Title: The Lucky Ones
Author: Liz Lawson
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release date: April 7, 2020
My rating: ★★★★.5
Synopsis via Goodreads:
May is a survivor. But she doesn’t feel like one. She feels angry. And lost. And alone. Eleven months after the school shooting that killed her twin brother, May still doesn’t know why she was the only one to walk out of the band room that day. No one gets what she went through–no one saw and heard what she did. No one can possibly understand how it feels to be her.
Zach lost his old life when his mother decided to defend the shooter. His girlfriend dumped him, his friends bailed, and now he spends his time hanging out with his little sister…and the one faithful friend who stuck around. His best friend is needy and demanding, but he won’t let Zach disappear into himself. Which is how Zach ends up at band practice that night. The same night May goes with her best friend to audition for a new band.
Which is how May meets Zach. And how Zach meets May. And how both might figure out that surviving could be an option after all.
Before I get into my review, I wanted to share why exactly I was so interested in this book. On January 23, 2018 there was a shooting at my local high school, the one I graduated from just a few years prior. Seventeen people were injured and two were killed. When you hear about these awful events on the news, you never think that it could happen so close to home, or at least that’s what I thought. I can’t even begin to imagine what it was like to be in the school on that day. I wanted to read The Lucky Ones in hopes that I could share this story with those that need it the most. The people in my community who are still struggling with what they went through. The people who need a little hope.
In The Lucky Ones we follow the lives of two teens after a horrific school shooting. May survived, but her twin brother didn’t. Zach’s mother is the lawyer for the shooter.
What an intense, heartbreaking and important story. It will rip your heart out and shake you to your core. There were definitely a few times when I had to put the book down because I needed a breather. I appreciate that the author decided to focus not on the shooting itself, but everything that happens after. The part that no one ever sees. The lives that were changed forever.
The Lucky Ones really explores grief and loss. Liz Lawson did a wonderful job showing that everyone grieves differently, there is no right way. The pain that May has is unbearable. Her world was completely flipped upside down. Everything that she once knew is gone. She has no much built up inside and it shows itself as destructive anger. Zach has felt loss of a different kind. He has been alienated by his friends and classmates because his mom chose to represent the shooter. He feels so isolated. These two characters have very different stories but once they meet, they are able to open up to one another. They can be vulnerable in a way that they haven’t been able to do. It was beautiful to see them, especially May, grow throughout the book.
Overall, The Lucky Ones was incredible. It comes with a lot of sad, but it also is very hopeful. Healing takes time and patience, but it will happen. When this book is released on April 7th, I highly encourage you to pick it up. It is a story that we all need to read.