Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Set in 1984 #ComingOfAge Lucky Star by Holly Curtis

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs here http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading Lucky Star by Holly Curtis

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3 out of 5 stars

Set in 1984, this story opens with a group of schoolboys who go on a shoplifting trip to Guernsey, keen to get their hands on designer sports gear they crave.  Protagonist Ben is particularly desperate for a certain pair of trainers.  This is intermingled with him seeing the gorgeous Susie and falling instantly in love with her, all set to a backdrop of Madonna’s Lucky Star.

What I liked:

  1. It’s nicely written, and flows well; it’s an easy read.  The characterisation is very good, I thought, and the dialogue is, for the most part, realistic; natural.  I liked the usage of regional slang words like ‘dinlo’ and ‘clump’ (and the fact that the author didn’t feel the need to explain them!).
  2. There are elements that are very typical of kids of that age, and it’s good to read about a time when young people didn’t have their eyes permanently fixed on smartphone screens.  It certainly ticked a few nostalgia boxes, too.

What I was less sure about:

  1. The basic premise.  I realise the kids who flogged the designer gear would have had money, but where did Ben and his friends get the cash to travel to Guernsey, get taxis, eat in cafés, buy beer, etc?  There was no indication of him asking his aunt for it.  I also don’t buy that a group of daft 16 year olds suddenly became proficient at shoplifting from upmarket shops, where assistants know all the tricks.  I think it’s a fun idea that needed a bit more thinking through.
  2. I found the whole Susie-love-at-first-sight thing a little hackneyed, more like something you would see in a 1980s film, but the ‘coming of age’ genre has grown more sophisticated since then; also I felt the whole novel needed chopping down a bit.

So not really for me, but the fact that it’s nicely written and the characterisation is good, and it has the nostalgia thing going on means it may appeal to those who like a light read about a time they remember, and enjoyed films like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Book description

Teenager Ben Somerset has three great loves in his life: Sherlock Holmes, designer clothes and a certain song by Madonna. And then Susie appears.

Set in England in 1984 Lucky Star tells of Ben’s introduction to the world of shoplifting, music, politics, love and heartbreak.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #YA Lucky Star by @1HollyCurtis set in 1980s #Portsmouth

Today’s team review is from Shelley, she blogs here http://shelleywilsonauthor.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Shelley has been reading Lucky Star by Holly Curtis

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My Review:

Lucky Star was like a trip down memory lane for me. Born in the 70s, I experienced my teenage years around the same time as the main character, Ben Somerset. I’d like to think we could have been friends.

Curtis moulds likeable characters with realistic ‘teen’ dialogue for the time, and the attention to detail is excellent; I’d almost forgotten about one pound notes!

The story was a bit slow for me, but I did like the 80s references. Being a parent of three teenagers, I’m not sure they’d ‘get’ this novel as there are so many retro references that would go over their head. I’m fairly sure they think I’m making it up when I say we didn’t have mobile phones! The author’s target audience is a young adult market, but I think this would appeal to their parents and grandparents rather than the intended readers.

Enjoyable read.

I received a copy of Lucky Star through Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team in exchange for an honest review.

Book description

Teenager Ben Somerset has three great loves in his life: Sherlock Holmes, designer clothes and a certain song by Madonna. And then Susie appears.

Set in England in 1984 Lucky Star tells of Ben’s introduction to the world of shoplifting, music, politics, love and heartbreak.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

Coming Of Age #YA set in 1980s #Portsmouth Lucky Star by @1HollyCurtis #TuesdayBookBlog

Lucky StarLucky Star by Holly Curtis

4.5 stars

Lucky Star is a coming of age, young adult novel, set in a 1980s Portsmouth council estate.

Sixteen year old Ben Somerset is about to leave school, but like so many young people, then and today, he doesn’t know what he might want to do. Currently he mixes with a colourful collection of friends and acquaintances. They meet, most nights, outside a community centre, discussing clothes, music, girls and life.

The author paints a realistic picture for those on the cusp of adulthood; there are dalliances with drugs, underage drinking, theft and bullying. With the opportunities of the world before them, what directions will the friends all take and why?

I liked this author’s style, the dialogue was well written, and the characters were easy to identify with, especially by their nicknames. This made them feel like genuine teenagers; children frequently give each other nicknames, which I think it is one of life’s constants.

As the book is set almost forty years ago, Ben and his friends used landline telephones, listened to vinyl records and had the freedom to go off for hours without their parents being at the end of a mobile phone. But once you strip away the clothes and accessories, how different were these kids from those of different generations? Ben played a song he loved, over and over. He wanted to dress like his friends or the ones he admired. He experienced the heady feelings of first love. He succumbed to peer pressure. He went out drinking. What I found interesting was that these elements could all be relevant to more than one era of teens who are balancing on the edge of adulthood.

Overall, a very good piece of work suited to this genre, but also very readable for those who were, perhaps themselves, teenagers in the 80s.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book description

Teenager Ben Somerset has three great loves in his life: Sherlock Holmes, designer clothes and a certain song by Madonna. And then Susie appears.

Set in England in 1984 Lucky Star tells of Ben’s introduction to the world of shoplifting, music, politics, love and heartbreak.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter