Strange Luck by Amie Irene Winters (Strange Luck #1) (DNF)

Title: Strange Luck
Series Title: Strange Luck
Author: Amie Irene Winters
Date Added: February 26, 2016
Date Started: March 13, 2018
Date DNF: March 21, 2018
Reading Duration: 7 days
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal/Supernatural, Young Adult (YA), Romance

Strange LuckPages: 296
Publication Date: June 2015
Publisher: Self
Media: eBook/Kindle

A Mysterious Letter.
A Deadly Discovery.
A World Like Nothing You’ve Ever Seen.

All Daisy Darling wanted was to be a writer. What she got was more than she bargained for. As it turns out, the quaint little town of Sea Salt, California houses more than adorable cottages and huge redwood trees. Beneath the coastal charm rests a strange world where wizards, fairies, time-altering portals, and dark magic looms.

A world where memories can be your greatest currency–and weapon.

A world where you can never reclaim what’s been taken from you.

After stumbling into the mysterious world, Daisy’s memories begin to rapidly disintegrate, but she doesn’t even know she’s losing them. As if things couldn’t get any worse, Daisy learns she is the only one who can save herself.

Daisy’s very identity is at stake, but the odds aren’t in her favor. Can she discover the secret to win back her freedom before it’s too late?

I added this to my TBR list because the main character’s sole dream was to be a writer, and that was something I could relate to.  I initially liked Daisy, and I think she deserved better supporting characters (I did like her until she shit-talked cats grrrr).  Her father is supposed to be sympathetic, but he comes off as a selfish dick wanting her to take over the shop so that he can hunt for Utopia while she puts her dreams of going to London on a hold.  What kind of parent would do that to their child?  It’s bad enough he tries to guilt her into staying in order to continue the family business when that’s not what she wants, but then he decides he’s going to foist the shop off on her while he goes on an adventure.

Gif of Bilbo Baggins (played by Martin Freeman) from The Hobbit (first movie) running towards the camera in the Shire. Caption says, "I'm going on an adventure!"

You’re also a dick

Then we have Roger her best friend who’s always been in love with her.

Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr) rolling his eyes

*insert eye roll here*

He has the fucking audacity to throw a hissy fit when she doesn’t recognize his feelings or reciprocate, and I’m just goddamn sick of entitled dudes.  He also shames her for not instantly believing in Utopia when she has no empirical evidence of it.  I’m sorry I don’t just buy bullshit without any proof.  I would absolutely check out where a potential portal might be, but I won’t abandon all my responsibilities to frolic of to fairyland without at least seeing the door.  So Daisy has two entitled men to deal with.

Cartoon drawing of a man in red shorts and red suspenders over a white short. Caption is Behold a man has arrived to share his manly view.

The logic of the book starts to go off the  rails when they get close to the portal (which we of course know exists).  Daisy and Roger see a man turn into a monster, yet they’re not terrified to camp out in the open right near the place he’s trying to get to?

Math Lady Meme

No it DOESN’T compute

The straw that caused me to DNF was the acceleration of the romance between the two of them.  I had absolutely zero interest in reading about that because it was so fucking trite.  It’s like “Oh how convenient!  The male best friend likes the girl he’s known for years, tells her about it not long after the story starts, throws a shit fit when she doesn’t realize how long he’s been mooning over her, shames her for not believing in fairy tales, and then all of a sudden she likes him while they’re swimming, and they kiss even though there’s been zero chemistry shown between them.”  At least Final Fantasy X developed the characters and their relationship before the watery kissing scene.

FFX Lake Macalania scene - Tidus and Yuna

And you have to juxtapose this with the most awkward laugh scene ever

Daisy goes from being portrayed as super capable to a scared little girl who needs a man to command her.

‘But I’m a weak swimmer.  And I’m scared!”

“You don’t have the option of being scared.  Just do it,” he commanded.

Fuck.  That.  I called quits at 35%.  The novel has mostly high reviews though, and the majority of comments, while acknowledging the writing and character quality falls off (even more so as you continue) seem to give it a pass.  Concrit helps build better writers, and though I was snarkier than I normally try to be, there were just too many inconsistencies in this story to not call out.

1.5 stars.

7 thoughts on “Strange Luck by Amie Irene Winters (Strange Luck #1) (DNF)

  1. Pingback: The State of the Writer: 12/16/18 | The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

    • The worst part is it had potential. All of the elements were there, but she really needed to work on her character consistency and not resorting to tired romance tropes, blech. I look at books like this as a lesson to myself for what not to do in terms of that, and I need to keep it close because my WIP has a friendship between a guy and girl, though apparently that’s just not possible!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! I couldn’t agree less with you. For an author’s first novel geared towards kids/young YA I thought it was original and whimsical. Sure the story isn’t extremely strong and the characters could you some work, but I felt that all of the magical elements in The Nameless world and all the cool antiques in the shop made up for it. It’s a shame you gave up on it, especially because the next book in the series is totally badass. The characters grow and develop as you read through the series and the worlds and magical systems become much more complex.


    • It really needed another editing job before publication. Gearing it towards the younger crowd really doesn’t let a book/author off the hook for making sure characters are consistent and believable and the MC’s identity flip flopped so badly, not to mention how terrible and trite an example it was to show the “male best friend in love with the main female character whines until he gets what he wants” trope. Ugh. This is especially egregious in a young adult book where readers might see this as an example of okay behavior. It’s pretty tone deaf especially for 2018 (or whenever the book was published; I know it’s fairly recent). The next book in the series might be better, but that doesn’t negate the critiques about this one (unless there’s some integral tie in or rare circumstance with it like the A Court of Thorns and Roses series where I was more than happy to eat my words after reading the second, but that was still well written despite my issues with one of the characters). Peoples’ mileages vary and what one person finds non-negotiable another is fine with, but I’m not just going to ignore foibles because it’s an author’s first book and/or YA. Critiques are a big part of honing your craft.


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