Book Review | The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr

3/5 stars

Lucy used to have her life figured out. She used to be the star. But at 16, with her piano performance life behind her, she’s adjusting to become a regular, average, teen, content with having her ten year old brother in the spotlight. She doesn’t even look at the piano anymore, let alone touch it. Suddenly, a new person comes into her life; Gus’ piano teacher. And he’s determined to bring back Lucy’s love of music back.

May I just say that cover is absolutely stunning! It’s so simple and clean, that I can’t stop looking at it. Also, it really does relate to the storyline very well, and the pink nail polish on the girls’ nails makes it that much more hard hitting.

I really enjoyed Sara Zarr’s writing style. I haven’t read any of her other books, so I can’t make comparisons, but wow, I felt like I was part of the story. Not only are the characters believeable, but the plot (although sometimes quite predictable) flowed smoothly.

Lucy actually seemed like a teenage girl. Sometimes in YA novels, authors have trouble with relating to the teenage angst (ha ha), but Zarr achieved it very well. There was a mix of confusion and anger, blended with love and pride. Her characters weren’t static. All of them were well rounded with the ability to feel emotions. They were believeable.

That being said, there were some things that bothered with me this novel. First of all, Lucy’s “affair” (though it wasn’t really an affair) with Will (Gus’ teacher). I felt that it was unecessary, and it was too ironic that it related to Reyna’s parents. Also I felt like Carson’s place in the plot wasn’t continuous. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but after we find out about something, nothing really comes of it, and I honestly am very curious about it.

Overall, it was a light and easy read, and perhaps because of my background with classical music, it was very relatable to me. I’ll definitely be picking up more of Sara Zarr’s books!


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