Get Lucky – Book Review

First: I got fired. For emailing a website with hundreds of pictures of breasts to every single person in our company. Even the CEO and chairman of the board. Even the summer interns.

Looking back, I may have been ready to leave my job. I’d like to give myself the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes the crazy things I do are actually very sensible. And sometimes, of course, they’re just crazy. – from the ARC of Get Lucky, page 3 –

Sarah Harper has a great job. She lives in New York City. She has just finished up a huge bra advertising campaign and is looking at a promotion…that is, until she sends an inappropriate email to everyone in the company. Jobless and disillusioned, Sarah jets off to her hometown of Houston to spend some time with her sister Mackie and within 24 hours comes up with an idea to fulfill her sister’s dream of having a child. Sarah offers to be a surrogate for her sister and brother-in-law…and although her heart is in the right place, she has no idea what she has gotten herself into.

Get Lucky, Katherine Center’s latest novel, is about mothers and daughters, the love between sisters (with all the conflict that entails), and searching for meaning in one’s life while dodging the pitfalls. Center has hit a home run with Get Lucky, a novel with pitch perfect dialogue, wonderful characters, and Center’s signature humor. There is no other author out there who does women’s fiction better.

What I especially loved about this book was the relationship between Mackie and Sarah – two sisters who are still grieving the death of the mother who they lost in childhood. Mackie is the older sister…married to the perfect guy and longing for a baby which has alluded her due to endometriosis. Sarah is the achiever, well put together, but with issues around intimacy – specifically she avoids it. Different in temperament and lifestyle, Mackie and Sarah are also more than best friends.

I should mention that my sister and I were close. We weren’t best friends exactly, though – because a best friend is a person you choose. A best friend, in most cases, is a temporary person, too, until she moves away, or gets a promotion and starts working too hard, or just drifts off. Friends depend on a certain amount of convenience. With friends, you have to have their number handy, or work in the same office, or live in the same city. With sisters, none of that matters. And in the end, for me, that would be a lucky thing. – from the ARC of Get Lucky, page 15 –

Center captures the relationship between sisters perfectly, with the small nuances which most people might miss…and this is something I love about Center’s writing: I feel like I know these people. Center takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary through believable dialogue and the ridiculous nature of life which often leaves us in situations which only later make us laugh. She keeps her readers reading because they can see themselves and the people they love within the pages of her novels.

It was not just the relationship between Mackie and Sarah which engaged me. Center also introduces an old high-school boyfriend of Sarah’s…and despite a bit of predictability, I loved the tension and conflict, the dodge and parry, between these two characters. Some of the scenes between these two were the funniest in the book, and in the end, I found myself rooting for them.

Center’s novels work because they touch on the real issues and emotions which women face. In Get Lucky, there is laughter, tears, drama and, finally, wisdom.

Of course, kisses can’t change your personality. Or anesthetize life’s pains. Or bring your mother back to you. Life is always a struggle between who you are and who you’d like to be. It’s always a negotiation between how you want it and how it is. There’s no changing that. – from the ARC of Get Lucky, page 261 –

I loved this book…by far, my favorite of Center’s three novels (although they are all great). Readers who enjoy women’s fiction will not want to miss this novel. Trust me.

Highly recommended.

Read other reviews by visiting the tour page at TLC Book Tours.

Read my tour of the book.

FTC Disclosure: This Advance Readers Edition was sent to me from the publisher for review on my blog.

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  1. I loved this book too. It was my first experience with Center’s work, but it won’t be my last!

    • Anita on April 8, 2010 at 09:07

    What a lovely review. I picked up the book the other day, need to finish what I’m reading now.
    I can’t wait to look around your blog some more. I found you via Katherine’s facebook.

  2. Can you believe that I’ve never read this author???? Loved your review and now I’m going to have to add her works to my must read list!

    • Kay on April 8, 2010 at 10:22

    I’m looking forward to reading this book. I have never read this author either. Sounds like good times to come.

  3. It sounds like there is a lot of complexity in this story, and the plot point about the surrogacy really interests me. Like I mentioned in another post, the fact that this book is also about the relationship between sisters also is intriguing to me. I am glad that you liked the book and hope to read it soon as well. I will have to come back to this review after I have read the book to compare my thoughts and let you know what I think. Thanks!

  4. Hooray! I love this fantastic review! It was such a pleasure to read. Thank you for all your kind words. It’s been such a great start for Get Lucky!
    Man good wishes!!

  5. The part of becoming a surrogate mother to your sister’s child is interesting. I love how the author gave definition what a best friend is. The way you describe Sarah and Mackie, I think the author was able to mold their characters and so much interesting personality were included on both sisters.

    • Shonda on April 9, 2010 at 03:23

    Great review Wendy! I haven’t read any books by her, however I have read great reviews for all three of her books. I’m excited to read this one.

  6. Thank you for your great review, Wendy. I am not familiar with this author, but it sounds like I should be. It sounds like the author develops her characters well–always a plus in my book.

    • Lisamm on April 10, 2010 at 06:32

    Wendy, I’m so happy you liked the book!! Thanks so much for being on the tour and for your consistently wonderful reviews.

    • Wendy on April 11, 2010 at 16:19

    Kathy: Glad you loved the book – and her first two are just as good!

    Anita: Thanks for visiting! I hope you’ll enjoy the book!

    Staci: Oh, you will not be disappointed. Center’s book are fabulous!

    Kay: I think you’ll really enjoy her work.

    Zibilee: I really liked the sister aspect of the work. I hope you’ll enjoy the book – and definitely come back and let me know !

    Katherine: THANK YOU so much for stopping by my blog! This was a very easy review for me to write because I loved the book – and wanted to share my enthusiasm for it 🙂

    Vic: Yes, she did a great job with the characterizations.

    Shonda: Thanks! I haven’t read any bad reviews for Center’s books…I have a feeling you’d enjoy them all.

    Wendy-Cat: One of the best parts about the characters are they feel very real … and they make me laugh!

    Lisa: You’re welcome – as always, it is my pleasure to do these book tours 🙂 Thank you for your kind words.

    • Aths on April 13, 2010 at 04:18

    I’m looking forward to reading this one… Glad to get a holistic picture from your review!

    • Wendy on April 14, 2010 at 06:45

    Aths: Hope you’ll love it!!

    • Margie Adams on August 1, 2011 at 05:08

    HI, just love your book reviews – am always looking for ‘winners’ for my book club – your blog certainly is inspiring – would be the best if you could list your books by preference – the top book /books being your favourite or 5 * – makes selecting books for the book club easier. Job well done – thanks….

    • Wendy on August 1, 2011 at 06:41

    Thanks, Margie – glad you are enjoying my site! I can see where tracking books by rating might be helpful – although I don’t know if I want to add one more thing for me to track *laughs* You can find all the five star rated books on my blog by going to the category drop down box in the sidebar and selecting “five-ten star books”

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