Just My Luck by Jennifer Honeybourn (256 pages)

A Straightforward and Easygoing Contemporary set in Hawaii
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Just My Luck by Jennifer Honeybourn (256 pages)

“Just My Luck” Examines Our Thoughts On Karma

Ever since Marty’s dad left, her life has been a bit sideways. Her mom’s on edge and working too much and her brother’s barely been around. While working as a housekeeper at a Hawaiian resort, Marty pocketed a few trinkets from rich guests. But then bad things started happening: her computer crashed, she dropped her phone and cracked the screen—twice—and her long-time crush took her to prom then made out with someone else halfway through. Marty’s tried everything to reverse her luck, and when she finds the box of stuff she stole, she realizes there’s only one way to do it: return the items to their rightful owners. But first, she has to figure out who they belong to. 

Hawaiian Resort where novel is set

Conclusions That Felt Too Easy

The premise of Just My Luck is an intriguing one—returning stolen trinkets, even if they’re cheap, replaceable, and likely weren’t missed, in an attempt to reverse bad luck? I was on board, thinking this would be half mystery and half fun summer beach story. However, the returning-stolen-items plotline took a backseat to the relationships in Marty’s life. She spends the summer avoiding contact with her dad and hardly spending time with her mom, even though she’s using her as an excuse not to travel in her gap year like she planned. And Marty’s falling for one of the resort guests, which is a major no-no according to her supervisor. It’s clear it’s a summer romance, but Marty and Will’s relationship was a little too insta-love for me. Actually, the story overall was a bit heavy-handed with too much telling instead of showing, was occasionally repetitive, and felt almost rushed. 

Though, Marty is, refreshingly, a teenager. She’s not world-weary and therefore does stupid stuff—like try to show off on a surfboard for Will. She hides a cat from her mom and put things off that she knows she should face, even as she’s trying to be a better person and win back her luck. But in the end, the confrontations Marty had with each of her parents and even the conclusion with Will felt too easy and didn’t lead to the satisfying conclusion I was hoping for.

The Bottom Line: 3/5 Brookie Stars

Unfortunately, this one lacked that special something for me. However, if you’ve experienced unexpected change, love the Hawaiian Islands, and don’t mind a bit of straightforward storytelling, then consider giving this one a shot. 

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Jamie Mitchell

Jamie Mitchell is a writer, library assistant, former bookseller, and all-around lover of the written word. She’s currently working on her fifth novel, and if you’re wondering where the other four are, they’re safe on her laptop and in need of rewriting. She lives in Indianapolis with her husband, and enjoys traveling, bookstagramming and experimenting with gluten-free flours.


Favourite book: Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Favourite brunch spot: 1823 Bakehouse


Cafe Neon (Wallace Avenue Location)


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