The lucky ones

Liz Lawson, 1980-

Book - 2020

"In the aftermath of a school tragedy, May and Zach struggle with grief, survivor's guilt, and the complex emotional impact of the event, learning how to heal and hope in the face of it all"--

Saved in:

Young Adult Area Show me where

1 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
Young Adult Area YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Lawson Liz Checked In
New York : Delacorte Press [2020]
First edition
Physical Description
343 pages ; 22 cm
Main Author
Liz Lawson, 1980- (author)
Review by Booklist Review

Tragically relevant and with a nuanced perspective on grief and being a survivor, Lawson's debut introduces readers to high-school-shooting survivor and bereaved sister May and the son of the lawyer defending the school shooter, Zach. When the two encounter each other as new classmates, there's an instant spark--but their previous connection could tear them apart before they have a chance to begin. Meanwhile, May's unresolved grief and guilt threatens to inflict permanent damage on her, and Zach must find a way to stand up to or forgive his mother. Lawson writes in alternating perspectives, creating distinct voices in this powerful story of what remains after a violent tragedy. With a strong depiction of sibling loss, in particular, The Lucky Ones portrays grief as multifaceted and complicated. The well-rounded characters have complex motivations and emotions, while Lawson is careful never to talk down to teens and adds an unexpected but sensitively-handled, blossoming romance. This is an excellent pick for fans of Jennifer Brown's Hate List (2009) and Jenny Hubbard's And We Stay (2014).

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In this intense, affecting debut, May McGintee is "one of the lucky ones," though she feels anything but. Back in school for junior year, May is consumed by survivor's guilt: 11 months ago, she hid in a closet as her genius twin brother Jordan, favorite teacher, and five classmates were shot and killed during band practice. Following an ineffectual stint of homeschooling after she was kicked out of school for fighting, this is likely May's last chance to graduate with her peers. Angry, isolated, and regretting the distance between Jordan and her when he died, with parents who are detached themselves, May is a mess. So is classmate Zach Teller: his mother is the shooter's lawyer, which means he's a social pariah whose house keeps getting vandalized. When Zach and May meet, they form a real connection, strong enough that it survives May's fury upon learning Zach's identity. Lawson does a good job at conveying how out of control May feels alongside her friends' continued love for her, and though parts of the plot feel predictable, the book credibly depicts the terror of "the frightening places and the daily places" being "one and same," building to a tentatively hopeful ending that feels earned. Ages 14--up. (Apr.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up--May is a survivor of the school shooting where her twin brother, Jordan, and some friends died. But she doesn't feel like a survivor. She feels angry and guilty for what happened in the band room that day. She survived by staying in the closet, but that did not prevent her from hearing, and then seeing, everything that happened. Zach is angry, too. His mother can't see how being the lawyer of the school shooter is making his and his sister's lives unbearable. When someone paints epithets on their garage, he feels too hopeless to tell his mother how her decisions are affecting them. But when May and Zach meet, something magical happens for both of them. Can either teen truly move on with the other, especially when neither is being exactly truthful with themselves or one another? May, Zach, their families, and friends are all complex and intriguing characters that readers will immediately connect with and want to see succeed. VERDICT This heartbreaking and touching story of grief and loss, as well as hope and forgiveness, will resonate with readers who deal with this fear and reality on a daily basis.--Traci Glass, Nashville Public Library

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

Two teens find each other (and themselves) with a little help from their friends in this story of survival, perseverance, and hope.In alternating first-person narration, two familiar character typesloose-cannon May McGintee and awkward try-hard Zach Tellerare quickly defamiliarized. May is the sole survivor of a massacre that robbed her twin brother, favorite teacher, and five peers of their lives. She's struggled with survivor's guilt and PTSD ever since, and her best friend, Lucy, is the only person who keeps her going. Zach has been taking care of his family, especially younger sister Gwen, since his father fell into a deep depression five years ago. When his attorney mother defends the shooter, almost everybody he knowsexcept his best friend, Conorabandons him. When Lucy auditions for Conor's band, May and Zach meet cute. As May begins putting herself back together, Zach learns what being there truly entails. Lawson's extraordinary knack for navigating typical teenage-rule predicamentsparent problems, friend frustration, budding desireand the most searing circumstancesloss, terror, rage, faultkeeps the plot at a boil. Though shaped like a romance, Lawson's remarkable debut celebrates love's many forms, from friends who refuse to be pushed away to families slowly closing years of distance. Lucy is Haitian; Conor, Zach, and May are white.Wildly ambitious and wholly empathetic, devastatingly raw, and impossibly gentle; a must-read in this moment. (author's note, resources) (Fiction. 14-18) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.