Not so Lucky Boy

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Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran

Lucky Boy is an emotional journey that will leave you certain of the redemptive beauty of this world. There are no bad guys in this story, no obvious hero. From rural Oaxaca to Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto to the dreamscapes of Silicon valley, author Shanthi Sekaran has taken real life and applied it to fiction; the results are moving and revelatory.

This was one of those books that are currently being noted due to the subject matter being important in a time where immigration is a hot subject. It’s a subject and area that I’ve been wanting to know more about simply because it’s one of those important issues of our generation and you can’t always trust what the media and news tells you about it – you gotta go to the source.

And yes, this book deals with it. It talks about a girl coming across the border for the hopes of a better life, only to find more trouble than good. She gets detained after a little over a year in the country, loses her one year old son to the state, and breaks out of prison to reclaim him.

It’s full of hard truths, about what people will do to come into the U.S. But I do warn that this book deals with the issue of rape. Without real reason. There’s nothing even to do with rape as a plot device which has become famous thanks to Game of Thrones on TV, much to the disgust to viewers. But in this book, it really doesn’t even do that. It just happens. Four. Times. The first three times, there’s trauma and she only seems to heal once she has her baby – the common theme of being saved by someone, normally a new lover, but this time her child. The other time, it just happens. Repeatedly. It almost made me put it down because it was just disgusting and frustrating, not to mention that the character was just there in the story, just barely. You could have continued the story without those details or even her in the book at that point and not miss it. I understand this is something that happens in life. It just happens. But in stories, it should mean something, not just happening just because.

This book starts out strong. You’re interested and you want to keep reading, but about half way through, it loses that spark. I felt like I had to push through it. Different parts of the story, the plot, didn’t get solved, just simply brushed aside. Many events within the book didn’t need to happen because it had zero effect on the story. Finishing this book, it was more of a ‘I need to finish because I want to understand why it’s being called so important’ than a want to finish it.

Rating: 2.5 stars

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