In January, I managed to review all the books on my monthly TBR – yay me! Can I pull it off again in February? I hope so! To kick things off, here are my thoughts on Happy Girl Lucky by Holly Smale.
Happy Girl Lucky by Holly Smale
Publication Date: 7th February 2019
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s
Format: Review copy from Netgalley provided for free in exchange for an honest review
Synopsis: Sisters Hope, Faith and Mercy have everything: fame, success, money and beauty. But what Hope wants most of all is love, and it doesn’t matter how far she has to go to find it. Except real-life isn’t like the movies. Even if you’re a Valentine . . .
Despite my advanced years *cough*, I am a big fan of Holly Smale’s award-winning, best-selling Geek Girl series. You might have heard of it. When it was announced that Holly was back, with a brand new series, I knew I had to read it, whatever it took. Fortunately for me, I didn’t have to beg, steal or borrow to get my hands on an early copy, all I needed to do was visit Netgalley.
I sigh. He’s getting the script all wrong. A few seconds ago, I was the romantic heroine poised to run away with my true soulmate – now I appear to be in a meeting with Willy Wonka’s accountant. As usual, I infinitely prefer my version.
In Happy Girl Lucky, we meet Hope, the youngest of the three Valentine sisters. The Valentine family is one of the most famous families on the planet, “a dynasty of movie stars stretching back four generations”. Counting down the days until she turns 16, Hope spends her time rehearsing for the inevitable fame, often imagining her life in film scripts and show-stopping scenes. With absent parents and three older siblings who often ignore her, Hope is desperate to find her leading man. But life isn’t like the movies, and Hope will soon learn that love isn’t how it appears on the big screen.
Sparkly, sassy, and so much fun to read from start to finish – Happy Girl Lucky is another jewel in Holly Smale’s crown. If you loved the Geek Girl series, you’re going to love the Valentines series too, as it has all the tenderness and clever wit you fell in love with during Geek Girl. I could immediately feel the Holly Smale magic from the first page, and from then on I was hooked. Fun fact: ever since I finished the book I have been regularly searching Google to see when the next instalment in the series is being published. I am not sure if we continue to follow Hope as the series progresses, or whether we get a book from each of the Valentines… I am hoping for both!
Don’t be fooled by the gorgeous and vibrant cover; there are some important messages in this book, particularly around the signs of a toxic relationship such as love-bombing and gaslighting. Even though these are serious topics, it’s truly applaudable to see them addressed in YA, and I hope Happy Girl Lucky will highlight these signs to younger readers who may be approaching or going through their first romantic relationship.
Hope was an adorable character; so sweet yet terribly naive. I could definitely empathise with Hope as I was exactly the same at her age. Even now at 25 years of age, I still pay far too much attention to my horoscopes, and yes, I also sometimes say Pacific when I mean specific. Even though we didn’t see much of them overall, I enjoyed the snippets we did see of Hope’s siblings, Faith, Mercy and Max. I can’t wait to read their stories as the series progresses; I especially want to know more about Mercy. I won’t lie, I did let myself hope that we would see a small cameo from Wilbur *wink*, but we can’t have it all. I will cling to my dream that he pops up in the series at some point. *crosses fingers*
I have no doubt that Happy Girl Lucky will be a book that I can easily read all over again in the future, and I had absolutely no hesitation in awarding it 5*. I’m so excited that I have a new series from Holly to look forward to, and I am also excited to be a champion of it from the very beginning. I personally can’t wait to see the next generation of teenage girls ensure that their lives pass the Bechdel test as a result of reading this book.