Just My Luck by Jennifer Honeybourn
Published by Swoon Reads on 16 July 2019.
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Marty has terrible luck and she knows exactly why. While working as a housekeeper at the ritzy Grand Palms hotel in Maui, Marty made it a habit to steal small items from the guests. What better way to stick it to the rich snobs they have to clean up after? Marty knows how to turn her luck around — she just has to return all of the items she stole.
When Marty meets Will, a new guest who is staying for the summer, she does the one thing she always promised herself she’d never do — fall for an out-of-towner. But Will’s special, different from the other guests at the hotel. Maybe Marty’s luck is finally turning around.
After a string of misunderstandings and accidents threaten Will and Marty’s relationship, Marty has to find a way to fix her luck for good — or say goodbye to Will forever.
Marty’s on a quest, but not an adventure type (unless you’d consider hiking up to the waterfalls with nothing but the clothes on your back as one). Ever since her dad and her prom date jilted on her (not at the same time, of course), she’s been involved in some petty theft as a sort of rebellious message to the universe. Except, the universe decided to punish her for it, so to reverse her karma, Marty figured she needed to return everything she stole from the hotel guests, things she stashed out of sight in a shoebox and buried at the very back of her closet: a pair of cherry-red sunglasses, a vanilla-scented travel candle, a hula girl shot glass, and a luggage tag shaped like a surfboard. Otherwise, Marty’s convinced that her bad luck will just keep coming- and if getting your car totaled by a tree struck by lightning isn’t bad enough, accidentally stepping on dog poo officially sealed it.
Marty’s predicaments reminded me of the 2006 movie that shared the same name with this book, wherein Jake Hardin was always on the receiving end of the worst case scenarios, that eventually it made me wonder, can one person really be this unlucky? Surely the bad luck has to stop at one point. For Marty, it was when she started hanging out with one of the wealthy hotel guests, Will, who she was asked to tour around the island. Even that wasn’t all fun and games, but hey, who here gets to flirt around when they’re working, right? Also, she has the cutest conversations with Will, some of my favorites being:
“The tall one is cute,” [he says]. I pick up a stapler, even though I have nothing to staple. “I didn’t notice.”
The way he smiles at me, like he’s really glad to see me, like he’s been waiting to talk to me, makes my heart race. He probably smiles at everybody like that. I hate the thought that he smiles at anyone else like that.
“What’s wrong with nice?” “It’s pretty much the kiss of death. In my experience with girls, nice means ‘Buddy, you’ve got no chance’.”
I knew right off that I was going to like this book, mainly because we have this seemingly unlikable and complicated heroine who steals from unknowing people, lies to her best friend and her family, and runs away from her problems. I was quite interested to know how the author would develop Marty’s character and how things would work out in the end for her, since it was pretty clear from the start that she’s no Mother Theresa as of late.
And so, like with everything else I’m not ready to deal with, I push it aside. Hoping that it will all somehow magically go away.
It’s a very coming-of-age type of story that fitted just well, and I liked Marty and Will’s romance and individual development, though how it wrapped up felt a little abrupt for me. It’s reminiscent of Something in Between, when things just fell into place for the characters by the end that it felt just a tad bit unnatural. The book is fairly long too (2338 pages on Kindle), so I think it’s because the author really spent a lot of time building Marty and Will’s relationship over anything else.
Quite unfortunate, too, since I wanted to know more about the minor characters because they’re pretty interesting. However, what we got was merely surface-level for me. I would have liked to know more about Marty’s friendship with Nalani (I mean, they did plan to take a gap year to California! How’d that start? Why Cali?) and Will’s relationship with Hayes (family drama and alcoholic tendencies aside, what else should we know about him?).
That aside, I think this book is the perfect summer read— it’s light, cheery, and sweet. Though I feel bad for Marty’s dismal luck, I really couldn’t help but giggle at times, too. This is a book I can see myself reaching for when I’ve read something serious, or probably when I’m off vacationing in Hawaii some ten thousand years in the future.
Thank you, Xpresso Book Tours for letting me be a part of the Just My Luck blog tour! You can read more about the tour here. Don’t forget to check out the other amazing posts from my fellow bookworms and tour participants:
Jennifer Honeybourn works in corporate communications in Vancouver, British Columbia. She’s a fan of British accents, Broadway musicals, and epic, happily-ever-after love stories. If she could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, she’d have high tea with Walt Disney, JK Rowling, and her nana. She lives with her husband, daughter and cat in a house filled with books. Wesley James Ruined My Life is her first novel.
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