favourite y/a contemporary writer and her books are some of my most treasured possessions. No disappointment here, folks.
Profile Image for kate.
1,078 reviews915 followers
October 4, 2020
Jenn Bennett truly knows how to write a perfectly charming contemporary with the right balance of swoon and depth to pull me right out of a reading slump. This woman has never let me down and Chasing Lucky was no different. The characters were great, the romance was adorable and the story grabbed at my heart in a multitude of ways.
Profile Image for Susan's Reviews.
1,039 reviews462 followers
March 6, 2020
My thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Another great story from one of my favourite YA authors!

Josie Saint-Martin and Lucky Karras were inseparable as children, but Josie's mother and overbearing grandmother have a huge argument, and the next five years are spent traveling from one town to the other as her mother finds work as a book store manager. Josie is miserable, always on the move, and she misses Lucky. How will he ever forgive her for leaving him shortly after he was so badly injured in a house fire? Did he think she had abandoned him in his hour of need?

Josie is heartily sick of the constant moving from town to town. Her mother seems restless and rootless, until one day Josie's Mom agrees to head back to their New England town of Beauty to take over the family bookstore while Gran and her aunt go to Nepal.

Josie and Lucky have a rocky road ahead of them before they can get past the misunderstandings and hurt feelings that Winona's abrupt departure left behind. Lucky also worries that his burn scars have turned him into a "monster." Josie is an avid photographer and Lucky wants to be a metallurgist, taking scrap metal and turning it into art or useful objects. Their "art" bridges the gap and helps them find a way back to each other.

I loved Lucky's devotion to Josie. He did everything he could to keep her in Beauty. That scene on the bird sanctuary island was so darned sweet!

In the author's acknowledgement at the end of the story, Jenn Bennett confessed that this story had to be rewritten several times. I began to wonder what had been left out or changed. Personally, I wished that the sub-plot involving Winona (Josie's mother) and her relationship with her high school boyfriend, Drew, had been more fleshed out. It would have been an excellent side story.

Drew and Winona's parents had interfered with their plans to marry right after graduating high school. They were going to move to Florida and live next to the beach. But both sets of parents put a stop to their elopement. Drew was shipped off to join the Navy, and Winona went to college - to be seduced by her photography professor and promptly dumped when she fell pregnant. In retrospect, their parents' interference hadn't brought much happiness to either Drew or Winona. I was always so intrigued when Josie uncovered any information about that ill-fated love affair. A true Romeo and Juliet story. (I hope her editor didn't nix that story line.) I am still wondering how things turned out for Winona and Drew!

I love Jenn Bennett's quirky style and her very human, very fallible characters. Josie's inner dialogues were often hilarious, and so true to life. So while I know that Jenn Bennett said she found this one a hard story to finish, I, for one, am glad she did. I loved Josie and Lucky: two very sweet young teens on the cusp of adulthood, so very much in love with one another! This time, thank goodness, there was not as much parental interference!
Profile Image for Endlessbibliophile.
1,015 reviews470 followers
June 1, 2022
Třetí užitá Jenn Bennet ze tří. Hodně mě tady bavily postavy a vlastně i vztahy. Mám ale jedinou výhradu: tuhle autorku mám většinou ráda díky tomu, že nemám chuť její postavy proplesknout, aby spolu komunikovaly. Ale tady jsem měla - tak příště líp, Jenn, jo? Jinak skvělá oddechovka, zajímavý koníčky postav, prostředí i styl psaní za jedna.
4/5*
Profile Image for B | crumbledpages.
448 reviews82 followers
November 18, 2020
This was my first Jenn Bennett book. I heard so much about her books so I finally decided to pick it up. Unfortunately I did not enjoy this book as much as I wanted to.

It was a very typical clichéd YA romance book, about a girl called Josie who comes back to her hometown and reunites with her childhood best friend Lucky. They soon resume their friendship and soon fall for each other. I usually love best friends to lovers trope but not this one. I don't know but I didn't feel anything while reading this book. I did not care for the bland characters, didn't care for their boring love story, or for the lackluster plot. This book wasn't even humorous and didn't make me laugh or giggle or feel happy while reading it. I was completely bored throughout the book. And the mandatory argument between the two love interests before the conclusion was so dumb. Like just talk ffs. There was no need to act so dramatically.
Profile Image for Darla.
3,147 reviews446 followers
November 9, 2020
Josie and Lucky. Former best friends? Star-crossed lovers? Stuck in the longest summer ever? I don't know, but I do know that their story just didn't come together for me. There was potential there, but in the end we are left with enough plot holes to pilot a boat through. At one point, Josie (at a crowded party) is described with a braid over her shoulder in one paragraph and her hair loose around her shoulders in the next. Josie had to leave town abruptly at the age of 12, but emailed Lucky to explain. Why didn't Lucky ever answer? He never explains. For me, this was just a hot mess.

Thank you to Simon Pulse and Edelweiss+ for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.
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