The Higher Power of Lucky
by Susan Patron
Enjoyable, quirky, funny, even touching—is there a better way to do Young Adult Literature? What I like best about it, though, is the sense of place that Patron develops—the overly-small town, the oddities of the characters that would live in such a place—even her focusing on desert wildlife (such as it is—mostly insects and arachnids)—through all that, the LIFE of a tiny desert town really rang true.
Other things that I liked: when she wrote about Lucky and used imagery like "brain crevices" and "meanness glands;" the way she had Lucky eavesdropping on an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting to try to figure out more about a "higher power;" the way she wrote Lucky period; the sense of pathos of small lives affected by things bigger than themselves and how they deal with it (on all sorts of levels, from the desert critters, to the children in the town, to the entire town itself).
One trouble I had with the book was a personal one: the setting was so strong it left the aftertaste of the desert in my mouth, which I found unpleasant. (The story is set in the Mojave Desert, where I just happened to grow up—though in a different part than Lucky did—however, it hit a little too close to home in some areas for me.)