The Good Luck Girls
Author: Charlotte Nicole Davis
Publication Date: 01 October 2019
Genre: YA – dystopian, fantasy, magical realism
Publisher: Tor Teen
Aster, the protector
Violet, the favorite
Tansy, the medic
Mallow, the fighter
Clementine, the catalyst
THE GOOD LUCK GIRLS
The country of Arketta calls them Good Luck Girls–they know their luck is anything but. Sold to a “welcome house” as children and branded with cursed markings. Trapped in a life they would never have chosen.
When Clementine accidentally murders a man, the girls risk a dangerous escape and harrowing journey to find freedom, justice, and revenge in a country that wants them to have none of those things. Pursued by Arketta’s most vicious and powerful forces, both human and inhuman, their only hope lies in a bedtime story passed from one Good Luck Girl to another, a story that only the youngest or most desperate would ever believe.
It’s going to take more than luck for them all to survive.
I’m always a sucker for dystopian novels because they tend to create situations and worlds that are not as far-fetched as one may think. I was initially drawn to The Good Luck Girls because it was toted as Westworld meets The Handmaid’s Tale. Before I get into the review, I want to make it very clear that this book deals with sex-trafficking and is not a situation of volunteer sex-workers (not judging those that do, but I think there’s some people that have confused those two concepts going into this book). That being said, it is authentic, honest, and cringe-worthy. It is a powerful must-read.
Clementine ‘Clem’ is one of the good luck girls in her welcome house. It’s Clem’s sixteenth birthday, which means it’s time for her “lucky night”, which is a rite of passage where the girls lose their virginity to a paying ‘brag’ of the welcome house. This solidifies their positions as night workers. Some girls use Sweet Thistle to numb their emotions, but prior to Clem’s lucky night, Aster (her biological sister) begs her not to.
The scene that unfolds between Clem and her brag is terrifying, and I felt her fear in my bones. She clearly does not want to go through the process and things turn aggressive. Luckily, Clem is able to think quickly and defend herself. Unfortunately (well not really in my opinion since it was a grown man trying to rape a sixteen year old girl), Clem kills the brag in the process. This brag is no ordinary customer. He turns out to be the son of one of the most influential men in the country. Aster and Clem must make a run for their lives. Tansy, Mallow, and Violet use this opportunity to help the sisters as well as escape the hell that is the welcome house.
The girls band together on a life-threatening adventure to find Lady Ghost. It has been rumored that Lady Ghost is able to remove the favor that is tattooed on their necks. These favors are what mark them as good luck girls and makes it impossible for them to hide in society. Additionally, the girls also face overt racism as most good luck girls are ‘dustbloods’ aka POCs where the ‘fairbloods’ are the controllers of society.
Overall, if you’re looking for a fast-paced story that is part dystopian, part Wild West, part fantasy, and part magical realism then definitely read this book. This stunning debut will have you cheering these girls on as they fight to survive.
Thank you to Tor Teen and Bookish First for the ARC. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.
Is The Good Luck Girls on your TBR? Have you read it yet?