Cover image for The Good Luck Girls
Title:
The Good Luck Girls
ISBN:
9781250299703
Edition:
1st ed.
Physical Description:
351 pages ; 22 cm.
Summary:
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 kills 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. --
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Summary

Summary

A Kirkus Reviews 2019 Best of the Year Selection.

Westworld meets The Handmaid's Tale in this stunning fantasy adventure from debut author Charlotte Nicole Davis.

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 kills 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.


Author Notes

A graduate of The New School's Writing for Children MFA program, CHARLOTTE NICOLE DAVIS loves comic book movies and books with maps in the front. She currently lives in Brooklyn with a cat with a crooked tail. The Good Luck Girls is her debut novel.


Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 10 Up--This first installment in a new fantasy adventure is perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo's Six of Crows and Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. The story is told from two sisters' alternating points of view. The sisters were sold at a young age to a "Welcome House" and were destined for a life of sex work. But after the younger sister accidentally kills a customer, the girls take off with three other "Good Luck Girls." Pursued by law enforcement and supernatural forces, they must survive at all costs. Some readers may be overwhelmed with the large cast introduction and world-building early in the novel, but things speed up as the plot progresses. The various romances and supernatural aspects of this book may deter some readers since there is already so much going on with fleshing out the characters' backstories. The romances are somewhat rushed and lack development, seeming to appear out of nowhere. However, the overarching themes of equality between genders and socioeconomic classes will keep readers rooting for the heroes. Fans will, undoubtedly, have many questions at the end of the novel and will be anxious for the next installment. VERDICT Teen readers will devour this romp set in a fantastical Wild West--style world, filled with a diverse cast of strong female leads.--Melanie Leivers, Burnhaven Library, Burnsville, MN


Publisher's Weekly Review

In this ambitious, uneven debut, the historical Old West--flavored landscape of post--Empire Arketta sets the stage for monstrous spirits, men who trade their humanity for power, and shadowless girls with cursed tattoos called favors. When Clementine accidentally kills her first client at the Green Creek brothel, her older sister, Aster, springs into action, and alongside Clem's best friends, transforms Clem's accident into a shot at freedom. Sycophantic, cold Violet, the only girl there with a shadow, begs to join them, promising to lead the way to a legendary woman who can remove their favors. On their journey to find Lady Ghost and evade their cruel pursuers, the girls must decide how far they'll go to try to escape their past. While many of the characters lack depth, Aster shines as a protagonist who harnesses her trauma and anger in a world in which her past is literally indelible. And while the plot relies on some contrivance and is sometimes overshadowed by the intricate worldbuilding, Davis creates institutions, systems, and power dynamics with real-world echoes, making the themes timely and resonant. Ages 13--up. Agent: Allison Hellegers, Rights People. (Oct.)


Kirkus Review

In an alternate Wild West, five girls are on the run.On the night of her sister's debut into the world of prostitution, Aster tells Clementine to think of a song to distract herself. They are Good Luck Girls, indentured sex workers from poor, sharecropping families of a social underclass known as dustbloods. There is no outward difference between a dustblood and a fairblood, but generations ago, dustbloods had their shadows torn away, and since then their children have been born without them. When Clementine accidentally murders her first "brag," or customer, Aster knows they must run for it. In seeking help, she unwittingly recruits three other girls itching to escape, and the five head north, where fairblood Violet insists a woman named Lady Ghost can help by removing their favors, mystical tattoos applied to the throats of Good Luck Girls that cannot be disguised. And thus begins their adventure, which also involves robbing men who deserve it and having to avoid vicious ghosts called vengeants and soulless, evil club bouncers/bounty hunters called raveners. Inventive language and outlaw girls are nothing new in Westerns, but debut author Davis' richly imagined setting goes deeper than that, questioning the difference between ethics and law, exploring the complexity of socio-economic advantage and disadvantage, and exposing the lengths men will go to control and constrain women. Characters have varying shades of skin, from light to dark, and hair of different colors and textures.This one is a winner. (Speculative adventure. 14-adult) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Most girls who live in the welcome house were sold into it when times grew too hard for their families; very occasionally one like Violet is born there, the result of a failed medical procedure. Aster has already had her ""Lucky Night"" and works in the house, servicing the men who visit it each night. Her sister, Clementine, is about to have her own Lucky Night, which will mark her transition from ""daybreak girl"" to ""sundown girl."" But when Clementine accidentally kills the man she was supposed to spend the night with, she and Aster have to run. They're joined by Violet and two daybreak girls, but hope is slim: magical flower tattoos mark them as Good Luck Girls, and their one chance at escape may be only a story. Violet and Aster are both sexual assault survivors, and while all rape happens off the page, their trauma is evident and addressed, as is all the girls'. This dystopian debut is deeply connected to today's social issues, and readers will feel that impact.--Maggie Reagan Copyright 2010 Booklist