Lucky Strikes by Louis BayardLucky Strikes by Louis Bayard

Lucky Strikes

byLouis Bayard

Hardcover | July 5, 2016

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With her mama recently dead and her pa sight unseen since birth, Amelia is suddenly in charge of her younger brother and sister-and of the family gas station. Harley Blevins, local king and emperor of Standard Oil, is in hot pursuit to clinch his fuel monopoly. To keep him at bay and keep her family out of foster care, Melia must come up with a father-and fast. And so when a hobo rolls out of a passing truck, Melia grabs opportunity by its beard. Can she hold off the hounds till she comes of age?
Louis Bayard is a New York Times Notable author and has been nominated for both the Edgar® and Dagger awards for his adult historical thrillers, which include The Pale Blue Eye and Mr. Timothy. He teaches creative writing at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Title:Lucky StrikesFormat:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 8.5 × 5.71 × 1.13 inPublished:July 5, 2016Publisher:Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1627793909

ISBN - 13:9781627793902


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really Good In It's Own Right Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book via the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed this one! It wasn't exactly what I was anticipating but it was still good in it's own right. I would definitely classify it more as a Middle Grade novel than an Young Adult one, but I still thoroughly enjoyed my reading of it. I was put off a bit by some of the phrasing of things and the fact that this was basically one long letter but I wasn't sure who it was addressed to or if I was supposed to be someone in Melia's life. I thought that there was a good mix of believable good things that came out of this and some things that were almost too good to be true. And while it works in some novels, I found that this one could have used with more of the down and out sort of feeling rather than the happily ever afters. There were definitely some things that went wrong, but it felt like it went up and up and the real issues that could have set them back didn't really do so. And I feel like that made me feel a bit cheated for the story. I did really like all the characters though. I thought Melia was really strong and tough and while she sounded older than 14, I could believe it through context and timing. I feel as though with historical fiction, you can get away with how your MC sounds and acts because of context and this was definitely one of those instances. I think she was really brave and did anything and everything she could to survive and keep her family together. I liked that she was really innovative but also still a child and allowed to be a child in this story. I think the family was really well constructed. I liked that everyone had their role but they were also really dependent on one another. I think there was a lot of pressure for Melia to be the leader but she defected when she had to because it was the right thing to do. I really liked this one. I thought it felt like the time period, had a really strong main character, and enough hope to mix with the sad parts that I found myself smiling as much as I did crying. Overall a well rounded novel with a great message that no matter what life throws at you, you are stronger than it.
Date published: 2016-07-12

Editorial Reviews

"Sublime. . . . a near-perfect novel, rich in voice and emotion. Much like Melia herself, it is brash with bravado, barely concealing an inviting layer of warmth at its core." -The New York Times Book Review on Lucky Strikes"a novel that is narratively gripping, emotionally astute and deeply enjoyable." -The Washington Post on Lucky Strikes"this is a darn good yarn with plenty of room for rooting and more than a few laughs." -Booklist, starred review on Lucky Strikes"the story hurtles to a surprising, honest conclusion-the "you" addressed in the first line is a tender surprise. A grand adventure." -Kirkus, starred review on Lucky Strikes"Featuring a heroine as pragmatic and resourceful as Mary Call from Where the Lilies Bloom, adult author Bayard's (Roosevelt's Beast) poignant Depression-era novel traces the struggles of 14-year-old Melia Hoyle and her siblings after their mother's death." -Publishers Weekly, starred review on Lucky Strikes"Joining the ranks of Scout from Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird and Frankie from Carson McCullers's The Member of the Wedding, Melia is a southern force to be reckoned with. . . . Although Louis Bayard is best known for his historical mysteries (The Pale Blue Eye) and his Downton Abbey recaps in the New York Times, his foray into young adult literature may be his finest work yet." -Shelf Awareness, starred review on Lucky Strikes"Lionhearted Amelia's spirit is relentless and full of moxie. . . a stunning tale. Lucky Strikes is a captivating read with a lot of heart. Sure to appeal to mature audiences that love strong storytelling, language, and historical fiction, as well as stories about misfits and found family." -VOYA, starred review on Lucky StrikesThe Pale Blue Eye"Shockingly clever and devoutly unsentimental . . . reads like a lost classic. Bayard reinvigorates historical fiction." -The New York Times Book Review"Brilliantly plotted and completely absorbing, ending with the kind of shock that few novelists are able to deliver." -Sunday Times (London)"Mr. TimothyA dazzling blend of literary fiction and white-knuckle thriller." -People