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Lucky You by Erika Carter
Literary fiction

Lucky You

We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Erika Carter, on your first book!
Early Release
This is an early release that's only available to our members—the rest of the world has to wait 'til next month to read it.

by Erika Carter

Quick take

A novel for anyone who has dreamed about leaving their life behind to live in an Eden '“ but who also knows that real change comes from within.

Why I love it

Rachel Syme

Three waitresses at the same dead-end bar in an Arkansas college town try to navigate their fuzzed-out early twenties. Ellie, Rachel, and Chloe all yearn for meaning in different ways, and yet they all converge on a very relatable '“ and very modern '“ sense that, even though we’re supposed to feel more connected than ever, young people can still feel adrift in today’s world.

At the beginning of Lucky You, we see our heroines trying to numb themselves with late nights of boozing, sex with strangers, and bad reality television. They seek out meaningful connection but often end up in dysfunctional relationships, and so they feel lost '“ unsure about what to believe in or where to focus their energies.

And so, they go off the grid. Rachel moves into a rural cabin in the Ozark Mountains with her naively earnest boyfriend after reading a book called Toward Sustainability and flippantly declaring, 'œWe are in the midst of a large scale ecological crisis.' When Rachel invites Chloe and Ellie to move into the cabin, they all believe that through communing with nature and disconnecting from the outside world, they will find themselves anew.

Read our exclusive Q&A with author Erika Carter

Of course, as the women learn during the course of the novel, when you run away from your troubles they always follow. While living together as part of 'œThe Project,' the three women start to clash, their dreams fizzle, and they realize that no amount of pastoral escape or isolation will lead them to answers for the very real questions that eat away at young people who are oversaturated by staring into pixelated screens looking for truth. And yet there’s hope: one of the joys of the book is watching as each heroine figures out how to make her own way in the world on her own terms.

Erika Carter’s debut novel is sparse, beautiful, and often very funny. Her darkness and concision bring to mind the kind of writers who excel at making the tragic just comic enough that you forget to cry. This is a novel for anyone who has dreamed about leaving her life behind to live in an Eden '“ but who also knows that real change comes from looking within. No cabin in the woods is a magic bullet. Lucky You reminds us that the only way out is through.

Read our exclusive Q&A with author Erika Carter

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Member thoughts

All (4078)
All (4078)
Love (467)
Like (1915)
Dislike (1696)
4262 ratings
  • 11% Love
  • 45% Like
  • 40% Dislike
  • Wyomissing, PA

    This was a great Spring Break read! I grew up in a rural area and now reside in a city and I must say I do miss the simplicity of simple living. I wish there was more then I finished the book.......

  • Greensboro, NC

    I saw myself in this book and especially is the characters. Each a little part of me. Showing that you can always get up and change the direction of your life nothing is ever set in stone! Great read!

  • 49348, MI

    I really enjoyed the story. It started out a little slow but it was worth the wait. I feel that anyone who chose to read this book could in some way, can relate to the one of the characters. Good read

  • Indianapolis , IN

    I found myself annoyed by all the characters and their quirks but the ending is thought-provoking and I definitely related to the characters at one point or another in my life. The more things change.

  • Fort Collins, CO

    I really enjoyed the character dynamics in this read. Having chapters written by different characters was neat. I also enjoyed the different results of coming of each for each girl. A thought provoker

  • Manteo, NC

    The author does a very good job of introducing you to the characters and still letting you form your own opinion of who they are. It was easy to relate to the wanderlust and need for escape they feel.

  • Amherst, NY

    Great read! I loved how each character had their own chapters which all intertwined. It was very hard to put this book down! I was a little surprised/disappointed about the ending..but overall great!

  • Mill Hall , PA

    I loved this book! While these characters try to escape their problems, I got to escape mine. Reading this book is like seeing through someone else's eyes... so enlightening! I hope Erika writes more!

  • Cary, NC

    As a 24 year old female, this book was very easy to relate to. You've been out of college long enough for people to stop feeling sympathy for you; I felt that relationship while reading this novel.

  • Mount prospect, IL

    It was a fun read and I identified with the girls in their 20s kind of floating through life without a plan. My only issue is that all of these girls only find happiness in men, which is unrealistic.

  • Lancaster, PA

    This book is so hard to put down! I didn't want it to end. A perfect read for a snow day. I love how we get the POV from three different characters that helps the reader uncover more with each page.

  • Carlinville, IL

    This novel is well-written, clever, with good use of dialogue; there are a few surprises. The three main characters are well-defined and realistic. The theme of a search for self is well-developed.

  • Downers Grove, IL

    I loved how realistic this book was and how it very accurately portrayed characters in their early 20's who don't know what they are doing with their lives. It made me laugh and it kept me engaged.

  • Carlsbad, CA

    This book had strong and likable characters. The story kept me interested from the beginning to the very last sentence. I went through the whole span of emotions reading this book. Glad I picked it!

  • Sioux Falls, SD

    I feel like I have at least one of each of the friend types between the three women. The book goes between each of the women, letting you not just see what's going on, but what they think about it.

  • Sunnyvale, CA

    Very interesting take on finding yourself, and what it's like to be busy finding ones self among others doing the same thing. Some of the dark places the characters go hits hard and feels so real.

  • Haverhill, MA

    I was so invested in these women and their questionable choices. What i love about this book is the underlying message that throughout our lives we are many different people. And we barely notice.

  • Nevada, MO

    This book was provoking. It led me into a world unlike any I had ever been to, and it left tingles on my spine and passion in my heart. I only wish the ending left me with more than a cliffhanger.

  • Colorado Springs, CO

    This book felt so familiar and homey to me. It reminds you that the things you do alone and the things you think are not as weird as you thought they were. We may always think of running away....

  • Choctaw, OK

    I was skeptical about reading this book from the reviews but I'm glad I did. I loved "Lucky You." Seems a big complaint is about Chloe's absence but I didn't mind it. I loved Ellie's character.

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