Parents' Guide to

Love & Luck

By Mary Cosola, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Sibs squabble in cute but contrived Irish road-trip tale.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

"Meh" Book

I read "Love & Gelato" by this same author and really enjoyed it, so I thought I would have enjoyed "Love & Luck." I was wrong. This book felt like it dragged on in some areas and it had a bit more language than what I wanted. Plus it had some sexual things that I didn't really appreciate (see below. But it is technically a spoiler so here is your warning:) [Spoiler ahead!] One major part of this book is how the main character is frustrated/upset at a boy named Cubby back at her hometown. You don't find out what made her so upset until the end of the book, but it is not really something I would want a younger reader knowing about. Apparently what happened is that he and she were going out together and he asked her for a topless photo of her and she sent one to him. He spread the image around the school and so the main character is now distraught.

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (4):

The Irish scenery is the highlight of this cute but often irritating story of two feuding teens stuck in close quarters on a road trip. Love & Luck tries for feisty fun, but it lacks the charm of author Jenna Evans Welch's previous book Love & Gelato. Addie and her brother, Ian, are fighting over something that happened before their family trip to Ireland, but the reader doesn't find out what the incident was for a long time. Few clues are dropped, so the reader is left with the same endless, uninformative squabble for a few hundred pages. That approach only builds exasperation, not interest. It turns out the incident in question is pretty serious, but it's brushed off by the author after so much buildup.

On the other hand, Welch does a good job of showing the pain of trying to live up to others' expectations and how you can be close to someone but still not fully understand all that that person is going through. The story features excerpts from a fictitious Irish guidebook for the brokenhearted. In reading it, Addie learns some important life lessons, such as how to sit with pain before confronting it, how to move through adversity, and how joy and sorrow are two sides of the same coin. Unfortunately, Welch's guidebook's passages are written in an overly quirky and saccharine style that grates after a few pages. The Irish sites, history, and legends the kids discover on their trip are beautifully delivered and fun to read. And charming, sweet secondary character Rowan almost steals the show.

Book Details

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