Title: If You’re Lucky by Yvonne Prinz
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Mystery, Suspense
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Is Georgia’s mind playing tricks on her, or is the entire town walking into the arms of a killer who has everyone but her fooled?
When seventeen-year-old Georgia’s brother drowns while surfing halfway around the world in Australia, she refuses to believe that Lucky’s death was just bad luck. Lucky was smart. He wouldn’t have surfed in waters more dangerous than he could handle. Then a stranger named Fin arrives in False Bay, claiming to have been Lucky’s best friend. Soon Fin is working for Lucky’s father, charming Lucky’s mother, dating Lucky’s girlfriend. Georgia begins to wonder: Did Fin murder her brother in order to take over his whole life?
With an engrossing storyline and an intriguing mystery, If You’re Lucky is a riveting young adult novel that is full of exciting twists and turns. Yvonne Prinz puts a unique spin on the unreliable narrator plot device and readers, along with lead protagonist Georgia, will have a difficult time differentiating between fact and fantasy after she begins to suspect her brother’s death might be more than a tragic accident.
Following the drowning death of her beloved older brother, Lucky, Georgia is delighted to meet his charismatic friend, Fin, when he arrives in town for Lucky’s memorial service. She listens with rapt interest to his stories about Lucky, but she cannot help but wonder why Lucky’s girlfriend, Sonia, seems displeased by his appearance. Georgia’s grief quickly leads to a downward spiral of paranoia and distrust when Fin carefully insinuates himself into all aspects of her brother’s life. She begins probing into his past but when her own troubled history catches up with her, no one believes her accusations that Fin might be responsible for Lucky’s death.
Georgia adored Lucky and she is immediately skeptical that her adventure seeking brother could have accidently drowned. But with no concrete evidence to the contrary, she and her parents try to move past their grief and pick up the pieces of their now shattered lives. Just as life is returning to normal, she begins to notice inconsistencies in Fin’s stories and even more troubling is his sudden intrusion into all areas of her life. At first jealous when he begins paying attention to Sonia, Georgia becomes alarmed when Fin befriends her parents then continues to maneuver himself into Lucky’s old life. Her investigation into Fin’s past reveals a very disturbing pattern but Georgia’s increasingly erratic behavior makes it impossible for anyone to believe her seemingly wild accusations.
If You’re Lucky by Yvonne Prinz is an outstanding psychological thriller with a likable and sympathetic main protagonist who becomes increasingly unraveled when the lines between reality and delusion blur. An overall fast-paced and suspense-laden mystery that I highly recommend to readers of all ages.