By Angela Maria Hart
For fans of The Fault in Our Stars and What You Left Behind, I recommend reading Love, Lucas. After the success of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, there seems to be a great deal of young adult literature, YA, focusing on grief and the loss of a loved one; particularly, those characters who lose someone to cancer.
Love, Lucas has elements of What You Left Behind and P.S. I Love You, two well done pieces. Oakley’s brother, Lucas, recently passed away when the story opens. In line with P.S. I Love You and What You Left Behind, Lucas leaves his sister a notebook and signs every entry Love, Lucas. Even though he can no longer physically be a part of his sister’s life, Lucas wants Oakley to remember him and live her life to the fullest. Lucas’s notebook is an attempt to be Oakley’s big brother one more time and remain a part of her life after he is gone.
The novel focuses on Oakley, who is grieving for Lucas throughout a majority of the narrative. Oakley and Lucas were extraordinarily close and after Lucas passed away, Oakley, understandably, had trouble coping with his death. She reads his notebook entries over and over and attempts to connect with other people not being the most open person. Not only is Oakley still coping with the loss of her beloved brother, but she cut herself off from the world prior to his death. At one point Sedgwick wrote, “It didn’t make sense to date and be happy when Lucas was fighting for his life” (Sedgwick 19). Long before Lucas passed away, Oakley put him first in her life and cut herself off from the world around her. After Lucas died, Oakley no longer had a reason to be isolated, yet still felt as though she needed solitude.
It was interesting to see Oakley develop over the course of Love, Lucas and how she progressively became more aware of and open to her surroundings. Oakley and her mother leave their home to stay with her aunt on the coast, offering Oakley the opportunity to explore not only a new area but potentially become a new person.
Being in a new place is really important for Oakley in this novel. Oakley was able to interact with new characters and potentially evolve as a person over the course of the text. Love, Lucas is a well done YA novel that will attract fans of John Green.
To view my BookTube review on Love, Lucas, click here. :) Thank you!