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