Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Review: The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr

The Lucy Variations
 The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr
Lucy Beck-Moreau once had a promising future as a concert pianist. The right people knew her name, her performances were booked months in advance, and her future seemed certain.
That was all before she turned fourteen.
Now, at sixteen, it's over. A death, and a betrayal, led her to walk away. That leaves her talented ten-year-old brother, Gus, to shoulder the full weight of the Beck-Moreau family expectations. Then Gus gets a new piano teacher who is young, kind, and interested in helping Lucy rekindle her love of piano -- on her own terms. But when you're used to performing for sold-out audiences and world-famous critics, can you ever learn to play just for yourself?
National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr takes readers inside the exclusive world of privileged San Francisco families, top junior music competitions, and intense mentorships. The Lucy Variations is a story of one girl's struggle to reclaim her love of music and herself. It's about finding joy again, even when things don't go according to plan. Because life isn't a performance, and everyone deserves the chance to make a few mistakes along the way.
Publishes in US:  May 7th 2013 by Little, Brown BFYR
Genre: YA Contemp
Source: library
Series? No.

Buy it:  Amazon IndieBound Book Depository

Author stalk away: website 

    I liked Lucy Variations, but I will say that it is not quite what I expected. I did like that there was depth to the secondary characters and I saw a lot of different ways the story could have went, that ultimately I probably would have liked better. 
    But I did like Lucy, I saw that she grew a lot and figured out how to stand up for herself, that her family couldn't dictate what she loves and what she can do. She went through some hard times to figure that out, but the journey was worth it in the end. Her best friend Reyna wasn't perfect, but I think it gives a good portrayal of what it really means to have a friend in high school, you will not always see eye to eye on every issue, and they might be annoying with their issues sometimes, but news flash, so are you. I also liked Carson. I think that there was a bit of build up there, and I wish that it would have went there romantically instead of going the bad choice route again, but I see the reasons why Ms. Zarr wrote it how she did. 
    Family is a big issue in this one, and it is one of the main focuses besides music of course. They are not ideal in some aspects, but they are together, and they are willing to (eventually) learn from their mistakes, and work things out together. My favorite was the relationship with Lucy and Gus, her little brother. The protectiveness, loyalty, understanding and playfulness all drew me in and I wanted another scene with them. They bicker and ultimately have a big argument, but they still love each other, and at the end of the day are bro and sis. I also liked their dad, he wasn't traditional to speak of, and he is the only non-musical in the family, but he can also see things in a way that the others can't because it wasn't always a way of life for him. 
    It was well paced and kept my attention, and although I did feel the ending was a little rushed, I liked where it ultimately went and the place it left Lucy in. The writing was powerful and it all tied together to make a beautifully crafted story. Even with my wishes for her to fall for a different character, I still can't deny the draw of the story as is, and how a romantic interest within reach could have really set her eyes of what she wants to do now with her life. 

Bottom Line: Like the concept and most of the execution, do wish it would have taken another path romantically.

Books similar to :(links go to my review) Rival, Sing Me to Sleep, Sea of Tranquility

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you ever wish you were great at something?
Follow on Bloglovin


  1. Hmm, not sure if this one is for me. Happy some of it was good.

  2. Hm, I'm curious about the romantic development you weren't comfortable with. I still haven't read anything by Zarr, but I'm going to.

  3. I haven't heard of this one before, but since you say it is similar to Sea of Tranquility I'll have to look into it. Great review.

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

  4. I'm glad you liked this, despite your issues with the story. Nice review!

  5. I have this one, I think. I do remember reading some mixed reviews but I'm glad you ended up enjoying it.

  6. I'm still on the fence about reading this one. I'm glad you liked it, but sorry you felt the romance didn't develop in the right direction.

  7. Great review. I'm not sure this is one that I would pick up, but I am happy that you enjoyed it.

  8. Lucy seems like a really great character. I confess I didn't know this book at all.

  9. Not sure about this one cos of that last thing

  10. rushed endings can be awful. i've heard of this one before but i haven't read it. thanks for the review :)

  11. Ha-Ha yes I wish I was great at Writing!! Great review of this one. The synopsis really sets this one up to sound like the Sea of Tranquility. I LOVED Sing Me To Sleep, but I'm not sure about this one. Love your honesty.

  12. I'm sorry this wasn't all it could have been for you, Brandi.

  13. I thought the writing for this was very well-done but there wasn't much of an emotional connection for me, which is what I like to see in my books!

  14. Nice review Brandi. The Lucy Variations sounds like a nice read, but looks like you were backing the wrong boy!


I would love to hear from you! (I always try to visit your blog back) I love links, so feel free to link to your blog or a post you like.
Sorry, but I am award and tag free zone, I do not have the time to return. Comments are reward enough :)