Review: Love, Lucas by Chantele Sedgwick

Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: May 5th, 2015
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Source: Reviewer Purchase

Synopsis from Goodreads:
When Oakley Nelson loses her older brother, Lucas, to cancer, she thinks she’ll never recover. Between her parents’ arguing and the battle she’s fighting with depression, she feels nothing inside but a hollow emptiness. When Mom suggests they spend a few months in California with Aunt Jo, Oakley isn’t sure a change of scenery will alter anything, but she’s willing to give it a try.In California, Oakley discovers a sort of safety and freedom in Aunt Jo’s beach house. Once they’re settled, Mom hands her a notebook full of letters addressed to her—from Lucas. As Oakley reads one each day, she realizes how much he loved her, and each letter challenges her to be better and to continue to enjoy her life. He wants her to move on.If only it were that easy.But then a surfer named Carson comes into her life, and Oakley is blindsided. He makes her feel again. As she lets him in, she is surprised by how much she cares for him, and that’s when things get complicated. How can she fall in love and be happy when Lucas never got the chance to do those very same things?With her brother’s dying words as guidance, Oakley knows she must learn to listen and trust again. But will she have to leave the past behind to find happiness in the future?

Ronnie’s Review

I need to make a small confession. I originally had another book on the docket for review, but given the tenor over the last few days, and my inability to do anything but give people a hug made me reconsider the book I was reading and so I switched over to something slightly less arduous. Something that has a painful subject matter truth be told, but the writing style is pretty easy and not as meticulous as the book I was previously reading. So ahem. I actually discovered it through Book Bub, as it was on sale…. and if you don’t subscribe to them, sometimes you can find some pretty neat deals. They have it for amazon, nook, Kobo, ibooks etc.

This book deals with grief over the death of an immediate family member, so if that’s not your cuppa, you’re probably better off staying away for the time being. That being said, I thought the subject of Oakley’s brother, Lucas, was handled with sensitivity and realism. The book is basically a series of letters to Oakley, written to her by Lucas (now deceased). Oakley uses them to help her grieve over his death as well as taking his advice and wishes for her to heart. One super small quibble is that his letters to Oakley are written in ALLCAPS, so it’s a little jarring, but it does break up the tone and pace of the book slightly, to give you a sense that another character is speaking.

Oakley feels alone and alienated, even from her mother and the text demonstrates this pretty well. She finds solace in the cute boy next door named Carson. Now true to typical YA romance form, Carson is pretty flawless as teenage boys go. He works for his parents, he has lots of friends, he’s nice to pretty much everyone, and of course, is nice to look at. They end up spending a lot of time together, but it isn’t til over halfway through the book that Oakley spills the beans about her family. I thought how the problem with Oakley’s family is resolved is kind of half-ass and totally lets the father out of the picture. I liked the depiction of grief, with its ups and downs, and the irrationality and anger that you feel when you lose someone.

I thought the developing relationship between Oakley and Carson was nicely done, although there’s something that happens at the end that kind of turns into the Lifetime Movie of the week, and it’s super glossed over mostly. It didn’t really fit with the rest of the book, only added an external crisis when there didn’t really need to be one.

But overall, I enjoyed the book and would tell anyone who likes young adult contemporary romance to give it a shot.

Rating: 4.0 Stars = B

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Comments 2

  • I know how you feel. 🙁 I’ve been in a mini-slump all this week.

    I’ve never heard of Book Bub…I’ll have to check it out. 🙂

    • I’m still having trouble opening up my kindle, and it’s been a week now. :\ Yeah, Bookbub is one of those subscription services (without costing money) where you can find some neat deals sometimes. It’s definitely worth checking out! 🙂

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