Review: Wanna Get Lucky? by Deborah Coonts

How did I get it: The library.

Why did I get it: I saw the audio book and was intrigued by aspects of the plot. I figured it would be a pleasant change. After getting sick of the lousy attempt at male voices, I switched to the book.

How I would rate it: 2.5 out of 5 stars.

My Summary: Lucky O’Toole is the head of Customer Relations at Babylon so when a young women formally employed there plunges to her death from a helicopter, she begins to help with damage control. Complicating the matter is Dane, a security guard and possible suspect. Then there’s the Big Boss who was on the helicopter the night everything went wrong. As if she didn’t have enough to do, Lucky also has to get ready for the adult film industry’s awards banquet, a wife-swapping convention and Electronicon.

My Review: I want to start off by saying that Wanna Get Lucky? honestly could have been a 4 or 5 star book if it had remained as compelling and entertaining as its beginning. Instead I am still too annoyed with this book to even give it a 3.

So why did things turn out the way they did? you might be wondering. How did a swell little book end up with a rating like this? Allow me to explain.

I started off really liking this book and really liking Lucky in spite of the audio book being very annoying. Why? First of all, the male voices all sounded like very old men playing checkers in front of a saloon. Second of all the narrator could not say one of the character’s names right. Instead of being called Paxton Dane, she must have called him Pickston Dean at least a thousand times in the space of a few chapters. It was so distracting.

I found Lucky’s daily work routine and lack of an actual life fascinating enough to continue in spite of these problems. I liked her sense of humor and the fact that she was a real tomboy who can’t commit and that her best friend, Teddie, a female impersonator is in love with her. Teddie was a wonderful character too, and I was really liked him. Even Dane wasn’t such a bad character, and had an interesting way of dealing with Lucky’s crazy life. I even liked Lucky’s mother running a brothel. I was so thrilled to have a book where I liked everyone.I really liked the style, the Vegas I was visiting, and the quirky light-hearted feel of it all.

Eventually I decided I’d be better served with the book and I’d get it done quickly. But sadly my progress was impaired for a lot of other reasons.

As I noted in the summary, the book opens with a murder and mystery to solve. For the first half of the book, the murder is important, but as the story continues, very few characters are ever presented as culprits. In fact as soon as they’re named, you know they’re the bad characters because Lucky doesn’t like them and for the most part she likes everyone else. I couldn’t figure out why the murder stopped mattering to the point where saving the casino management is more important than the actual victim everyone was so sad about.  I wouldn’t have minded so much if this book wasn’t considered a mystery, but it is. I might not have even minded though if the death hadn’t been so very much a big deal for the first half of the book, but it really was.

Sadly though this is not the first big deal to fall to the wayside, wrap itself up neatly due to a lack of options or spontaneously occur towards the second half of the book.

At first, as I said earlier, Lucky is just fun to follow around, which is important in a book using first person point of view. But suddenly it felt it had been decided that readers were not going to like Lucky as much as they could if someone let them know how awesome Lucky was. At some point I think nearly every male character in the book had announced how awesome or how amazing Lucky was. In fact that is what Teddie literally says to Lucky. I felt so insulted as a reader. But it gets better. In case I hadn’t been brainwashed into thinking Lucky was awesome, she shoots a snake in the head when security guards are too startled to deal with it attempting to strangle someone to death. Seriously. She shoots a snake. An anaconda, in fact.

Why did that have to happen? Why? I already thought Lucky was interesting, plucky, wonderfully sarcastic and that already she had a billion things to do. I wanted to like Lucky. I did like Lucky. I still sort of like Lucky, but less than I would have without being told she was awesome and without her killing an anaconda. I definitely would feels less like all the readers of this book were expected to be too dense to like the main female protagonist without an insane amount of prompting and poking from her fictional friends.

With all of this insanity going on, you’d think the story would remain slightly complex or fun at the very least, but everything falls into place so easily and quickly that I only feel bored or occasionally stunned by it all. A lot of this is left to the very end of the book too when there’s only five or so chapters remaining. Suddenly not only is Lucky the best thing since sliced bread, but everyone listens to her and follows her plans. And wouldn’t you know it, all her relationship issues and all her family issues sort themselves out in about for reasons that I cannot understand at all. This is the first book in a series. Why solve all of Lucky’s problems including getting a life of her own and learning the identity of her father in book one? Why do that? I honestly don’t get it.

Anyway, because she’s “so amazing,” Lucky saves the day and outsmarts the bad guys that the reader knows nothing about because the details only get shared with the reader long after Lucky has outwitted everyone. I really dislike the idea that it was more important to note that Lucky was awesome all the time than to let the reader in on the plot. It wasn’t like the reveal was all that exciting anyway because, as I mentioned before, there was never a concrete list of suspects.

I guess that’s probably all I wanted to really note in this review. I feel so disappointed and betrayed by this book. I really liked Lucky. I really liked the idea of Lucky being the tough one and Teddie being the sensitive one. The idea was terrific and refreshing, and I was really interested in the murder. I wish the book had just been allowed to be quirky and fun.

In conclusion, not a horrible book but still sort of not my cup of tea in a lot of ways. I am currently too miffed to wanna get Lucky’s sequel. But if I ever need a change of pace and get over how I feel right now, I might check out the second book. At least the second time around, I will know better than to have any great expectations.


About April

I'm a librarian, reader, and writer whose main goal in life is to be able to swim in books the way Scrooge McDuck swims in money. Although my reading choices will always be wildly eclectic and I never plan on leaving any genre unexplored, my favorite reads tend to be Fantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Gay Romance, or Historical Fiction. You can e-mail me at inspector[dot]librarian[at]gmail[dot]com.
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One Response to Review: Wanna Get Lucky? by Deborah Coonts

  1. Pingback: Disappointing Reads of 2011 | CSI: Librarian

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