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The Lucy Variations

The Lucy Variations is a YA contemporary novel by Sara Zarr.

Eight months ago, Lucy walked off the stage of a Prague concert – leaving behind the promising future of an acclaimed child pianist.

Her future had been mapped out and executed flawlessly until that moment. People knew her name, her concerts were packed… everything was exactly as it was supposed to be.

For her family.

But Lucy faced the death of a loved one that day by walking away from what she knew – what she no longer loved.

Yet, at sixteen, it is as though her life is over. What does she do now?

Her little brother Gus is now shouldering the family expectations and hopes. And it’s when he gets a new, young piano teacher that Lucy starts to realize she might still love the piano… if only she can play on her own terms.

Sara Zarr has continually impressed me since I started reading her. Once Was Lost was compelling and then How to Save a Life blew me away!

The Lucy Variations again cemented my belief that I’ll want to read anything Sara Zarr comes out with.

Immediately I was sucked into Zarr’s intimate, unassuming writing style that seems to be both honest and hopeful.

Very quickly I cared about Lucy – her crush(es), her fractured family relationships, her bruised passion for music, and her feeling of being lost.

The Lucy Variations is a coming-of-age story, a personal awakening, a tale of struggling with choices and freedom – without being girls-gone-wild over-the-top. No, here we have a grounded, believable novel.

As the book continued, I felt a growing tenseness – an awareness that a life lesson would be learned by Lucy, but not in an after-school-special kind of way, thank goodness.

I will admit that at times The Lucy Variations was a little frustrating. I wouldn’t place this book at the top of my Sara Zarr love pile.

However, the wrong turns Lucy makes, in the end, makes you appreciate the genuineness of the novel.

Truly a good read.

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