Just My Luck by Andrea Bramhall is a great story that brings together two of my favourite themes: friends becoming lovers and an age gap romance. While it’s tempting to just call it hilarious (and so much of it is), the humour is balanced with serious themes and good character growth, resulting in a very satisfying read.
Genna Collins has it all—a mediocre job, a girlfriend who’s never around, and an embarrassingly deep, unrequited crush on her best friend Abi. When she wins the largest jackpot in Euromillions history, she quits her job, comes home to find out exactly why Ruth is never around, and still has that crush on Abi.
When Abi Kitson fell pregnant after an ill-advised one night stand, she didn’t expect one of her biggest sources of support to be his young niece Genna. Over the years, Genna became one of Abi’s closest friends, and it wasn’t until she saw Genna with Ruth that she realized she could be attracted to another woman. She knows Genna could never want to be with her—she’s 14 years younger, beautiful and with another woman, after all—but she can’t seem to reason her feelings away.
Genna’s relationship with Ruth ends abruptly, removing one obstacle. Can these friends drum up the courage to take a chance on what’s in front of them?
Just My Luck is really Genna’s book and we see her grow and change, reaching out for the things she needs and deserves, even standing up for herself for what might be the first time in her life. I love how honest and true she is, both to herself and with others, and she’s so good and sweet with Rosie. It’s also lovely to see her confidence build under Abi’s attention when they’re together, so Genna can truly accept that she’s attractive to Abi.
We also get to see things from Abi’s perspective, including her insecurities in the face of her attraction to Genna. It’s an aspect that’s often missing from age gap romances, so I was glad to see it addressed. I also appreciated that the author showed some of the difficulties of single parenting a child with special needs. It was delicately handled without turning Abi into a hero or Rosie into inspiration porn, which is a relief.
Just My Luck has a large cast of supporting characters, and each of them is distinctly drawn. The character work in this is so good that I’d love to see it turned into a TV series, so Channel 4 or BBC should make that happen.
The Writing Style
Just My Luck is so very British, and that’s a huge strength. There are phrases and references that some may not understand, but look them up because it’s worth it. The humour is so strong, with the serious moments giving it depth.
Also, the book is entirely written in the first person, so I appreciated the author labelling the chapters so that we always know who is narrating.
This is going to sound odd, but I got SO ANGRY during the break-up scene. Anything that can cause that big of an emotion is a very good thing. Seriously, I wanted to shout “HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT?!?!?!!!”
That aside, I’d say the characters and sheer Britishness of it are my favourite elements of Just My Luck.
I don’t have any.
If you want a very funny book that will make you feel a bunch of feelings, pick up Just My Luck. It’s the first book I’ve read by Andrea Bramhall, and now I need to go read her others.
Excerpt from Just My Luck by Andrea Bramhall
I hand Genna her cup and sit down next to her. She rests her head back against the sofa and turns to look at me, smiling that smile that makes my heart flutter every time.
“So how bad is it really?” I lean forward and adjust the bag over her ankle. Any excuse to touch her, you say? Yeah, and?
“It’s not too bad. The doctor said it’ll be a couple of weeks on the crutches but that I should try to weight-bear and move it as soon as I can so that it doesn’t stiffen up too much and cause more problems in the long run.”
“Have you sorted some physiotherapy?”
“Not yet, but I will.”
“Let me know when, and I’ll drive you.”
“You don’t have to do that.”
“I know. I want to.” Any excuse to see her? Yeah, and?
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9783955337049
- Publisher: Ylva Publishing
Andrea Bramhall Online
Note: I received a free review copy of Just My Luck. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.