Love, Lucas, written by Chantele Sedgwick, is a sweet addition to the Young Adult world of books. It’s a heartfelt story about learning to love again after experiencing pain and loss. The book itself is a quick read. It’s only 269 pages, not counting the one chapter preview for Sedgwick’s next book attached at the end. All 269 pages are intriguing. I picked up the book around 5pm and didn’t stop reading until I finished it around 10:30pm that night.
The story opens on Oakley attending her older brother, Lucas’s, funeral. Lucas was Oakley’s best friend. Ever since he was diagnosed with cancer, Oakley’s life had revolved around getting Lucas better. Now that he’s gone, Oakley can’t escape her pain. Her parents can’t stop fighting and are on the verge of divorce. Desperate for a change, Oakley travels with her mother from Utah to Huntington Beach, California to live with her Aunt Jo. Once she arrives, she’s given a journal that Lucas left for her. Each entry is a letter to Oakley about Lucas’s random thoughts and advice for his little sister. Each day she reads an entry and tries to take Lucas’s advice to move on. Over time, she makes new friends in Huntington Beach, meets the hot surfer that becomes the love of her life, discovers a future career in veterinary medicine, and ultimately learns to forgive and move on.
I personally enjoyed how each letter from Lucas is complete with a life lesson. Lucas has more wisdom in his final days than most people gain in a lifetime. He encourages Oakley to take risks, learn something new, and perhaps most importantly, to tell the people you love how you feel while you can. His lessons help put a positive spin on loss. He helps not just Oakley, but also readers find hope in loss.
The idea of leaving Oakley the letters is also very clever. It reminds me of a movie based on the novel P.S. I Love You, by Cecelia Ahern, where a man left letters for his wife to find after his death. The movie version did pretty well and is one of my personal favorites. This story took a similar concept and made it applicable to young adults and siblings. Fans of the movie would probably enjoy this book as well.
Next, this book has a lot of cute references to fandoms. Two examples include shoutouts to Star Wars and The Hunger Games. We love our fandoms here at Fangirl Nation, so this was a source of joy to me. In terms of writing, including the references was also a smart decision. The fact that the characters like and know the same fandoms as me made them seem even more relatable.
This book is definitely worth a read. If you would like more information, check out Sedgwick’s website: http://chantelesedgwick.blogspot.com.
Make sure you get caught up fast! This book will have a sequel coming out in February of 2017, titled Switching Gears. Oakley will not be the main character in this book, but someone who was once friends with Oakley, and deeply in love with Lucas, will be getting her turn in the spot light.