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.
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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.