Lucky Girl

Page Street. May 2021. 240p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781645672081.
Gr 8 Up–Jane might just be the luckiest girl alive. At least, that is what people might assume after a throwaway dollar turns into the sole winning ticket for a $58,643,129 lottery jackpot. But things are never so simple. Jane technically bought the ticket when she was a minor, which means she needs to get an adult to claim the money for her. She could give it to her mom, but ever since her dad died, her mom has started collecting other people’s junk. Jane’s ex-boyfriend is legally an adult, and he seems to want to get back together—maybe he is an option? Meanwhile, Jane has to keep everything top secret because her best friend Bran is determined to figure out who in their small town had their life changed by a lucky ticket. Jane is a relatable protagonist and the reasons for her drawn-out decisions are logical (if sometimes frustrating). Her relationship with Bran holds the book together while also centering a strong platonic friendship across genders. Pacton falters a little in her handling of Jane’s mother’s mental health—Jane struggles to talk to her mom for so long that it feels unlikely that one conversation would push them so far down a healing path. Jane is white and bisexual and Bran is Korean.
VERDICT A sweet, thoughtful, and quick romp, perfect for readers wanting some laughs while also looking for answers to some of life’s biggest questions about love, death, self-worth, and, of course, money.

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