Just My Luck by Adele Parks

Just My Luck is the cautionary tale of what can happen after a big lottery win; never has the phrase ‘be careful what you wish for’ been more apt.

Lexi and Jake, along with two other couples, have been buying a lottery ticket with the same numbers for the last fifteen years. The others have decided they no longer want to play, and then they win the 17.8 million jackpot. To begin with Carla and Patrick, and Jennifer and Fred, still think they are entitled to a share. The three couples were supposed to be such good friends, but as more of the story unfolds it is hard to see why.

All the main characters, with the exception of Lexi, are unlikeable in some way. Although not perfect either, Lexi is the one I have most sympathy for as she seeks to do some good with the windfall.  Before the money has even been deposited in their bank account, Jake has completely lost it – buying sports cars, organizing extravagant parties and flaunting their newly acquired wealth – making ticking the privacy box no longer an option. He changes overnight, makes decisions without consulting her and sets a really bad example for their children, Emily and Logan. Has he simply been hiding his true nature all along?

Little by little, secrets are revealed and nothing is what it seems. I genuinely did not see the shocking twists and revelations coming, and found myself reading far into the night to find out what happens next. The ending is very satisfying, but you’ll have to read it for yourself.

The story is told from several points of view – mostly by Lexi, with some chapters by Emily (but there were places where her voice as a fifteen-year-old girl was not quite convincing), and occasional contributions from Toma Albu, a client of Lexi’s at the CAB, whose story seems unrelated to begin with. This is a much more complex story than it seemed at first, with one revelation after another, emphasizing the point that money can’t buy you happiness.

I have not read any books by Adele Parks before, but I was really impressed with Just My Luck and intend explore her back catalogue as soon as I can.