Reviews for Confessions of a Wild Child : Lucky: the Early Years

Booklist Reviews 2013 December #1
The unstoppable, best-selling Collins delves into the fifteenth and sixteenth years of her signature character, Lucky Santangelo. Not as out of control as today's rebellious teens, Lucky fights for independence and the training she needs to be part of her father's Las Vegas hotel business, to no avail. Instead, this saga tracks Lucky through a number of exclusive boarding schools where she manages to make wild-child friends with other rich, spoiled young women. All of them spend their time picking up boys, not quite going all the way (with some exceptions), and avoiding the wrath of their absentee, overindulgent parents. Lucky crushes on her father's right-hand man, Marco, while worrying about her younger brother, Dario, and trying desperately to gain the attention of her father, Gino the Ram. As her name implies, she's incredibly lucky, even though her life is not a bed of roses. Unfortunately, this superficial look at Lucky's past doesn't really get to the heart of why the character turns into the beloved woman found in Collins' superpopular novels, from Chances (1981) to Goddess of Vengeance (2011).HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: No matter what, Collins sells, so this prequel to her popular Lucky Santangelo novels launches with a hefty print run and coast-to-coast print, radio, television, and online promotion. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2014 February #1
Collins (The Power Trip, 2013, etc.) returns with the story of her beloved Lucky's teenage years. Growing up in the lap of luxury isn't what it's cracked up to be. Despite living in a palace replete with tennis courts and servants to attend to her every whim, Lucky realizes that she and her brother, Dario, are just prisoners in a posh jail. Certainly her mobster father, Gino, wants to keep his children safe (after all, their mother was murdered in the swimming pool), but at 15, Lucky is already champing at the bit to live a little more on the wild side. Ironically, being sent to an elite boarding school in Switzerland is her big chance. At L'Evier, she meets Olympia Stanislopoulos, who quickly initiates her into the dark arts of smoking, drinking and sneaking out to meet boys. Sexually curious, Lucky is eager to practice "almost." Soon enough, Lucky is kicked out of school, angering Gino, who ships her off to another school, where the shenanigans resume. Lucky stews over her crush on Marco (her father's driver), Gino indulges in an affair with a movie star (the delightfully named Marabelle Blue), Dario begins a potentially dangerous affair, and Olympia drags Lucky into more trouble. Despite all the (not particularly explicit) action, Lucky's tale has a fairly flat plotline. Part of the trouble in building tension lies with Lucky's own gimlet-eyed stoicism. She is, indeed, her father's daughter, and nothing will distract her from her ultimate goal of becoming Gino's successor. Even the potentially catastrophic arranged marriage to a senator's son is met with bemused calculation rather than horror. Even the staunchest fans of the Santangelo family may be disappointed with this rather thin addition to the saga. Copyright Kirkus 2014 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Library Journal Reviews 2013 September #1

Before there was Lucky Santangelo, the tough heroine of several of Collins's 29 New York Times best sellers, there was Lucky Santangelo, the rebellious teenage girl seen in this prequel. With a one-day laydown on February 4.

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Library Journal Reviews 2014 January #1

Best-selling author Collins is back! Her latest offering focuses on the coming-of-age adventures of her popular protagonist Lucky Santangelo as a defiant and wild teenager. Fans will recall Collins devoted some pages to this period in Lucky's life in Chances, the first book in the Santangelo series, and the author follows her original story pretty faithfully while filling in the blanks. Readers will learn more about "Lucky Saint" and her best friend Olympia getting kicked out of boarding schools, experimenting with sex (well, lots of "almost" in Lucky's case), and dealing with their often absent but always powerful daddies. VERDICT Once again, Collins delivers a fast and fun read, but there are some noticeable differences in her writing style. Chances is in third person, while this new book has Lucky telling her story in the first person. Fans will also notice a definite lack of detail in the sex scenes compared with other books in this series. Also, Chances depicts Lucky as a teenager in 1965, but this book places her firmly in the now with present-day pop culture references and slang. Fans of the Santangelo series will want to read this, and it should be enough of a tease to convince new readers to check out the rest of the series, despite the time warp. [See Prepub Alert, 8/12/13.]--Samantha Gust, Niagara Univ. Lib., NY

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