Just Our Luck

Random. Dec. 2020. 272p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780399550928.
Gr 9 Up–Before she died, Leo’s Greek grandmother Yia Yia gave him two rules. First, “Bad luck follows lies.” Due to his anxiety, Leo causes a fight at school and isn’t honest about what happened, requiring him to attend weekly school counseling with Drake, the student who hit him. In addition, his dad decides he should take self-defense classes even though Leo prefers knitting, crocheting, and taking photos. Rule number two: “Leave the Paros family alone” due to a supposed curse they put on Leo’s family generations ago. When Leo arrives at the gym for self-defense class, Evey Paros, who he knows from years of attending the same Greek Orthodox church, is checking students in. Seeing that Leo would rather do anything than attend this course, she makes him a deal to take hot yoga instead if he will help her with a project to get back at her ex-boyfriend. Leo is a relatable character who deals with anxiety and panic attacks while feeling lonely after the death of his grandmother and as a result of his strained relationship with his dad. He refuses to conform to gender norms even though he is sometimes bullied, preferring to focus on his passions. Despite the serious themes of mental illness, grief, and bullying, there are plenty of moments of humor as well as a few instances of adult language.
VERDICT Readers will root for Leo as he finds his place in the world.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing