Title: The Lauras
Author: Sara Taylor
Page Count/Review Word Count: 298
Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this book for free to review as part of my position on the Young Writer of the Year Award shadow panel. Click here to find out more about that.
Despite this being the only of the books I’ve given five stars to so far, I’m retroactively upgrading The Lucky Ones to five stars as well. As far as I’m concerned, the competition for the overall winner of the award should be one or the other, although I liked them for different reasons.
I went into this thinking that it’s a road trip novel, but it’s so much more than that. It covers gender identity issues – but in a moving, meaningful way – and it asks the reader a lot of questions that they have to answer for themselves. But it’s also a gripping story, almost a double coming of age story for both Alex and Ma. It achieves that through a sort of dual narrative that delves into the past while literally driving forward in the present. That doesn’t always work well, but it worked well here.
The result is the sort of novel that could bridge the gap between literary fiction and the mainstream with a story that whether you can relate to or not, you’re still sure to enjoy. The characterisation is also fantastic, and in many ways it has to be – the book is about the characters as much as it’s about the plot, as the title of the novel starts to hint at.
Overall then, I thought this was a fantastic little read, and just the thing whether you read one book a year or whether you read hundreds.