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Maeve Connolly is very flighty. She seems to find it very difficult to stay in any place for too long a time. Maeve is also impulsive and seemingly has a lot of bad luck, and on an impulse she decides to drive across America from North Carolina to LA to see her friend Laura. Maeve sets off on her journey along with her bird Oliver and soon finds herself visiting some relatively obscure (and fantastically named) towns across America. However, Maeve's bad luck doesn't seem to have left her and she ends up stranded in Unknown, Arizona when her car Elsie breaks down. As the townsfolk of Unknown rush to help Maeve on her quest to get her car fixed, Maeve finds herself becoming part of the community. However Maeve begins to fall for her boss Noah and her only option appears to be to run again...
The Good Luck Girl is Kerry Reichs's second book and after posting about it on the site in August, I wasn't all that bothered about reading it. Yes, it sounded interesting but I wasn't a huge fan of the cover. However once the paperback release was confirmed for this year and I saw it had a new cover I decided to buy it for myself to see what I thought of the book. The fact I managed to pick it up for half price off helped immensely, too! It's been sitting on my shelf for a month or so and I finally decided to read it.
The book begins just before Maeve's impusive road trip across America. We learn that she's always been slightly impulsive and that she finds it difficult to hold down a job of any sort. At first it seems mildly confusing as to why exactly Maeve is so impulsive and flighty, but as the book progresses secrets are revealed and it all, sort of, makes sense. After being fired by both her job and her family, Maeve decides that she needs to become a new Maeve. She needs to prove to everyone that she can finish something she's started and that she can make her parents proud of her. So begins Maeve's roadtrip across America. Before Maeve leaves, her mother gives her 8 kachinas (Budda-type figurines) to commit to a place that Maeve feels something for.
As Maeve sets off on her journey, she ends up in a multitude of funny-named towns across America including Okay, Oklahoma and Uncertain, Texas. However after her car, Elsie, breaks down, Maeve finds herelf stuck in Unknown, Arizona. However being stuck in Unknown isn't as bad as Maeve fears and she soon finds herself at the heart of the community. She makes some great friends and finds herself a job in the bookstore as well as discovering she has a passion for photography. The months in Unknown roll by and rather than feeling restless and fidgedty, it seems that Maeve actually loves living in Unknown. Things are going well for her, until she begins falling for her boss Noah and Maeve does the only thing she knows how to do... she leaves, bound for LA and Laura.
The Good Luck Girl has an incredibly interesting plot but for the first 100 pages I just couldn't get into the book. I liked Maeve, sure, but for some reason the book just didn't grab me. It could well have been because I just didn't have the time to pick the book up and really immerse myself in it. My frustration with the book got so bad that I told myself that if I hadn't finished it within the week I would throw it away. It was an irrational thought and I sat down on Saturday night intent on immersing myself fully in the book and giving it a fair shot. Once I got myself stuck into the book I found myself enjoying it so much more. I actually feel bad now for giving it such a hard time because I enjoyed the book immensely.
The characters of The Good Luck Girl are fantastic. Maeve is a fabulous leading character and I absolutely adored her. She's a bit of a hypocondriac but that all adds to her fantastic character. Even when I was struggling with the book I still adored Maeve. She is very well-rounded and her flighty-ness makes absolute sense when we learn what Maeve has been through. Maeve's family make appearances from time to time (mostly via phone calls) and they also seemed incredibly nice. It appears that Maeve's sister Vi is the main character in Kerry's first book which is interesting! It's actually the community spirit of Unknown who make the book for me. Ruby, Bruce, Child, Busy, April, Tuesday and Noah all become friends with Maeve and they're all such wonderful characters. I really loved Noah, Maeve's boss at The Little Read Book and the man Maeve thinks she's falling in love with. The relationship between Maeve and Noah was fantastic and I hugely enjoyed their rapport.
Reichs' writing seems to be really different to most chick lit writers but I can't put my finger on why. It seems more grown up somehow and it's hugely refreshing. I like Reichs' writing style and it flowed really well. What Reichs did best though was bringing Unknown, Arizona to life. I felt as if I was really there and the community spirit of the town really shone off the pages. I could totally see why Unknown appeared to capture Maeve's heart as it completely captured mine, too! I very rarely manage to imagine what a place is like when reading about it but with Unknown I could see it very easily. Reichs has done a fantastic job there and the book really captured me.
As you can tell I really enjoyed The Good Luck Girl. At first it seems like a light-hearted read but there are some issues there hidden below the depths which are revealed as the book progresses and I enjoyed unravelling it all. Maeve is a fantastic heroine with a fantastic story and I really really loved the book. It may well have taken me a week to read the book but once I settled down into the story I thoroughly enjoyed it and raced to the end. In the end, The Good Luck Girl turned out to be a very satisfying read and one I will undoubtedly read again.