How Lucky – 5 Star Review

Travis’s grandmother got carded at a restaurant here, and she’s eighty-four and looks like she died around 1983.

– How Lucky by Will Leitch

This book took me completely off guard. I reluctantly chose this for my BOTM pick in May simply because it was my birthday month and I had a free book credit to use. It was also tagged for “fans of Nothing To See Here by Kevin Wilson”, which I did happen to also like. I admit I am hesitant to buy new books by new (to me) authors that I’ve never heard of before. I usually like to check out some reviews before I full-price (or full-price for BOTM anyway) buy it.

How Lucky is told from the perspective of Daniel, a young man who lives by himself in Athens, Georgia and is also completely wheelchair bound and mostly unable to speak due to having type 2 Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Daniel goes deep into explaining this disability, so I’ll let him do that for you if you decide to pick this one up. Daniel does have some daily assistance from a small host of healthcare aids and his best friend since birth, Travis.
One morning, Daniel unknowingly witnesses the abduction of a foreign exchange student named Ai-Chin. One he realizes he is the person who last saw her, he is compelled to take it upon himself to help Ai-Chin be found.

This book was hilarious! I am a believer that one must have a good sense of humor to get through life and Daniel has that in spades. Daniel goes pretty in-depth about SMA which I appreciated because I really knew next to nothing about it. It is so refreshing to see a disabled character not only be represented in a novel, but to be the main character. I feel that disabilities across the board get little acknowledgement or representation in books. I learned quite a bit and also learned ways to be more self-aware about how I present myself or interact with someone who has a disability for the future.
The side characters are great and I loved every single one of them! They helped balance the book and you can tell how much they love Daniel and are not burdened by him, and vice versa.

How Lucky is fast paced, witty and nerve-wracking at the end. I loved it! Leitch had me at the edge of my seat and unwilling to put the book down because I needed to see how it ended ASAP! The book is less than 300 pages so I would absolutely recommend it to anyone looking for a fun book with not a long time commitment. I would tag this as a contemporary thriller, but a very light one.

Daniel changed the world and made the world better for being in it. Anyone can, regardless of their physical abilities. I think more people need to hear that these days. I know I did!

-Review by Kelly

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