The Other Side of Luck is a bitter-sweet, middle grade tale told in a lyrical style that would lend itself well to a read-aloud. The style really was quite lovely and soothing to read. The publisher’s note compared this book to An Inquisitor’s Tale, but that is not a comparison I would have made. True, it has intertwining stories, but after that the similarities are not strong.
The books is a quick read with realistic action; a middle grade reader could picture themselves doing the things that Una and Julien do. There is a wisp of fantastical in that Una and Julien each possess a singular talent that is exactly what the other does not have. The pacing was good, but not non-stop. There were some great themes in this book, but sometimes delivered by direct character monologue rather than by gently leading the reader.
With strong male and female protagonists, this is a book that should appeal to both girls and boys. The Other Side of Luck is a charming addition to middle grade literature.
Review of a Digital Advance Reading Copy
This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Violence/Gore: Reported death during childbirth; object deliberately thrown at a person and hits them in the head; character is chased; young character roughly handled, kicked, and tied up; character verbally threatened; individuals stung multiple times by insects; character deliberately pushes cart into someone causing them to fall; attempting kidnapping; character flees pursuers.
Mature Subject Matter:
Death of a parent, kidnapping, economic disparity, illness, poverty/hunger.
Alcohol / Drug Use: