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 remember seeing bits and pieces about this book here and there. I never quite knew what it was about, but the cover was stunning and I knew it was on my list of books to check out eventually. I wanted to support this author and this book sounded incredible. Accidental murder, girls becoming outlaws, cursed markings, and ghosts!. It definitely sounded like a book that I wanted to give a shot. Trigger warnings: sexual assault, addiction, violence, references to rape and suicide
This book surprised me in a lot of ways. It’s buntal, gut wrenching, and so, so good.
I’m going to start off with the POVs/narration, because it threw me off just a bit. From the synopsis and the book design, I thought all five girls would get a POV. Though, the book’s prolouge is told by Clementine and then the rest of the book is told by Aster. Don’t get me wrong, Aster was a great narrator and an amazing character, I just kind of wish Violet, Tansy, Clementine, and Mallow could have had POVs as well. I loved their stories as side characters, and I think I would have loved them as more main characters as well.
Anyway, one of the things that I liked best about this book was how secure it was in it’s storytelling. It had a vast, complicated world. I got a lot of old west vibes from it! It has different kinds of ghosts, people without shadows, and people who are twisted into torturers and murders. Though, it felt like everything just was. It felt like the real world. Like yes, it feels completely natural for angry spirits to be after the girls as they travel. Every single world building piece fit so snugly in it’s spot that everything felt natural. It was really cool and I feel like it made the world even more immersive.
Kind of along the same lines, the found family was another thing that I loved. But, it didn’t feel like a found family trope. It just felt like a group of people who came together to survive. Who went through horrible things together and just got each other. It just felt like how the book progressed, which made those relationships stronger and more incredible to watch develop.
These relationships didn’t develop like they thought they would, but I still enjoyed all of them. It also made me appreciate Aster’s point of view more. She felt like an unlikely narrator, which made it even more fascinating to be inside her head. I was hoping for a f/f relationship between two certain characters, and I’m still going to hold out hope. Though, there is a f/f side romance! And the m/f side romance is incredibly sweet. Plus, the friendships were top notch.
This book is gut wrenching and brutal. It’s a fight all the way through. It’s set in a horrible, cruel world and the girls have to go through horrible, cruel things. But they’re fighting for freedom, they’re fighting. This book is filled with pain, but it’s also filled with the hardcore determination of five girls fighting for a better life.
I’m very happy I finally picked up this book. It’s gay, it has ghosts (nice ghosts and angry ghosts), it has horses (one of them is named Nugget), it has the drive of five determined girls, and it’s just overall really good!