If You're Lucky

If You're Lucky

by Yvonne Prinz


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Is Georgia’s mind playing tricks on her, or is the entire town walking into the arms of a killer who has everyone but her fooled?

When seventeen-year-old Georgia’s brother drowns while surfing halfway around the world in Australia, she refuses to believe that Lucky’s death was just bad luck. Lucky was smart. He wouldn’t have surfed in waters more dangerous than he could handle. Then a stranger named Fin arrives in False Bay, claiming to have been Lucky’s best friend. Soon Fin is working for Lucky’s father, charming Lucky’s mother, dating Lucky’s girlfriend. Georgia begins to wonder: Did Fin murder her brother in order to take over his whole life?  
Determined to clear the fog from her mind in order to uncover the truth about Lucky’s death, Georgia secretly stops taking the medication that keeps away the voices in her head. She is certain she’s getting closer and closer to the truth about Fin, but as she does, her mental state becomes more and more precarious, and no one seems to trust what she’s saying. 
As the chilling narrative unfolds, the reader must decide whether Georgia’s descent into madness is causing her to see things that don’t exist--or to see the deadly truth.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781616206390
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date: 09/20/2016
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

YVONNE PRINZ is the award-winning author of The Vinyl Princess and All You Get Is Me. A Canadian living in the San Francisco Bay Area, she is the cofounder of Amoeba Music, the world’s largest independent music store.

Read an Excerpt


The phone rang at four o’clock in the morning. Someone on the other end said that Lucky was dead.

And just like that I was big brotherless.

I didn’t cry.

Life without my brother had never even occurred to me. Not once. Sure, I’d become accustomed to little pieces of him disappearing: the tip of his finger to a rock-climbing rope; a chunk of his calf to a baby shark; a front tooth to a ski slope. Lucky’s body was a road map of scars. Even his face was covered in nicks and healed-over cuts and faint pinkish railroad tracks from long-gone stitches. That was all fine with me, exciting even, because to me he was indestructible, and because he always came home eventually with more stories and more scars. He always came home until now.

The day before the phone call, I was thinking about how every Christmas I would put a fresh box of Band-Aids in his stocking. He always laughed on Christmas morning when he tore the wrapping paper off the little box. I got him Simpsons Band-Aids one year and Scooby-Doo another; Popeye; Cowboys; Spider Man. There was already a box of Flintstones Band-Aids stashed away in my closet for the coming Christmas and I know just what he would say if he were around to open it: “Yabba, dabba, doo!” and then he’d toss it on the pile with the rest of the gear Santa would always bring him. That’s how it was: Lucky got gear. I got books. I went digging through Lucky’s things that day, the day we got the news, and I found seven unused boxes of Band-Aids lined up in a neat row in a shoebox under his bed. I still didn’t cry.

My own scars are different. My body is a desert of soft white skin embellished with small smoothed-over cuts and tears and burns. I don’t remember how all of them got there, but the ones I do remember make me wince with embarrassment. I’m the opposite of Lucky. I was born without the thrill-seeking gene. I stick close to home. Heights make me dizzy; the ocean, in my mind, can’t be trusted; I despise polar fleece, and I can’t see a thing without my contacts in. Some might think Lucky would have been the one my parents worried about, but that wasn’t the case. They never seemed to worry about him. It’s always been me. Even now, years later, they still look at me with worry in their eyes.

Lucky, on the other hand, had an effortless star quality that made my parents want to be near him. My mom laughed like a teenager when he was around and my dad started making ambitious plans again. There was always stuff everywhere when Lucky was home: camping gear, surfboards, bikes, skateboards, wet suits hanging on the line. There was a happy buzz in our house. Anyone could see that Lucky was my mom and dad’s favorite, and I didn’t even mind. He was my favorite too. My brother squeezed his big world into our tiny house and made everything seem more exciting, but for me it was more than that. The thing I loved most about Lucky was that he made me feel normal.

Lucky never had much regard for time zones, and besides, it was understood that no matter what time it was or where he was, he should call if there was trouble. The phone ringing in the dead of night was a pretty common occurrence at our house. This time it was different though. Through the wall I could hear the muffled sound of my mom answering, alert even though she’d been asleep for hours. I heard her say “No No No” and then I heard her shake my dad awake. I knew it was bad. She’d never done that before. My dad has to be at the oyster farm by seven.

“My baby!” my mom wailed. The sound was horrible. My heart thumped in my chest but I was paralyzed. I stayed there in my bed, listening.

I heard my dad take the phone. “What is it? What’s happened?” he asked.

Lucky had drowned while surfing in Australia at a place called Kirra Beach in Coolangatta in Queensland. I heard my dad talking to them, getting all the details. Then he hung up the phone and started to sob.

Lucky was twenty-two when he died. I’d known him for seventeen years.

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If You're Lucky 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MorrisMorgan More than 1 year ago
In what is a rarity in young adult books, the topic of schizophrenia is tackled head-on in “If You’re Lucky”, a taut thriller that leaves the readers as confused as the narrator as to what is real and what is not. Georgia, the main character, is a teenager with paranoid schizophrenia who is dealing with the loss of her brother Lucky, the town’s golden boy. One of his best friends shows up to the memorial and creates a whirlwind of emotions for her. Georgia is an extremely well-developed character, and her descent into a schizophrenic episode is written beautifully. It truly feels as though you are trying to navigate the world through the distortion in her mind. This adds a great deal of twists and turns to the mystery of what happened to Lucky. The rest of the characters are also well-developed and relatable, with my favorite being Fin. I won’t say anything else about him because it may ruin some of the reading experience. I loved the plot and found it to be the perfect mix of thriller and standard mystery. At some points I literally had goosebumps from the creepiness. However, the reason for me giving three stars instead of four is because of the plot. It seemed to begin slowly, and while the entire book is well-written, I didn’t realize I was actually into it until I was about a third of the way through. This points to a slight problem with the pacing. It would have been nice to add a bit of “oomph” to the setup. In spite of the slight pacing problem, I still wholeheartedly recommend “If You’re Lucky” to those who enjoy mysteries and thrillers. There is some adult content, but it is still a safe choice for middle schoolers and up as long as they’re not opposed to things that can be disturbing. This review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
This was a creepy one. Was this girl, Georgia seeing things or were they really there? Did Fin kill her brother or not? Was her dead brother trying to tell her something or not? Or was she just so totally off her meds that she was just seeing things that were not there? This was definitely a great read. I truly enjoyed it. I think it was written for YA's, but it's good for adults as well. It was definitely fast paced as I just kept ripping through the pages. To me, Fin seemed normal, but then he was everywhere. And Georgia was prone to having some strange dreams and you didn't know if they were dreams or not. And, of course, Georgia with her history, no one was believing her story that she thought Fin killed her brother and others. So that wasn't much help to her. Can you imagine knowing someone is a killer and no one believes you? Then to top it off, she thinks he's on to her and is after her. Where can she go help? No one believes her. I won't tell you what gave it away for me, you'll just have to read it and figure it out for yourself. But it is definitely worth reading and one you will not be able to put down. Thanks Algonquin Books and Net Galley for a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book sounds very good for me to read does it have any bad words in it if it does then i can't read this read because i don't say bad words because im one of those peopl who do not say any bad words when i get upset then i will use some bad words and when i do something wrong then the bad words will come out