Monday, February 20, 2012
THE LUCKY KIND by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Nick Brandt and his friends Stevie and Eden all struggle with the same questions: “Are all families somehow messed up? Is anyone’s family normal? Does everyone hide something?” Nick finds out that his father has a secret adult son, born out of wedlock, who had been given up for adoption; Stevie’s parents barely know he exists, taking frequent exotic vacations, often over the holidays, leaving him behind in their NYC apartment; and Eden’s parents are weird, and fight constantly.
Sheinmel addresses difficult teen issues such as family tension, secrets, and first love. However, her characters engage in smoking, drinking and sex, none of which have direct repercussions in their lives.
The characters are relatable—only a few pages in and I cared about the narrator, his family, and his budding love with Eden. Sheinmel has addressed all the family issues appropriately and with understanding, but were I a parent, I’m not sure I would give The Lucky Kind to my son or daughter.