Review: Wicked Luck by Shannon L. Maynard

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Synopsis: 

How can Ava Starr’s worst nightmare be Dax Miller’s dream come true?

For the past three years, Dax has been stranded on Lamarai Island with his stepsister and two tribes of cannibals. But now a beautiful girl named Ava has washed up on shore. After secretly reading her journal, he believes she is a perfect match to the girl of his dreams. He’s determined not only to keep her alive, but also to win over her heart by convincing her to forget about her past and the secrets that continue to haunt her.

Ava Starr has always been the epitome of bad luck, but she never imagined she would wake up and find herself on a cannibal-infested island with no memory of how she got there. The last thing she remembers is boarding a plane with her pilot boyfriend, Preston. But now he and his crew are missing, and she must find him before a tribe of hungry cannibals finds him first. But Ava’s troubles have followed her to Lamarai, where once again she’s surrounded by danger and people who want her dead. She finds herself caught in a web of deceit and soon discovers the answers to her mysterious past can be found in the most unlikely of places, and that no one is actually who they seem to be.

Date Finished: 8-1-15

Thoughts, and would I recommend?

**I received a copy of this book for review.**

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book like Wicked Luck before. Sure, I’ve read books with people stranded on islands (Hatchet, The Castaway, The Swiss Family Robinson) but Wicked Luck has an interesting twist. Our protagonists are stranded on an island inhabited by cannibals! This plot point alone set it apart from other books of the genre, and kept it quite interesting. The tribes provide part of the conflict, but not as much as I would have hoped. Maybe they’ll take on a bigger role in the sequel.

The biggest complaint that I have about this book is the conflict… or, might I say, the lack of a major conflict. If you asked me what the main conflict of this novel is, I guess I would say the events that led to the plane crash that stranded Ava, which is discovered through Dax reading Ava’s journal. Everything sort of gets pieced together, but there’s no true climax in my opinion. There’s a revelation, but that’s it. For me, the biggest events of the novel happen either at the very end, or around the halfway point. This wasn’t too big of an issue for me, but I guess that for some readers, the story might be a bit too calm. There’s a lot of journal reading and reflection on the past, but again, this is important as it leads to the realization of what really happened. Also, I had hoped that Ava’s bad luck would play a bigger role in it, considering that the title is “Wicked Luck” but it wasn’t exactly a big factor. In fact, aside from some majorly dangerous mishaps on the island, Ava seems almost lucky to have Dax with her to protect her from the dangerous island they live on.

I will definitely be reading the sequel as soon as I can, because the cliffhanger ending is totally blowing my mind! I’d recommend Wicked Luck to any YA fan. The plot is unique and the cliffhanger ending practically demands for the sequel to be read as soon as possible. Luckily, the sequel comes out late this month. All in all, Wicked Luck has a unique plot, awesome characters, a beautifully designed world, and deserves to be read!

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