26 September 2016

Just my Luck by Andrea Bramhall

Hey everyone,

I wanted to love Just my Luck by Andrea Bramhall. I went in hoping it would be a cute friends-to-lovers contemporary romance, which arguably it is. Yet something stopped me from loving this book. But before I get into the nitty gritty of the review, I would like to thank Ylva publishing and Netgalley for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

The book:

Genna Collins works a dead end job, loves her family, her girlfriend, and her friends. When she wins the biggest Euromillions jackpot on record everything changes…and not always for the best.

When Abi Kitson fell in love she always knew it would go unrequited. The woman of her dreams was so close yet seemingly untouchable for so many reasons. Reasons like – they are best friends, or the big age gap, or the ‘other’ woman, nevermind Abi’s own baggage. And even when those reasons crumble it seems luck just isn’t on her side.

It’s a learning curve for both of them. But what if money really can’t buy you everything you want? What if the answers aren’t hidden in a big, fat bank balance? What if happiness is right in front of them? They just have to reach out…

My thoughts:

Just my Luck had so much promise! The premise was incredibly interesting, a young woman winning the lottery and a friends-to-lovers romance, but right of the bat I struggled to connect with the story. Andrea Bramhall’s writing style is almost interactive with the audience. Genna and Abi would often talk to the audience, as if they were recounting the story to a friend, asking them questions and filling in the answers. Now this isn’t necessarily a bad writing style but I personally found it brought me out of the story. Rather than getting lost in Genna and Abi’s world I was being forced to participate in it. Also despite the story being set in Manchester, England and being British myself, I didn’t understand all the pop culture references that Andrea Bramhall used to describe people or events.

I want the earth to open up and swallow me. It doesn't happen. I want the alarm to go off and wake me up from this nightmare. It doesn't happen.

Given this shaky start you could ask why I kept reading. In all honesty I was intrigued by Genna and Abi. From the start it is clear they have feelings for each other yet neither are willing to act of them. Genna is in a long-term relationship and believes Abi is straight and uninterested. Abi believes that Genna is in love with her girlfriend Ruth, wouldn’t be interested in older woman and definitely not one that has a child with Downs Syndrome. Even when Genna’s relationship with Ruth falls apart neither are brave enough to act on their feelings. This cat and mouse game of I love her but she doesn’t love me is played out for ¾ of the book. I would therefore call this a slow-burn romance, but during this period the heroines aren’t falling in love… They already love each other, they just refuse to do anything about it.

So don't look at me funny when I tell you I've been in love with her since I realised I liked girl, or rather women, instead of lads.

Instead the majority of the novel follow Genna as she navigates her life after winning the lottery. There is the dramatic moment when her extended family and close friends find out, which is definitely not plain sailing. I understood why Andrea Bramhall included this storyline as the fall-out from winning £156 million would be substantial. Yet I found myself getting bored by the long drawn-out nature of discovery. For the majority of the book we are in Genna’s head, and her internal monologue is not succinct. I would find myself getting bored and skim reading the larger sections. Rather than this focus on Genna’s family drama I would have preferred more interaction her and Abi. The gradual shifting of their relationship from friends-to-lover.

It's that smile that makes my heart flutter again. The one where her dimples come out in full force and her eyes actually sparkle. It gets me every time.

Overall I didn’t hate Just my Luck and I am glad I read it. I would just have preferred a greater focus on Genna and Abi’s feelings. I wanted to be shown how they felt about each other, rather than being told how they felt. Also the majority of the plot for Just my Luck relies on events and drama from the secondary storylines. Perhaps I would have enjoyed Just my Luck more if it had shown Genna and Abi falling in love and then fast-forwarded to when this book starts. Because at the moment I feel I’ve read a romance without seeing the couple fall in love.

My rating:
Happy reading and see you next time!