A powerful story of loss, second chances, and first love, reminiscent of Sarah Dessen and John Green.
When Oakley Nelson loses her older brother, Lucas, to cancer, she thinks she’ll never recover. Between her parents’ arguing and the battle she’s fighting with depression, she feels nothing inside but a hollow emptiness. When Mom suggests they spend a few months in California with Aunt Jo, Oakley isn’t sure a change of scenery will alter anything, but she’s willing to give it a try.
In California, Oakley discovers a sort of safety and freedom in Aunt Jo’s beach house. Once they’re settled, Mom hands her a notebook full of letters addressed to her—from Lucas. As Oakley reads one each day, she realizes how much he loved her, and each letter challenges her to be better and to continue to enjoy her life. He wants her to move on.
If only it were that easy.
But then a surfer named Carson comes into her life, and Oakley is blindsided. He makes her feel again. As she lets him in, she is surprised by how much she cares for him, and that’s when things get complicated. How can she fall in love and be happy when Lucas never got the chance to do those very same things?
With her brother’s dying words as guidance, Oakley knows she must learn to listen and trust again. But will she have to leave the past behind to find happiness in the future?
This book broke my heart apart and then pieced it back together. It may have been that it hit me personally, because just a year ago I had my grandpa pass away from cancer. So while it was a little painful to read, it was also very heartwarming in the end.
The first two hundred pages, Love, Lucas was 3.5 stars for me - the writing wasn’t incredibly exceptional, and the characters were alright. It was sad and I connected with Oakley, but I wasn’t feeling anything too special between us. But it was good enough to keep me reading until around page 215, and then....WOW.
The next seventy pages amazed me. Sedgwick perfectly captures Oakley’s hopelessness, and I repeatedly had to look away from the book and air my eyes out because they were about to spill over and birth a river. And I’m not a big book crier - I am easily upset, but I don’t often cry or get so close. But the feelings from Oakley were so real, from the hopelessness turning into hope, and all of the words that were exchanged were so precious and perfect. Oh, and did I mention that her and Carson are total couple goals?
In those last seventy pages Love, Lucas jumped a whole star. That would make this book 4.5 stars, therefore incredible. I learned a lot from Lucas while I read his letters to Oakley. I have always wanted a big brother, and while reading this book I felt like Lucas was my big brother. He gave me great advice, made me laugh, and made me tear up plenty of times. I’m tempted to write down all of his tips in a notebook and carry it around with me everywhere I go, but since I own the book I will just settle for that :)
So do I recommend this book? Yes! Of course! And if you’re going to the beach anytime soon, I would especially recommend it!
***If you would like to win a copy of Love, Lucas go onto Instagram and enter my giveaway! My username is @book_believer. Giveaway ends on the 13th of May***