Lucky Girl by Jamie Pacton

Summary:
A hilarious and poignant reflection on what money can and cannot fix
58,643,129. That’s how many dollars seventeen-year-old Fortuna Jane Belleweather just won in the lotto jackpot. It’s also about how many reasons she has for not coming forward to claim her prize.
Problem #1: Jane is still a minor, and if anyone discovers she bought the ticket underage, she’ll either have to forfeit the ticket, or worse…
Problem #2: Let her hoarder mother cash it. The last thing Jane’s mom needs is millions of dollars to buy more junk. Then…
Problem #3: Jane’s best friend, aspiring journalist Brandon Kim, declares on the news that he’s going to find the lucky winner. It’s one thing to keep her secret from the town, it’s another thing entirely to lie to her best friend. Especially when…
Problem #4: Jane’s ex-boyfriend, Holden, is suddenly back in her life, and he has big ideas about what he’d do with the prize money.
As suspicion and jealousy turn neighbor against neighbor, and no good options for cashing the ticket come forward, Jane begins to wonder: Could this much money actually be a bad thing?

Lucky Girl

Review:
I am part of Jamie Pacton’s street team, so I was given an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
I really enjoyed Pacton’s debut, so I was excited to have the chance to read Lucky Girl early. I really enjoyed this one. It’s a really quick read. It’s filled with character that don’t always make the best choices, but you can’t help but empathize with them and root for them. The story follows Fortuna Jane, who goes by Jane. Jane buys a lottery ticket on a whim and then finds out that she’s won 58 million dollars. The only problem? Jane is only 17 so she could actually get in trouble if anyone finds out she’s the one that bought it. Most of the story is Jane trying to figure out the best option for how to get her winnings cashed. As she researched past winners, she becomes less sure that she even wants this money despite the fact that it could change her life in so many ways. I really liked Jane. She was a likable character. It was easy to empathize with her with the choice she needed to make.
One of the things I thought was interesting about this book was Jane’s mother. Jane’s mom is a hoarder. She collects things that people once loved. It’s clear that it’s become out of control. I think Pacton did a really good job of showing how this was negatively effecting Jane while still being thoughtful and respectful about the fact that Jane’s mom is clearly dealing with some sort of mental illness. I liked how their relationship changed in the end of the book when Jane finally brought some honesty to the table. I really enjoyed when Jane finally sat down and had a good and open conversation with her mom.
Bran was one of the highlights of this book. He’s Jane’s best friend and an aspiring journalist. So, he’s searching for whoever won the lottery, only Jane hasn’t told him that she won. He asks her to help him interview people in hopes that he will find whoever won. I thought the conflict of Jane feeling unable to tell her best friend this huge thing was a compelling one. It’s clear from their relationship and from the way he reacts when he does learn she’s the winner that she could have told him right from the start.
Overall, I think this was a really fun and quick read. I liked all of the characters (even Holden occasionally). I thought the conversation about what to do with that much money and greed was done really well. The story itself was a little slow but the way it’s written made it an easy and quick read.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly by Jamie Pacton

GoodReads Summary:
Working as a wench ― i.e. waitress ― at a cheesy medieval-themed restaurant in the Chicago suburbs, Kit Sweetly dreams of being a knight like her brother. She has the moves, is capable on a horse, and desperately needs the raise that comes with knighthood, so she can help her mom pay the mortgage and hold a spot at her dream college.
Company policy allows only guys to be knights. So when Kit takes her brother’s place and reveals her identity at the end of the show, she rockets into internet fame and a whole lot of trouble with the management. But the Girl Knight won’t go down without a fight. As other wenches join her quest, a protest forms. In a joust before Castle executives, they’ll prove that gender restrictions should stay medieval―if they don’t get fired first.
Moxie meets A Knight’s Tale as Kit Sweetly slays sexism, bad bosses, and bad luck to become a knight at a medieval-themed restaurant.
The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit SweetlyReview:
This book was so much fun. The story follows Kit Sweetly in her quest to become a knight at her local Ren Faire. I loved this premise. Kit isn’t allowed to be a knight because only cis men are allowed to be knights according to company policy. I really loved how passionate she was about wanting to be a knight. She breaks a few rules and eventually comes up with a plan to get her and a few friends on horses for one of the daily shows. But as with any plan, things go wrong. I didn’t love that Kit kept certain things hidden from her friends. I thought their anger was completely justified, even though I did still feel bad for Kit. I also really liked Kit’s mom and brother. I loved that Kit and Chris were close with one another, but also with their mom. I loved the family dynamic.
I think one of the best parts of the book was the casual diversity. There was a trans character, a nonbinary (they/them pronouns) character, and a queer character. These characters and a few others are a part of Kit’s group that is trying to change the unfair company policy regarding who is allowed to play a knight at the Faire. I say casual diversity because these characters weren’t treated any other way than what they should be. They were just a part of the world, just like in the real world.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. There was a small romance too, but I honestly would have preferred to learn more about her best friend’s romance than hers. Though I did still like the romance, because it’s friends to lovers and that’s one of my favorites. I loved the setting of the Ren Faire and I loved the storyline of girls fighting for their chance to be the knight in shining armor. I also really loved the history of powerful female knights that was included. I definitely think more people should be talking about this book.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.