In brief: Lucky Santangelo is a well-known name to Jackie Collins fans. But what was Lucky like as a teenager?
The good: Meeting Lucky for the first time and oh-my-goodness, the ending!
The not-so-good: Lucky’s voice is definitely that of a teenager – totes amazeballs but it does get a bit lame occasionally.
Why I chose it: Won Jackie Collins’ entire catalogue from The Sweet Escape.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Setting: America and Europe
My rating: 8 out of 10
I was recently lucky enough to win every single one of Jackie Collins’ books to date (see the mega pile here). When I mentioned this to friends and family, they all had one thing to say, “Lucky”. They weren’t talking about me, but rather Collins’ most famous heroine, Lucky Santangelo. Lucky has been the star of several of Collins’ novels, so I decided to start with Lucky’s teenage years, chronicled in her most recent book Confessions of a Wild Child. Confused? Although this is Collins’ latest novel, it takes us to where it all began with a teenage Lucky being shipped off to boarding school.
Lucky doesn’t last long in that school, nor in the next one. She’s discovered BOYS, although she harbours a crush for her father’s right hand man. In between bouts of Almost with boys she meets, Lucky longs to work for and possibly run her father’s business. She doesn’t know exactly what it is, but she’s determined. Her father is holding out for her brother to run the family firm, and dismisses Lucky every time she pleads to work with him. But Lucky’s getting bolder and starting to find out things for herself…
I’m told some of the content is covered fleetingly in other books about Lucky, but I can’t verify that as I’m planning to read in chronological order of Lucky’s life. The first thing that struck me was Lucky’s voice. It’s authentic teenage angst and rebellion. In fact, Lucky wouldn’t sound out of place in today’s crowd, even though the novel is in the late 1960s. It has a very modern feel to it – all that was missing was some ‘totes amazeballs’ and an Apple reference! To Collins’ credit, Lucky and her friends manage to get up to some fantastic hijinks without using a mobile phone, internet or GPS. (It apparently was possible kids). Some of the things Lucky did I found shocking (running away from school and flying to Europe without her father knowing); others seemed a little tame (sneaking out to meet boys). It was the final drama in Las Vegas that had my head spinning. I couldn’t believe the rife sexism of Lucky’s father, treating her like an object, a pawn in a game of blackmail. I’m really looking forward to how she exacts her revenge.
Was this high literature? No. It’s pure escapist fun that has you racing through the generously spaced pages. Lucky sounds quite immature at times (because she is) but her adventures are interesting enough for an adult reader. I’m told that Collins’ earlier Lucky books (that take place later in Lucky’s life) are more detailed and more outrageous. (A quick glance at Chances confirms that). I look forward to reading more of Lucky’s adventures.