Friday, April 29, 2011

The Lucky Kind by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

What do you do when you realize your parents are people - people who make mistakes, people who had lives before you were born? What happens in that moment - and what happens afterwards?

Ask Nick Brandt, the main character in Alyssa B. Sheinmel's new novel The Lucky Kind. Nick's a junior at a private school in New York and, up until now, his life has been pretty solid. He's not the best student, but he's not the worst. He's the only child of two attentive parents. He's got a crush on a girl named Eden who is as intriguing as her name suggests. Nick and his best friend Stevie are as thick as thieves. Almost like brothers.

Then Nick discovers that he has a brother. A flesh-and-blood brother, born to his father's college girlfriend twenty-nine years ago and given up for adoption. His father's always known about his first son, and though he told his wife about his firstborn years ago, he didn't tell Nick. But now that Nick knows the truth, there's no way for him to forget it - and he can't see his parents the same way anymore. In the light of his father's lifelong lie - or omission of truth - Nick's home, his childhood memories, and his family's routines all seem tainted somehow.

I don't want to reveal too much here; I actually didn't want to tell you gentle readers about Nick's brother, but if I hadn't, this would have been an extremely vague, short, and unsatisfying review. To discover the circumstances under which Nick discovers the existence of his older brother and what happens to his family - which includes Stevie and Eden just as much as his blood relatives - check out The Lucky Kind. Make sure you also pick up The Beautiful Between, Alyssa B. Sheinmel's memorable debut novel.


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