Love, Lucas by Chantele Sedgwick
When, her older brother loses his battle to cancer, her parents can’t stop arguing, and she can’t feel anything but emptiness, Oakley thinks there is no hope for her. Then, she and her mom move temporarily to California and Oakley is forced into a confusing new world where she must deal with loss, love, and forgiveness. Will the letters her brother Lucas wrote to her be enough to get her through?
What I Thought of Love, Lucas by Chantele Sedgwick
I thought the premise of this book was very good, but the actual content was pretty disappointing. To start, I was intrigued from page one because it’s rare to read a book where the only death has already happened. I thought it would be interesting to read a book completely devoted to grief and loss, but boy was I wrong. It turns out, Oakley’s struggle to cope with the death of Lucas basically became an afterthought to her romance with Carson. Even though there were letters from Lucas every chapter, she would just read them, spend two seconds thinking about them, then go find Carson. Their relationship was actually not horrible, but I didn’t want or expect it to be the most important topic in this book.
In addition to this, the writing style in general was kind of awful. The sentences were short, boring, and repetitive. When the author tried to get deep in Oakley’s sadder moments, the best she could come up with was “The world sucks.” and “It sucks. A lot.” By trying too hard to write from a younger perspective, the author actually just made Oakley sound like a shallow idiot with a worryingly poor vocabulary. Also, the author threw around words like “depressing” and “depression” like one would use the words “the” or “I”, but never actually went into specifics like the blurb suggested. In my opinion, it’s kind of irresponsible to mention a mental illness several times but not elaborate on it at all.
Finally, the letters also fell short in my opinion. At first, they were sort of sweet, but later they got too convenient. There is obviously no way dead Lucas could have known that Oakley would read his letter about not running away from problems while she was on a plane, running away from her problems. Like just about everything else in this book, they also got pretty repetitive and predictable after a while.
Overall, Love, Lucas had a mediocre plot, frustratingly dumb characters, and a disappointing writing style. However, the romance part was surprisingly well done, so I can see how some people could like it. Despite its flaws, Love, Lucas is a short and sweet read with good intentions that earns a 3 stars rating from me.
The most memorable part of this book is when Oakley finally opens up to her mother. For the first time, she actually spoke about her feelings without making no sense, which had been a ridiculously annoying problem for her throughout the whole book, which is why this moment stood out to me.
Overall Rating: 3 Stars