Almost a year ago, May lost her twin brother in a school shooting. People call her a survivor, but no one understand what May heard and saw that day. No one knows why she was the only one to walk out of the room that day. Even May doesn’t know. Her best friend is the only one who doesn’t try to push her, who tries to understand, and who drags her out of the house every now and then.
Zach lost everything when his mom decided to represent the shooter. His girlfriend dumped him, his friends dropped him, and his parents had already basically left him and his little sister to their own devices. But Zach’s best friend insists he go with him to band practice one night.
That’s where Zach meets May. And where May finally gets a hint that maybe, just maybe, she can start to live again.
The Lucky Ones deals with the emotional aftermath of a school shooting, with what those who survived must face. It doesn’t focus much on the violence and horror of the shooting, but on the gaping wounds the survivors bear.
May’s not sure she’ll ever get past the emotional scars and the guilt she has for being the one who lived. For the most part, both May’s parents and Zach’s parents are so wrapped up in their own issues they don’t even notice their children are suffering, except towards the end of the novel. This is a different view of a school shooting, of the damage done in the aftermath of violence, and I found it a compelling read.
Liz Lawson lives in California. The Lucky Ones is her debut novel.
(Galley courtesy of Random House/Delacorte Press in exchange for an honest review.)