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4.2 48
by Rachel Vail

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It's all good . . . and lucky Phoebe Avery plans to celebrate by throwing an end-of-the-year bash with her four closest friends. Everything will be perfect—from the guest list to the fashion photographer to the engraved invitations. The only thing left to do is find the perfect dress . . . until Phoebe goes from having it all to hiding all she's


It's all good . . . and lucky Phoebe Avery plans to celebrate by throwing an end-of-the-year bash with her four closest friends. Everything will be perfect—from the guest list to the fashion photographer to the engraved invitations. The only thing left to do is find the perfect dress . . . until Phoebe goes from having it all to hiding all she's lost.

Phoebe's older sisters warn her to keep the family's crisis totally secret. Unfortunately, her alpha-girl best friend looks increasingly suspicious, and Phoebe's crush starts sending seriously mixed signals. Phoebe tries hard to keep smiling, but when her mother is humiliated in Neiman Marcus while buying Phoebe that perfect dress and her father decides to cancel her party, she panics. How far will she go to keep up her image as a lucky girl?

With lucky, Rachel Vail begins a powerful sisterhood trilogy, comprised of one book for each of the three fascinating Avery sisters, with all their secrets laid bare during the year that completely changes their lives. Phoebe is the youngest; her story combines first love and flip-flops, friendship and sisterhood, humor and tears. Breezy, witty, and poignant, lucky is Rachel Vail at her breathtaking best.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Vail (You, Maybe) again demonstrates a penetrating insight into the concerns of young teen girls, this time upending the conventions of the rich-girl novel. In the first of a trilogy about three sisters, 14-year-old Phoebe, the appealing narrator, and her two older siblings have been coached to view themselves and their über-successful investor mother as Valkyries ("Nobody-nothing-can intimidate us. We will never back down; we will never surrender," their mother tells them over breakfast). Less a Valkyrie than a people-pleaser, Phoebe has joined her best friends to plan a lavish eighth-grade graduation party, for which Phoebe has picked out a Vera Wang gown. But when her mother gets fired abruptly for what could be shady dealings, Phoebe is forced to think about money for the first time, and to wonder how much effect it has on her friendships and popularity. Vail gets the relationships exactly right, from the shifting twosomes among the sisters to the changing attitudes among the eighth-grade friends and their parents, and most especially, the shifts in behavior within her protagonist. Readers will absorb this in one fell swoop. Ages 12-up. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Anna Byrd
Phoebe Avery is anxiously awaiting her middle school graduation. According to everyone who sees Phoebe's life from the outside in, she has everything a girl could want: she is beautiful, popular, rich, and carefree. Everyone, including her older sisters Allison and Quinn, describe her as lucky. As May begins, so does the planning for the extravagant graduation party for Phoebe and her four best friends, complete with a photographer, balloon animal centerpieces, and $100 dresses. Through a series of events, Phoebe finds herself caught in the middle of several situations that make her question who she is, who she wants to become, and whether or not she can always handle problems on her own. Arguments and misunderstandings test her friendships, old and possibly new boyfriends are a scary subject, and relationships within her family find new directions. Her life has always been wonderful and carefree, but when Phoebe now makes decisions, she feels as if she is constantly stuck between what others want for her and what she wants for herself. Is Phoebe as lucky as everyone thinks she is? This wonderful book shows with impeccable accuracy the thoughts and lives of a young teenage girl and her sisters, and the relationships that seem so hard at this poignant age. Rachel Vail brings her characters to life and makes readers eagerly await the next books in the series which will detail life through the eyes of the other two Avery sisters. Reviewer: Anna Byrd
VOYA - Amanda MacGregor
Everything has always come easy for Phoebe Avery. She is lucky, and she knows it. She lives in a mansion, has parents who spoil her, is class president, and has four best friends. About to graduate eighth grade, Phoebe and her pals plan an extravagant party to celebrate the end of middle school. When Phoebe finds out that her mother, the family's breadwinner, has been fired, her lucky streak ends. Determined to keep her situation under wraps, Phoebe looks for an excuse to pull out of the party that her family now cannot afford. She picks a fight with Kirstyn, her closest friend, accusing her of commandeering the planning of what Phoebe now feels is a tacky, excessive affair. In her haste to get out of the party while still keeping her secret, Phoebe worries she might have lost her friends in favor of saving face. Initially it is difficult to muster up much sympathy for Phoebe, whose life of privilege has created both a sense of entitlement and a lack of knowledge about real-world money issues. But Phoebe is more than just a one-dimensional character. Phoebe does not understand her family's money troubles, but she knows she does not want charity or pity. Her confusion over how to deal with this news and how it could affect her relationships feels genuine and realistic. The loss she experiences has less to do with shallow things like money and status and more to do with the deep complexities of security and friendship. Reviewer: Amanda MacGregor
School Library Journal

Gr 6-8- Rich girls, extravagant spending, and an elaborate party sound like the recipe for yet another in the long series of spoiled-rotten-girl books that have been abundant in the past few years. Luckily, this one is different. The first in a trilogy about the Avery sisters, it focuses on the youngest, Phoebe, whose picture-perfect family is facing a challenge. Mr. Avery is a kindergarten teacher, and it is clear that Mrs. Avery's income maintains the family's lifestyle: cars, housekeeper, pool, vacations, and a nanny who spends a lot of her time chauffeuring the girls around. When a business deal falls apart and threatens the family's financial security, loyalties, priorities, and relationships are brought into question. What rings so true is Phoebe's complete ignorance about money. Her family has it, they've always had it, and they never talk about it. It is a real transformation in the eighth grader's life when all of a sudden her parents start talking about what things cost and what they can (and can't) afford. Readers will find that the middle school characters act appropriately for their ages and the parents, while peripheral, are essential to their children's sense of self as young adults. Kindness and understanding emerge in unexpected, fresh, and satisfying ways, and readers will be looking forward to finding out what lies ahead for the Avery family.-Genevieve Gallagher, Murray Elementary School, Charlottesville, VA

Kirkus Reviews
Phoebe, "pretty, popular [and] rich," knows that she is lucky. Now 14 and about to graduate eighth grade, she's the youngest of the Avery women, Valkyries all: her beautiful, high-powered mother and her two older sisters. Then, just when Phoebe and her closest girlfriends are planning an exorbitantly expensive graduation party, Phoebe's luck runs out. She discovers that her mother, the main breadwinner in her family, has been fired, blamed for a big investment gone bad. Afraid to tell her acquisitive friends that she can no longer afford her share of the party, Phoebe tries to manipulate her way out, pretending that the party has become too overblown and blaming her best friend for the lapse. The story, which has a touching ending and something to say about the connections between friendship, trust and money, wants to have it both ways, however-for Phoebe to learn the lesson that being lucky in life isn't about stuff, it's about having family and friends who will stand by you-without forcing her to sacrifice anything real. (Fiction. 12 & up)
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“This is superior for its realism, its moderation, and its understated complexity of characters and relationships. Readers will drink up the drama and impatiently await the planned follow up titles.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)
“This is superior for its realism, its moderation, and its understated complexity of characters and relationships. Readers will drink up the drama and impatiently await the planned follow up titles.”

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Avery Sisters Trilogy , #1
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File size:
419 KB
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt


Chapter One

Our toaster is moody.

When I got down to the kitchen this morning, just my sisters were there. I said good morning to them. Allison grunted. Quinn said, "Morning. Waffles?" She was putting three frozen waffles into the toaster, one for each of us.

"Yum," I said, but I couldn't wait, so I grabbed a Smoothie out of the fridge. "Where's my Teen Vogue?"

"Should be in the trash. How can you read that crap?" Allison said, grabbing the Smoothie out of my hand to read the label. "You like these?"

I shrugged. "I wake up hungry."

"I'd give anything for your metabolism," Allison grumbled, handing the Smoothie back to me.

"Trade you for your white sweater," I said between gulps.

"I wish." She kicked off her sneakers.

"You're both skinnier than I am, so shut up," Quinn commented without looking up from whatever she was doing on her laptop.

"I'm not skinny," Allison said, yanking off her socks. "I'm interesting looking."

"Get over it," Quinn said. "Grandma didn't mean anything—"

"She meant ugly," Allison interrupted, stomping barefoot toward the back hall. "Whatever. Phoebe, did you take my new flip-flops?"

"No!" I yelled, trying to remember if I had.

The toaster lever popped up. "Phoebe!" Allison yelled at me from inside the back hall closet. "You're standing right there! Could you get the waffles? Come on. Quinn and I have to go or we'll miss our bus!"

"Oh, like the middle-school bus is so much later? Please!" I hate when Allison acts like she and Quinn are a team I'm too young to try outfor. I am fourteen, not four, and she is closer to my age than Quinn's by three months.

I tossed my empty Smoothie bottle in the sink, and then, slowly enough to totally torture my sisters, opened the toaster door to check. All three waffles were soggy on the edges and hard in the middles, with little ice crystals still clinging to the tops.

"Still frozen." I closed the glass door of the stainless steel toaster oven and pressed the lever again.

Quinn's head jerked up. "Seriously? Retoasting?"

"No way," Allison yelled, coming back into the kitchen with my new flip-flops dangling from her fingers. "You know the toaster gets insulted."

"No, only you do," I told her. "Those are my flip-flops."

"They're mine! You just stole them yesterday. Yours have the stripey thing, remember?"

"Oh, yeah," I said.

I found the Teen Vogue in my bag and brought it over to where Allison was standing at the sink, wet-paper-toweling invisible dirt specks off the edges of her/my flip-flops.

"Want to see the dress I found for my graduation party?" I asked her, flipping pages. "It's green. Do you think that's—"

Allison cursed and pointed at the toaster. Smoke was curling out of it. I cursed, too, and dashed across the kitchen. When I yanked the toaster door open, a huge ball of dark smoke exploded out.

The smoke alarm started blaring.

"It's not a fire," Allison yelled at the smoke alarm on the ceiling. "Just more exploding waffles." Dropping the flip-flops, she ran to open the sliding glass door to the deck and yelled back at me, "I told you, Phoebe!"

Quinn and I waved our arms in front of the smoke, guiding it toward the fresh air, until the alarm finally quit.

"Our appliances have scary amounts of personality," Quinn said.

"Like the thing," I said, laughing. "Remember? With Mom?"

My sisters both looked at me blankly.

"The electric tea kettle! Remember?" I unplugged the toaster from the wall and, holding out the cord like a sword, announced to my sisters, "Never be intimidated!"

They smiled then, too, at the memory of our mother's epic battle against our old electric tea kettle the last time she was on one of her occasional quitting-coffee kicks.

"Want to see a failure, girls?" Mom had asked that morning last fall, spinning around to face us.

All three of us nodded. Sure. We wanted to see anything she wanted to show us. When my mother is in the room it's almost impossible to look away from her.

She grabbed the electric tea kettle and thrust it out like a weapon, as water dripped guiltily from the spout. "A tea kettle's spout should stick out," she explained, her quiet voice controlled, intense. "But this one is snub-nosed. It's indented. You know why?"

We all asked why, trying not to smile too much as our cereal, forgotten, soggified in front of us.

"Why?" she repeated. "So that boiling water will spill all over the masochist who is making tea instead of going to Starbucks like a normal person!"

My father laughed.

"It's a design failure, Jed. Admit it—it drools!" She spun around toward him. "Look, it left a spot on my new silk shirt."

The spot was microscopic, if it existed at all. In her sapphire-blue silk shirt under her black Armani suit, my mother looked, as always, flawless.

"You just have to pour it slowly, Claire," Daddy told her in his kindergarten-teacher voice. "Easy does it."

"That's so . . . tea-drinker," Mom answered, a small smile tipping up the corners of her mouth. "I'm not Zen enough for this malformed tea kettle? Fine, then, I'm not. Out it goes!" Mom slammed the full glass tea kettle into the garbage can. "That's it," she said, and turned to yank the plug out of the wall outlet so she could dump the base into the trash after the kettle. "Garbage."

Daddy smiled his crooked smile and murmured, "Oh, Claire."

"Let this be a lesson, girls," Mom told us, her chameleon eyes flashing deep sapphire. "We are the Avery women. Nobody—nothing—can intimidate us. We will never back down; we will never surrender. Especially not to moody inanimate objects!"

Daddy laughed again.

She pretended not to smile and continued. "We are warrior women! We are Valkyries! We will not—ever—allow ourselves to be bullied or mistreated! Right?"

Lucky. Copyright © by Rachel Vail. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Rachel Vail is the award-winning author of the critically acclaimed novels If We Kiss and Lucky, Gorgeous, and Brilliant (the Avery sisters trilogy) and more than a dozen other novels for young teens, including the Friendship Ring series. Rachel has also written many beloved picture books, including Piggy Bunny and Sometimes I'm Bombaloo, and two hit novels for elementary school kids, Justin Case: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters; and Justin Case: Shells, Smells, and the Horrible Flip-Flops of Doom. Rachel lives in New York City with her husband and their two sons.

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Lucky 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I truely am a picky reader. I will stop in the middle of some books and pick them up a year later. I will also sometimes never pick them up again. I need to be interested in a book and need to be wondering what is going to happen next. This book had those qualitys! I started reading this book and couldn't stop! It is about an 8th grader, Phoebe who is in the popular group. She is rich and is really lucky. Her friends and her plan a huge graduation party. Until her parents have a fianancial issue. Will she have to cancel it? Will her friends still hang out with her? She also finds out that she loves Luke. Does she forgive her and like her back? You'll have to read the book to find out!
sanibel08 More than 1 year ago
I bought this book on one of those mad-shopping-sprees. It was about a girl going from 800-dollar Vera Wang's to not planning parties with her friends. Very cute. Teaches a lesson about appreciating money and everything you have.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow. Thats all i have to say Wow
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a excellent book!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love thiis book. It makes me want to read more and never stop.
Lei963 More than 1 year ago
Lucky is a realistic fiction book by Rachel Vail. It was a very good book and it kept me wondering what was going to happen. It had friendship, romance, and school which when put together made an excellent book. This book is set in the modern day, in a small town, at a girl named Phoebe's house and school. Phoebe's mom finds out that she was fired from her job and lost millions of dollars. Phoebe's dad tells her they don't have enough money to get a 500 dollar dress for Phoebe and spend thousands of dollars on the 8th grade moving up party she and her friends were planning. Phoebe doesn't want her best friend Kirsten to pay her share or to cancel the party. Phoebe doesn't want to tell Kirsten she doesn't have the money. She's afraid Kirsten will kick her out of the group. Phoebe thinks that she should take some money out of her bank account and then everything would be fine. She gets in a fight with Kirsten to cancel the party and avoid Kirsten and her other friends from knowing she can't pay for the party. Phoebe starts spending more time with her ex-boyfriend, Luke to pass the time and try to get away from it all. Rachel Vail has a very good language use. She uses some larger words, but at the same time she has Phoebe and her friends talking like real 8th graders. She used the word "like" where it shouldn't be used, but where an 8th grader would use it in that way. Other author's do this too, but it wasn't like Rachel's. I could hear Phoebe's tone as I was reading it. I would definitely recommend this book for girls, mainly teens. Teens who like books about friendship, romance, and cliques would enjoy this book.
Megan_bookluver95 More than 1 year ago
Awesome book I have ever read!!!!!! It is a really good book! It kept me reading!!! I LOVE it!!!!!!!!! Read it everyone! I consider it!!! Great job Rachel Vail!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book because there were no loose ends when the book was finished. Everything was explained. It had a very good plot, too. I would recommend this book to any girl who needs a good book to read.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Phoebe, the youngest of the Avery sisters, is graduating from middle school. Her life seems perfect. She and her four best friends will be having the party of the year, she has an eye on the perfect dress, and the promise of high school's new beginnings. But when Phoebe's mom starts acting weird, and her friends start alienating her, the perfect conclusion to her eighth-grade year is at stake.

Can Phoebe pull it together and do what's right, even if it means swallowing her pride and forgoing what she wants most?

LUCKY is the wholly enjoyable first novel in Rachel Vail's new trilogy. Phoebe is a nicely relatable narrator who nearly anyone can empathize with. Her problems are those that we've all faced at one time or another, reminding us once again that you don't have to have to be privileged to be able to solve them with your dignity intact.

Witty and engaging, by the time this coming-of-age story is spun, you'll feel truly lucky to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had the book and never got around to reading it. It was my friends bday and i forgot. The first thing i grabbed was the book and she asked if it was for her and i said yes, i didnt want her to feel bad im so mad at myself judging by her discription it was gr8 PS book was paperback not ebook
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you want to chat reply to -lolselfie girl
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I thought the book was great! At first, its a little hard to follow, but you will eventually catch on
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The book kept skippimg around and I couldnt understand what was going on.
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