Lu by Jason Renolds

Lu, by Jason Reynolds, was published in 2018 by Atheneum. It is the sequel to Sunny.

Rating: 3/5                                                           

I was worried that Lu, despite being the last book in the series, would continue the same formula and tropes of the previous three books, which culminated in my dislike of Sunny. However, while the book reads very much like all the others (character-focused, with some sort of familial trouble/angst, and occasional odd quirks), thankfully Reynolds finally ditches his tired ending that he used three times before and did something new and fresh with this last book.

The ending is really what pulled this book up for me, because while it certainly isn’t bad, I couldn’t get into Lu’s head at all, much like I couldn’t with Sunny. There were moments that shone through, such as Lu’s softer side and his interactions with his parents, but then there were other moments that just confused me, like everything with Kelvin and his mysterious turnaround, as well as the vague descriptions of marks on his arm. Was Reynolds implying that he was a drug addict, or a victim of domestic violence, or what? What did the marks on his arms have to do with his bullying, and why did he stop when they were gone?

However, the ending I loved because it did exactly what I have wanted these books to do since I read Ghost—it ended with a defining character moment, not some cheap cliffhanger that doesn’t resolve anything. The ending of this book is fabulous, if a bit cheesy, and even if I couldn’t really relate to Lu, I still could see all the ways he grew throughout the book.

The Track series was a bit hit-or-miss for me, but they have the air and charm that I’m sure kids will love, and I liked that each book focused on a different person and how unique each character was. I also really enjoyed the voice and tone of the characters and the style Reynolds has. I hated the endings, and Sunny was a low spot, but the other three books, especially Ghost and Patina, are great.

Recommended Age Range: 10+

Warnings: None.

Genre: Middle Grade, Realistic

You can buy this book here: https://amzn.to/2EJOHae

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