by Kristen B.
The Good Luck Girls is a flat-out running adventure of escape and escapade, complete with undead monsters, bank robberies, and a secret rebel base. In the country of Arketta, good luck girls are sold to “welcome houses” as children, basically into indentured servitude where they start as housemaids until they graduate to serving customers more personally. The male patrons of welcome houses are called “brags” by the women who work there. This book is filled with so many smart details that make it real.
Favors are the magical tattoos that mark the girls’ throats and match their names, which cannot be removed or covered without dire consequences. The girls in this story will do almost anything to remove those favors and be free of the welcome house. Meet the girls:
Aster, the protector, is the big sister and the one who has gumption to say, “time to go, girls.”
Violet, the favorite and the survivor who may have regrets, also has the secret information to get everyone to safety.
Tansy, the herbalist and medic, is the heart of the bunch who keeps everyone pointed in the same direction.
Mallow, the fighter, meets life with fists up but learns the hard way how to pick which fights are worth having.
Clementine, the catalyst and Aster’s younger sister, has a catastrophic Lucky Night and becomes the reason this group of girls flees into the wilderness. She wants so much more from life than a Welcome House can offer.
After Clementine’s debut ends with a very important brag dead in her bed, the girls figure out how make an escape, heading North to freedom. The girls follow clues from the story of Lady Ghost passed from good luck girl to good luck girl, but no one knows the truth – although Violet claims to have special knowledge. They discover a male guide to take them through rough country, who brings all the usual complications. He is also looking for redemption and a new life, and makes the difference for surviving in the deep wilderness. The group learns to rely on and (maybe even a little bit) love each other like family.
There are some solid themes underlying all the fun, including gender and race issues. These young women demonstrate their abilities to do what’s necessary to achieve their goals, despite physical and emotional trauma. As they reclaim their identities and their independence, questions arise about who the law protects and serves and when a little rebellion is a good thing. Honestly, I rooted for the girls during their first bank heist … even if it’s a crime.
I gulped this book down over one weekend. I can’t wait to see what these girls do next as I am pretty sure that each one of them is entirely capable of making her own good luck.
Kristen B. is a devoted bookworm lucky enough to work as the graphic designer for HCLS. She likes to read, stitch, and take walks in the park.