ARC Review | Lucky Caller by Emma Mills

Lucky Caller by Emma Mills
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication Date: January 14th, 2020
ARC from Edelweiss

When Nina decides to take a radio broadcasting class her senior year, she expects it to be a walk in the park. Instead, it’s a complete disaster.

The members of Nina’s haphazardly formed radio team have approximately nothing in common. And to maximize the awkwardness her group includes Jamie, a childhood friend she’d hoped to basically avoid for the rest of her life.

The show is a mess, internet rumors threaten to bring the wrath of two fandoms down on their heads, and to top it all off Nina’s family is on the brink of some major upheaval.

Everything feels like it’s spiraling out of control―but maybe control is overrated?

With the warmth, wit, intimate friendships, and heart-melting romance she brings to all her books, Emma Mills crafts a story about believing in yourself, owning your mistakes, and trusting in human connection in Lucky Caller.

| Book Review |

Emma Mills is an author who has been on my TBR for a long time, and when I read the synopsis for Lucky Caller, I thought this would be a great place to start. While I didn’t love this book as much as I thought I was going to, I do think it was a decent introduction to the Emma Mills’ writing, and I am interested in picking up her backlist. Let’s start with the things I didn’t like to get them out of the way:

Show of hands – who’s sick of the obligatory Harry Potter references in YA? I don’t understand the need for this crutch if an author’s writing can stand on it’s own, and Emma Mills’ can. Is it really worth the half second gasp of excitement from Potter fans to fall into line with almost every other YA Contemporary author? (And lots of Adult Contemporary ones, too.)

The last hurrah for childhood game that Nina kept flashing back to. It was unrealistic and contrived, and it took up way too much of the plot. I can’t imagine two older sisters (and a male neighbor) humoring a little girl for that long.

The relationship between the sisters, Rose, Nina, and Sidney – it was way too smooth for me to believe. Especially since they lived in such close quarters. It was a nice fantasy, but I couldn’t buy it.

Lastly, a lot of this book felt surface, like it could have delved much deeper than it did into the issues it presented. When I compare this book to others of the same genre, it just doesn’t feel like there was enough substance to me.

Despite those issues, there was a lot to like about this book:

How Nina’s divorced parents weren’t always at each other – the girls lived with their mom, but they had constant contact with their dad, even if they didn’t see him a lot. And while their relationship with him felt like it was an obligation sometimes, it made it feel more realistic. Especially with him living so far away.

Dan the ‘Dantist’ – He was the mother’s fiance, and what a wonderful character he was. He was so kind and caring, and he was the standout character in this book for me, as well as standout plot point. I love that the author went this way. By the end of the book, I loved this man so much.

The lesson Nina’s learning – she made a crappy decision years ago and lost her friend because of it, and I thought it was a great lesson for her to learn. You can spend years regretting and paying for one wrong decision, and Nina is well aware of this. I like that she takes responsibility for what she’s done, and that it’s something that constantly plagues her. Hopefully she takes this to heart and this lessons sticks with her long term.

Jamie’s character – there was just something so charming about him, and the backstory of his character (while not very fleshed out – and that’s not a slam; I don’t feel it needed to be,) really evoked strong emotions from me. It reminds me of how selfish people can be, how children can be an afterthought, and how so many people can’t be bothered to raise their kids. Even when they’re better off, it’s heartbreaking. And I loved the romance and history Jamie and Nina had.

Nina’s friend group – I’ve read that Emma Mills writes amazing friend groups, and I found that here. Of course I loved her relationship with Jamie, but even the new friendship with Joydeep and Sasha was wonderful. Joydeep’s character especially was hilarious, and I loved all of his side bets.

The sort of question left unanswered at the end of this book – I absolutely love the idea of it. (Don’t worry; I won’t spoil it for you.) It’s just such a fun idea, and I love that the author even presented it. 

Overall, I found Lucky Caller to be an enjoyable read, but nothing mind-blowing. I think if I’d never heard of Emma Mills, I may have not had such high expectations. But I have, and my expectations were pretty darn high. Having said that, like I mentioned earlier, I am excited to read more from the author. I have a feeling there’s a book out there by her that I’m going to love, and I can’t wait to see which one it is!

| Rating |

10 thoughts on “ARC Review | Lucky Caller by Emma Mills

Add yours

  1. Well Angie I have heard of her as many bloggers seem to love her and want to try her books! But maybe I’ll begin with another one…


  2. Huh… very interesting! Remember how I said I’ve never been interested in an Emma Mills book? Well, you made me interested, lol. The step-father story, done right, is my favorite. (Probably because I was raised by a step-father.) And, I also love books with good female friendships. It makes me wonder if i’d like this book.


  3. I’ve never read anything by Emma Mills but I have several blogger friends who are die-hard fans of hers. The premise of this one does catch my interest, though. I do like how you mentioned the insane over-use of Harry Potter references in YA. Yes! It’s such a lazy inclusion (“oh look, I’ll throw out some HP references and my story will be relatable!”) and, frankly, I’m tired of seeing them.


  4. I’m sad you didn’t love this as much as I did, but I get it. I totally understand what you’re saying about HP. I think we could move beyond references now, too. They didn’t bother me here, though. I’m happy you’re still going to read her others books. You’re in for some fun!


  5. Its always interesting how ppl rely on those famous references such as to Harry Potter when each piece of work should be judged on its own merits and not its connection to another famous group of books. I think we need to get away from them because they have damaged how we look at fiction in some ways.


  6. I read her First and Then and found it adorable. I’ve been meaning to press on to all her books written in the meantime. This one sounds like her stuff the way you describe the characters and her situations. She seems to get over heavy ground with light feet.


  7. I must be living under a rock as it is the first I am hearing of her. 🙂 I am sorry this did not live up to your expectations.


  8. I have not read this author yet but I would have went into this book with high expectations too. It sounds like an enjoyable read even if it didn’t knock your socks off. I would be okay without the Harry Potter references since I haven’t even read those books. I know I should and I will at some point but it shows up everywhere! Great fair review!


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