Review: Only If You’re Lucky by Stacy Willingham

Only If You're LuckyOnly If You’re Lucky by Stacy Willingham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Only If You’re Lucky is a slow burn and I know it won’t necessarily be for every Reader. For me, though, there is no denying the rich-quality of Willingham’s writing.

She pulled this one off in the end, big time. It took me a minute to settle into the story, not gonna lie, but once I did I was swept up into the drama like a nosy neighbor.

In this story we follow Margot, who is a Freshman at a small Liberal Arts college in South Carolina.

It was Margot’s dream to attend this particular college with her childhood best friend, Eliza. Unfortunately, Eliza’s life was taken in a tragic accident just prior to that dream becoming a reality.

Freshman year, Margot is obviously still coming to grips with the loss of her best friend. She feels like a ship without a port and therefore, plays it very safe. She befriends her new roommate and they barely ever leave the dorm.

At the end of the year though, she gets approached by a girl she’s been watching from afar all year, Lucy Sharpe. Lucy is magnetic, bold and popular and for some reason, she wants Margot as a friend.

Lucy offers Margot the chance to move in with her and two other girls in an off-campus house. Unable to refuse a golden opportunity, the chance for a new life, a fresh start and a position amongst the it-girls, Margot accepts, thus changing her fate forever.

As Margot is folded into this new group of girls, she begins to think that perhaps Lucy isn’t quite who she thinks she is.

The other two girls, Nicole and Sloane, seem a bit hesitant to discuss Lucy behind her back. Are they just loyal friends, or is there more to it than that?

By the end of Sophomore year, these girls are completely embedded in one another’s lives, rarely apart. Then a boy from the fraternity house next door ends up dead and Lucy goes missing without a trace. Circumstances have shifted.

As the police dig into an investigation, it’s clear Margot, Nicole and Sloane know more than they’re letting on. Are they helping Lucy, or do they really not know where she is? You’ll have to hang in until the very end to find out.

As mentioned before, this is a slow burn. You have to be patient as Willingham sets the stage, introduces our characters and fills in some of Margot’s backstory.

As the relationship with Margot and her new friends begins, that’s when things start to pick up. It’s hard to get a read initially on the other girls and you wonder just what exactly Margot is getting herself into.

I did really grow to care for Margot and the other girls over the course of the story. A lot of the things they were doing and going through, I could relate to and through Willingham’s writing, it really took me back to that time in my own life, when I met my best friend, Nichole.

Once I was hooked into the characters, I started to fly through this and I loved how the different aspects of the narrative tied together in the second half.

I think some may be disappointed by this because while it’s pitched as Adult, I would actually classify it as New Adult. Some Readers are going to pick this up and find that the storyline reads a little young for them, and I get that.

I read a ton of YA stories, personally, and love them; particularly YA Mystery/Thrillers. While I was a little surprised initially, I still feel like this is a strong story. In fact, I think this would be a great transitional book for Readers moving from the YA to Adult category.

Also, I know the synopsis states they’re in college, but I rarely read the full synopsis for a Mystery/Thriller, and I think the same can be said for a lot of Readers.

You don’t want to spoil yourself, so if you see a favorite authors’ name on the cover, you just give it a go. These are the people I think are going to be the most surprised.

If you go into this with the right mindset though, knowing this is a story involving young women in the early stages of college, going through all the things young women in college go through, you could really enjoy it.

I did have the pleasure of listening to the audiobook and absolutely recommend that format. It’s narrated by one of the best narrators of all time, Karissa Vacker, and per usual, she brought life to this story.

Overall, I think this was a bit of a change for Stacy Willingham. Her earlier stories have been well and proper in the Adult category. It’s nice to see her stretch her legs a bit and I feel she was successful in this story.

It’s well-constructed and contains a full cast of nicely-fleshed out characters.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Macmillan Audio, for providing me a copy to read and review. Willingham is a must read for me. I will continue to pick up all her work!

Only If You’re Lucky is available now!!!

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