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Get Lucky: A Novel Paperback – April 6, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In her light third novel, Center (Everyone Is Beautiful) tackles sisterhood, but falls just short of poignancy. Sarah Harper is on the New York fast track at a top advertising agency until she grows a conscience overnight and sends out a companywide e-mail debunking her popular bra campaign. Fired, she flies home to Houston, where she crashes with her older sister, Mackie, and Mackie's husband, Clive. Turns out Mackie has problems of her own: after years of trying to have a baby, she announces she's done. In an effort to do something good for a change, Sarah offers herself up as a surrogate. In the nine pregnant months that follow, Sarah juggles unexpected feelings for her brother-in-law and expected feelings for an ex-boyfriend, and instead of the pregnancy bringing her and Mackie closer, it drives them apart. Witty dialogue and likable characters keep the pages turning, but Center glosses over the depth of emotion inherent in carrying your sister's baby to the point that you forget at times that Sarah is pregnant. It's a fun, breezy book, but it doesn't try to get to the heart of the matter. (Apr.)
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From Booklist

Sometimes the worst thing to happen turns out to be the best and vice versa. Sarah Harper does the unthinkable and forwards an inappropriate e-mail to the entire company, losing her job in advertising. Luckily she planned to go home to Houston to spend time with her sister Mackie and her husband. Unfortunately, on the plane, she sits next to Everett, the high-school boyfriend she unceremoniously dumped. After Sarah realizes how gorgeous and successful he is, Everett ruins the moment by making a snarky comment. Capriciousness takes over Sarah’s life as she decides to help Mackie with her infertility problem by becoming a surrogate. Sarah perceives this as a bonding time for the sisters, but things do not work out as planned, and Sarah finally recognizes that the loss of her mother at a young age had major effects on her life, her attitude toward love, and maybe even her luck. Center delivers an original, engaging, and touching novel populated with quirky and lovable characters, and ripe for discovery by readers looking for a cheering read. --Patty Engelmann
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (April 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345507916
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345507914
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Katherine Center is the author of five bittersweet comic novels about love and family, including The Bright Side of Disaster, The Lost Husband, and her newest, Happiness for Beginners.

Her books and essays have appeared in InStyle, Redbook, People, USA Today, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, Real Simple, Houstonia, the Dallas Morning News, The Houston Press, and the Houston Chronicle, as well as several anthologies.

#1 NYT Bestselling Author Brené Brown says of Katherine: "She can write a falling-down-and-getting-back-up story like nobody's business. And she's also a 5th generation Texan so there's always a little emotional pig-wrestling and ass-kicking in her books."

Instant Pictures recently optioned movie rights for The Lost Husband, which People calls "A sweet tale about creating the family you need."

Happiness For Beginners is the first in a three-book deal with St. Martin's Griffin. The others go on sale in spring of 2016 and 2017.

People Magazine calls The Bright Side of Disaster, ""cleverly told and uncommonly appealing." Library Journal calls Get Lucky a "thoroughly enjoyable girlish romp," and Kirkus Reviews likens Everyone Is Beautiful to the 1950s motherhood classic Please Don't Eat the Daisies: "Center's breezy style invites the reader to commiserate, laughing all the way."

Katherine's books have been featured at Target and Costco, BookPage named her a new writer to watch, the Houston Press named her a Top Ten writer in the city. Her novels have been published in translation in Germany, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Hungary, as well as in the UK. She has won a number of awards for her work, including the Girls, Inc. Strong, Smart & Bold Award, the Writers In The Schools Founders' Award, the St. John's School Maverick Award, and the Vassar College Fiction Prize.

Katherine also Facebooks, Tweets, makes video essays, teaches writing, and speaks to all kinds of groups and book clubs. She lives in her hometown of Houston, Texas, with her awesome husband, two sweet children, and their fluffy-but-fierce dog.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Marcy on April 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
I received this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program. Get Lucky is the story of Sarah Harper, a young New York professional who accidentally gets herself fired from her job which happened to be her whole life. She then flees home to Texas to hide out with her sister, lick her wounds and figure out what's next. When she gets home she discovers that her sister has a problem of her own and she devises what seems like the perfect plan for them both. Of course we all know it can't work out that easily.

The plot rolls on from there and is a thoroughly enjoyable story that does not disappoint. I loved all the characters -- especially a few of the minor ones and all-in-all this book made for a well-told, colorful story. I couldn't put the book down and was sad when it was over. It is a perfect vacation book, airplane book, or really anytime book. I will definitely read more from Katherine Center.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Catherine E. Shearer on April 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Katherine Center just keeps getting better and better. I LOVED this book!!!!

If you've ever had a sister or even a best friend, you'll recognize these people and their relationships.

I love that Katherine writes such real characters. I feel like I know these people and can relate to their lives, even though they're nothing like mine.

This is definitely a book to read and share.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Julie Katepalli on April 18, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I absolutely love Katherine Center books and very much looked forward to Get Lucky. I hate to say this would be my favorite of her books as I love them all but it leaves you thinking on so many levels. What does judgement and anger really do for anyone of us unless we give ourselves a chance to change how we'd do something to make a situation better. I was glad that the focus was not on the fact that Sarah was carrying her sister's child and it really could have taken on an entirely different path if it wanted but Katherine stayed focus on Sarah's personal growth, the loss of her mother and the love of her sister and family.

Fast and meaningful read, my favorite!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Libby Ingrassia on May 19, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I sat down tonight to write the long-overdue (glowing, by the way) review of Katherine Center's Get Lucky. I pulled the book off the shelf and noticed the copy of Everyone is Beautiful that I had purchased immediately after finishing Get Lucky (but then I got distracted re-reading The Count of Monte Cristo; what can I say?). So, I pulled that one off the shelf, too, thinking it would be my reward after finishing my review.

Why don't I know better by now?

Apparently there is something about Katherine Center's books that grab me at a visceral level and refuse to let me go until I have slurped up every last touching word (and cried a little while doing so). So it's now about 3 hours later and I've finished Everyone is Beautiful and will now write my review of Get Lucky as my offering of gratitude for being inspired, shamed, comforted, terrified, and reassured.

The novel Get Lucky, is, as Center has said, about many things - sisters, babies, losing and finding yourself, parents, loss, giving, grief, best friends, love, and, of course, breasts. At the start of the novel, the protagonist, Sarah, is a high-powered ad exec in NYC, running a bra campaign. And she goes a little nuts when her sister, Mackie, forwards a link that contains hundreds of pictures of breasts. This crazy manifests in Sarah sending the link to everyone at work, and, unsurprisingly, getting fired for it. She rationalizes it a little, the way you do, and packs up for a Thanksgiving visit home to Houston.

En route, she runs into a high school boyfriend whose heart she'd crushed. She hopes for the kind of reunion we all hope for, years later. Unfortunately, Everett gives her an unexpected jab. We'll meet Everett again - he's also taken a job working with Sarah's brother-in-law.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mary VINE VOICE on April 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
Sarah Harper not so accidentally sends a risqué email to her entire company and gets shown the door. She winds up in a last row seat next to an old boyfriend on a plane bound for Houston, her hometown. She stays with her sister Mackie who is also her best friend. Mackie and her husband Clive have tried to have children for years but pregnancy has always ended in miscarriage. Sarah makes an offer that is second only to donating an organ - she offers to be a surrogate. It's the first part of her plan to make a difference in life, to do more than create successful ad campaigns to sell bras.

Coming home to Houston also presents Sarah with the opportunity to work through a few things from her past: the death of her mother when she was only twelve; the horrible way she broke up with the old boyfriend. She also faces the situation of her father being engaged to Dixie who is completely different from her mother.

As in Everyone Is Beautiful, Katherine Center writes believable characters. Sarah and Mackie reminded me of my relationship with my sisters. We can love them or be mad at them but don't anyone else say a bad word about them! They would do anything for each other. I really enjoyed Sarah's perspective as she dealt with her post New York life - how she dealt (or didn't deal) with pregnancy, being jobless, and being relationship-less. I also loved Dixie. There is a scene involving Dixie and Sarah at a self-defense class that had me laughing out loud. But Dixie becomes much more than a wacky step-mother and is more a person who can shine a light on what is important in life.

I'm not sure if Get Lucky would be considered Women's Fiction or Chick Lit but I do know if you're looking for a thoughtful and enjoyable novel about a young woman seeking a happier, more meaningful life, you should read Get Lucky.
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