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Lucky Boy
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
108 posts | 73 read | 2 reading | 117 to read
A heart-wrenching novel that gives voice to two mothers: a young undocumented Mexican woman and an Indian-American wife whose love for one lucky boy will bind their fates together Solimar Castro-Valdez is eighteen and drunk on optimism when she embarks on a perilous journey across the US/Mexican border. Weeks later she arrives on her cousin's doorstep in Berkeley, CA, dazed by first love found then lost, and pregnant. This was not the plan. But amid the uncertainty of new motherhood and her American identity, Soli learns that when you have just one precious possession, you guard it with your life. For Soli, motherhood becomes her dwelling and the boy at her breast her hearth. Kavya Reddy has always followed her heart, much to her parents' chagrin. A mostly contented chef at a UC Berkeley sorority house, the unexpected desire to have a child descends like a cyclone in Kavya's mid-thirties. When she can't get pregnant, this desire will test her marriage, it will test her sanity, and it will set Kavya and her husband, Rishi, on a collision course with Soli, when she is detained and her infant son comes under Kavya's care. As Kavya learns to be a mother--the singing, story-telling, inventor-of-the-universe kind of mother she fantasized about being--she builds her love on a fault line, her heart wrapped around someone else's child. Lucky Boy is an emotional journey that will leave you certain of the redemptive beauty of this world. There are no bad guys in this story, no single obvious hero. Sekaran has taken real life and applied it to fiction; the results are moving and revelatory.
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MelKelsey
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Pickpick

Book 139

Lucky Boy was a slow-burn, but so delicious! Incredibly complicated characters and a detailed, rich story line. Fiction about immigration to The United States, detention centers, and deportation. Worth the read! I will read her first novel and can't wait for her to write more. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Beccacraft
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
Pickpick

This book follows the lives of two women: one an undocumented Mexican, the other an Indian-American. Their love for the same child is heart-wrenching and leaves the reader with conflicting sympathies. I really enjoyed this book, although it took me awhile to really become invested.

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sophierayton
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Pickpick

I had to take a break between parts 1 and 2 because the content was so challenging for me. It took a while for me to get back to it and the heart-breaking agony did not let up. I did think this novel was excellent but it hurt in a way that made me hate and distrust everyone rather than 'this hurts so good'.

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BookNightOwl
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Pickpick

Lucky Boy is about 2 women. One who escapes Mexico into the United States and try to make a life in California as an illegal. Then the other who desperately wants a baby but having a hard time conceiving.

I listened to the audiobook of this as well as have a hard copy and I enjoyed this so much. The narrator did a fantastic job with the story. A must read!!!

55 likes1 stack add
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HeatherBookNerd
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Pickpick

I LOVED the first 2/3 of this book, and then the plot seemed to cross into less believable territory and I was less thrilled with it. It was good though, and I was pretty invested in seeing how things would turn out. Tackles some very interesting and timely subjects - immigration, infertility, adoption, foster parenting.

Also, bad title.

50 likes1 stack add
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Bevita
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Pickpick

Timely story of a Mexican immigrant whose son (“the Lucky Boy”) is put in foster care when she‘s detained. Couldn‘t put it down. I wish the female characters had been a bit more developed as I wasn‘t that invested in the outcome, but the ending was satisfying. Another reminder how lucky I am.

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alisonrose
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
Pickpick

Just as I expected, this was absolutely heart-wrenching to read, especially knowing that this is happening right now to parents all over the US, whose only “crime” is trying to make a better life for their children. I appreciated the honesty about how undocumented folks are treated, and about the pain that both women went through. Rishi‘s side story w/work was dull to me and could have been cut, but overall a very emotional and timely read. 4/5⭐️

40 likes1 stack add
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alisonrose
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran

They spoke with the carefree bubble of parents who had given up and given in, who‘d released their adult children to the world and returned to a life of self-fulfillment, who‘d moved back to their homeland and remembered that, in returning home, they were giving up the need to prevail, to ward off the unstoppable wave of foreign influence, to stop and breathe and look around and renounce, at last, the great American fight.

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alisonrose
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran

The thing about patience was that it couldn‘t exist without impatience. Impatience, desire, the irksome passage of time—these were what kept her from sleeping. Patience was the act of holding impatience at bay, of keeping it, like an impudent lover, from wearing her down.

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alisonrose
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran

Uma Mahendra clicked her tongue. “See who all is wearing black?” She swung her nose to the group at the far corner of the lawn: Maya Gulati, divorced. Sapna Kumari, lesbian. Aparna Dutta, some sort of filmmaker. Neha Murthy, single. Rakhi Viswant, single. Geetha Nallasivan, Sheela Chatterjee, Veena Jain, all belligerently single. They glided to the bar in black saris &stilettos, a coven of the shameless. They seemed to be having an excellent time.

alisonrose “Belligerently single” — brb changing my Facebook relationship status to this 🙅🏻‍♀️🙅🏻‍♀️🙅🏻‍♀️ 4y
mrsmarch “A coven of the shameless” is another excellent takeaway. 👍🏻🔮📿💀 4y
LiteraryinLawrence 😅😅 4y
alisonrose @mrsmarch IT IS. Sounds like a good album title 4y
30 likes5 comments
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alisonrose
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Haven‘t heard much about this one but it sounds like a very timely, rip-your-heart-out kind of story, and I guess that‘s the mood I‘m in! #nowreading

RedbagReadbooks Fantastic book! 4y
alisonrose @Aluciddreamer 👌🏻👌🏻 4y
41 likes2 comments
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Bookishgal71
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Pickpick

This. Every bit of this. Such a great and unexpected favorite. Adoption. Infertility. Illegal immigration. Indian, American and Mexican culture. Berkeley. Silicon Valley. So, so good.

17 likes1 stack add
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Bookishgal71
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Anybody watching 60 Minutes?? This book tells the story of the separation of children from their illegal immigrant parents from three different points of view: the illegal mom, the foster mom and the foster father. Unusual to hear from foster parents. I think it‘s fiction but probably very realistic. Wow. Just wow.

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CindyE09
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Panpan

Listened to the audio version. Almost gave up a few times, but I pushed though because I had already invested so much time in the book. I found this book very overwritten, and was rolling my eyes many times at redundant, silly sentences. It was also a bit predictable, but I did get a bit caught up at the end wanting to know how it finished. Overall, the book was just ok for me.

keys_on_fire Welcome to Litsy!! 📚❤️ 4y
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Welcome to Litsy 👋😁 4y
See All 17 Comments
Jess7 Welcome!!! 📖📚 4y
Bronte_Chintz Welcome to Litsy!! 4y
Wife Welcome to Litsy!🌹 4y
Eggs Welcome to Litsy 👋🏻😊 4y
mabell Welcome! 🎉 4y
asiriusreader Welcome to Litsy!! 4y
Stacy_31 Welcome to Litsy! 4y
CindyE09 Thank you everyone! Excited to be here! 4y
Texreader Welcome to Litsy!! 4y
BookwormAHN Welcome to Litsy 😸 4y
Mitch Good to know - this has caught my eye a few times at the bookstore and I‘ve been tempted. 4y
Mitch Ps. Welcome to the wonderful world of Litsy! 4y
CindyE09 @Mitch Well I know a lot of people who have loved it, don‘t let me stop you! It was just a little too cutesy in places for me. 4y
KateFulfordAuthor Over writing drives me crazy and is often a reason I give up on a book 4y
58 likes1 stack add17 comments
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BkClubCare
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Frantically finishing for #tob18. Guess I should be glad my plane is delayed 2.5 hours? Nope

brownekr I'm racing through this one today as well... curious to see how it does this week! 5y
32 likes1 stack add1 comment
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mklong
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Bailedbailed

I very rarely bail, especially on books that I own, but there is just nothing new or remarkable here at all. There are too many good books out there to waste time on one that has already been written a hundred times. How on earth did this make the #TOB2018 shortlist?

susanw I asked that question about a few on the short list. - Dear Cyborg for instance. I didn‘t even try this one. 5y
mklong @susanw This and Book of Joan were my only total duds. I actually liked Dear Cyborgs in a weird way. (edited) 5y
55 likes2 comments
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tif
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Finished these two last night. Dark Matter was for book club and I didn't love it. Lucky Boy I read for the Tournament of Books and was surprised to see so many people hating on it. I thought it was a great book and very well written but I seem to be in the extreme minority on the #TOB Goodreads discussion of it. Lots of people comparing it to Little Fires Everywhere and while the issues are similar I think they are seperate from each other.

amvs1111 Loved Lucky Boy and could've skipped Dark Matter 5y
tif @amvs1111 only finished dark matter because it's for book club otherwise I wouldn't have bothered 5y
40 likes2 comments
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tif
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Just realised that this one is due back at the Library on Saturday and can't be extended. Read faster!!!!

Louise In cases like this, I tell myself that the 10 cents per day fine is going to a good cause! 😁 5y
tif @Louise lol! 5y
34 likes2 comments
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Erynecki
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Pickpick

I don‘t read much fiction because I often find the author‘s choices unreasonable or storylines unlikely. I picked up LUCKY BOY because I met the author at an event we both did and she just seemed so darn nice and because I liked the premise: two women, two futures, one boy. The story is gripping and feels so real to me. Issues of immigration, parenthood, social expectations, and life in Berkeley (where much of the story takes place) all ring true.

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merelybookish
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Bailedbailed

Bailing on this #TOB18 selection. Not a terrible book but mediocre compared with others on the short list. So much description of clothes, rooms, landscapes, etc. Maybe sometimes it's okay to tell, not show. Or to show less. 🤔
If it wins its first match-up, I'll try again.

saresmoore I wasn‘t intrigued by this, so I‘m actually relieved to hear your review. It will give me more time for the others! 5y
rachelm Aw. Sorry it wasn't for you! 5y
merelybookish @saresmoore I just finished Stephen Florida and End of Eddy. Both really good. So this def. suffered by comparison. 5y
See All 9 Comments
saresmoore So, just how painful is it to read The End of Eddy? 5y
merelybookish @saresmoore Well it's undeniably bleak but it wasn't unbearable or manipulative. The book is short. And the style is quite plain, straightforward. I felt he was telling a very honest story. (And I'm not really sure how it's a novel and not a memoir since clearly autobiographical.) 5y
BookishMe This is a FB book club's BOTM. I am rather excited to read it. Indian writers tend to get 'over' descriptive? 😅😅 5y
merelybookish @BookishMe Well good to know! And I hope you like it. The story has good potential. As I said, I don't think it's awful. Ive just finished two strong, stylistically interesting novels. So.it suffered from comparison! 5y
thebluestocking I started this, but returned it to the library without finishing. I‘m going to prioritize the others on the shortlist and see if I have time to come back and try again. 5y
BookishMe I am putting it aside for the moment - I couldn't connect with characters right away unlike the other books I just started. And the writing seems to be trying too hard ;o 5y
71 likes9 comments
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nomadreader
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Mehso-so

Really slow, too long, and despite fascinating themes, it felt like it was trying way too hard. Other books have captured the human sides of these themes in ways that resonated more and felt more authentic to me.

thebluestocking Hmm. This is on my list because of the Tournament of Books. I got it from the library, started it, but returned it when it was due without regret. I may still try to get to it but it felt, as you said, too long. 5y
15 likes1 comment
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nomadreader
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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About 20% in, and the plot still hasn't caught up with the synopsis, so it feels really slow paced.

AceOnRoam Just been reading through your Thailand posts, I'm so jealous! 5y
nomadreader @AceOnRoam A great trip, but it sure is good to be home! 5y
AceOnRoam I know exactly what you mean. There's no place like home. 5y
11 likes1 stack add3 comments
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AceOnRoam
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Pickpick

This book tackles some heavy situations and emotional trauma is rife. Whether these situations were avoidable was a big question for me for most of the book. By the end, I stopped judging by my own standards and was engaged in the characters as the author intended them to be read. Trigger warnings below in spoiler.

Image credit, The Morning News

#Tournamentofbooks
#tob18
#TheRooster
#ReadingOnRoam

AceOnRoam there is violent rape and a miscarriage incident within these pages. fairly brutal reading. 5y
Pelican71 I really need to get to it; I have it on my shelf. I‘ve heard good things considering the topics in the book. 5y
AceOnRoam @Pelican71 It's pretty good for a debut but she will improve I think. I look forward to her next book. 5y
thebluestocking I‘m glad to hear you enjoyed it. I haven‘t seen a lot of reviews for it. It‘s waiting patiently on my nightstand for me to get to it. 5y
AceOnRoam @thebluestocking Its not getting a lot of love from the TOB Goodreads group, but of my GR friends 6 of them have given it 4 stars. 5y
50 likes5 comments
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mcctrish
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Pickpick

Lucky Boy tells the story of Soli and her decision to come to America by any means. When you have nothing, what is there to lose? It is quite a riveting and timely read ( a few people in power in the US might be well served to put some faces fictional or otherwise to the numbers and walls they yell about)

amvs1111 Such a moving read! And I agree that it would be fabulous if it were required reading for all U.S. politicians 5y
22 likes1 stack add1 comment
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AceOnRoam
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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The Tournament of Books team have really out-done themselves this year with a fine selection of shortlisted books and now a -dream come true- early release of the brackets this week! OMG!

#TheRooster
#TournamentOfBooks
#TOB18

BarbaraBB Yay, good to know! 5y
thebluestocking Yay! I missed this. Thanks for posting. 🎉🎉 5y
AceOnRoam @thebluestocking no worries. Its very exciting to get them so soon. 5y
51 likes3 comments
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Jules7
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran

Book #2 for book club 2018.

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mcctrish
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Reading at the end of the school day in the library

amvs1111 I finished this earlier in the week. Still feeling all the feels and thinking of this cast of characters. 5y
mcctrish @amvs1111 some truths are being revealed ( I like how the author paces her story) and it‘s heavy stuff 5y
amvs1111 Indeed. I appreciated the subtle avoidance of experiences in the text as the characters were trying to emotionally avoid them as well. Then we get to find out as they can no longer avoid memories. Excellent and devastating writing. 5y
25 likes3 comments
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amvs1111
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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I'm a third into this heart wrenching read about the merging paths of an undocumented Mexican woman and an Indian American woman struggling with infertility. There are too few novels that allow readers to witness the often traumatic struggle that female immigrants experience as they journey to the United States and what it means to live here in the shadows. Highly recommended thus far.

#readingwomenchallenge
#immigrant
#litsypartyofone
#poc

20 likes1 stack add
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mcctrish
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Starting both of these today ( don‘t think I will be taking The Subtle Art to school 🤣)

24 likes1 stack add
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MPL
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Pickpick

The best years book club is reading this amazing book in January!

10 likes1 stack add
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Floresj
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Pickpick

Two mothers are juxtaposed in this engaging novel- only they are loving the same child. One, a mother in Berkeley, and the other, an undocumented mother in the US, both try to defend their right to love Ignacio. Gripping story, good writing.

Rcoco I really loved this book. It was an unusual book and just gave me all the feels. I wish more people would read it. 5y
9 likes1 comment
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RedbagReadbooks
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Pickpick

3.5/5⭐️.
The story was relatable and heart breaking for both women. It was hard to put down. I wanted a happier ending. ☹️❤️

Rcoco I agree. But at a certain point I didn‘t see how it could end completely happily. 5y
RedbagReadbooks @Rcoco I wanted a happier ending for Kavya. I felt like she deserved some happiness after everything she had gone through. I wouldnt have wanted and fairy tale happy ending. 5y
20 likes1 stack add2 comments
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RedbagReadbooks
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Heart ❤️ breaking ☹️

Tamra This one might be a roller coaster as adoptive mom! I'll have to check it out. 5y
19 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Rcoco
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Pickpick

This book wrecked me. At once about the immigrant experience and again about the depths of parental love. While this story re-examines the definition of what is a parent and what makes a mother and father, ultimately and most importantly it is about resilience and failure; and about persisting nonetheless. Heartbreaking and hopeful. Loved it!

14 likes2 stack adds
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Rcoco
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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This book is delightful and different. I'm only about 25% thru but so far it's surprisingly fun and engrossing.

EllieDottie I own this and I'm really excited to read it!! 5y
11 likes1 stack add1 comment
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MsLeah8417
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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I just received this in the mail today. Has anyone read this yet? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Rcoco I'm about 75% finished with this and it is really unique and wonderful. 5y
10 likes1 stack add1 comment
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BookNAround
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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My short stack for #litsypartyofone. @Ambrosnazzy

JenReadsAlot I loved Lucky Boy!! 5y
30 likes1 comment
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auntie_jenn
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Pickpick

Solimar is an illegal immigrant with a baby. After years of infertility, Kavya and Rishi decide to foster/adopt. When Soli is detained by ICE, Kavya and Rishi take the boy in. this will open your heart, then tear it in two. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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auntie_jenn
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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this one is not rising in my pile quickly enough, so i'm going to listen instead.

shawnmooney I have been entertaining the exact same tactic! :) 5y
15 likes1 comment
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ItsAnotherJen
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Pickpick

This kept me guessing the whole time. Every time I thought I had it all figured out, everything changed! I empathized with all the main characters. A story like this seems so black-and-white. But once you find out what people are thinking and feeling, and what their lives have been like, you begin to see all the shades of grey.
⭐⭐⭐⭐

CouronneDhiver Sounds great! 5y
88 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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rebeccapfenning
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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A little something to enhance your reading. Remember in Lucky Boy how Soli rides "The Beast" and those women throw food to them - well here's a new documentary about that train and those women, las patronas.

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AbstractMonica
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
Pickpick

I loved this novel tremendously. It was heavily based on undocumented immigrants and motherhood. It is the story of two strong-willed women with very different hardships, and how their lives eventually cross paths. It was heartbreaking, yet beautifully written. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

13 likes1 stack add
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AbstractMonica
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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About 50 pages left to read, and I'm having major anxiety trying to figure this one out 😨

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AbstractMonica
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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I'm nearly halfway done with this book, and I almost want to say it's the most memorable book I've read this year! (I hope I'm not jumping the gun here 😳). Honestly, the writing is so simple and beautiful. I love both Soli and Kavya, and can't wait to read how everything plays out for them. I'm rooting for them!

rachelm I loved this one. You'll have to check ou Celeste Ng's newest when it comes out. Reminded me of Lucky Boy so much! 5y
AbstractMonica @rachelm thank you! Will definitely check it out 😌 5y
23 likes1 stack add2 comments
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rebeccapfenning
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Good morning loves from my new backyard! A great breakfast read is an epic that spans cultures and generations...ok it's a great all-the-time, can't-put-it-down read.

3 likes1 stack add
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AbstractMonica
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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My next read. Let's do this!

27 likes1 stack add
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PandaPanda
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Pickpick

Wow this book. I loved it. It was heartbreaking and it was that rare story where I really didn't know whose side I was on and what I wanted to happen. All the feels.

71 likes1 stack add
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tholmz
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Pickpick

Holy moly, I loved this book. The title threw me at first - I'm not typically one to seek out a book about boys or men - but this isn't that. As Shanthi Sekaran writes so beautifully and honestly, it becomes very clear that this is a story about two mothers, the different kind of moms in the world, the many ways we can give care and love to those around us. INCREDIBLE read.

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JenReadsAlot
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
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Pickpick

This book was so good. Very relevant given the state of immigration at this time. Highly recommended!

6 likes1 stack add