Book Review,  Reviews

Listening for Lucca – Suzanne LaFleur

“I’m obsessed with abandoned things. 

Left-behind things, unwanted things. Forgotten things. 
When Lucca and I got to the park, a small lamb waited on a bench. 
The lambie was stuffed and half-full of plastic beans and fluff. He was gray and worn; chew marks creased his nose. He was small enough to hold in one hand.”

Siena is a collector of forgotten things and of memories. She has had a recurring dream about an old seaside house for years but has never been there, at least not until now. Her little brother Lucca is nearly four, and hasn’t spoken for over a year. The doctors can’t find anything wrong with Lucca but have suggested that it might be better to move him away, out of the hustle and bustle of Brooklyn. When Siena’s parents go house-hunting in Maine they find the perfect house, Siena’s dream house and when the family arrive Siena and Lucca can sense something, something not quite right.

Listening for Lucca was a quick read, but that doesn’t mean it was a bad one. The story was gripping and had me hooked, I struggled to put it down and was not left disappointed by the outcome.
I was worried about not liking Listening for Lucca as I have previously read Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur and was not overwhelmed by it. As apprehensive as I went into my reading of this book I soon realised that there was a strong difference in that Listening for Lucca felt more realistic, I was very much aware of how right Siena felt as a character and how much her brother meant to her. The characters in Listening For Lucca were incredible and I really loved how, despite his mutism, Lucca felt like he had such a strong personality. I loved Sam and Morgan and I really thought that they were good for Siena and they showed that sometimes the right people just drop into your life. 
The story was powerful and I thought that it was as much about Siena moving and finding her own way as it was about the ghosts and Lucca. There was enough to keep me guessing, and hoping, and I loved the inclusion of the dreams and the memories. It was my second book in a row that contained dreams which took the main character back into the war which was very coincidental but I loved it, my sixth form War Literature module obviously struck a cord in me somewhere! I found it really interesting that Listening for Lucca focussed on a different side of war than the other book I read and that it worked so well with the other things that were going on. 
I really couldn’t get enough of Listening for Lucca, there was one downside which was that, at 229 pages, it felt a bit too short and things were a little rushed at the end of the book, there was something between two of the characters that I couldn’t really pinpoint a start to and whilst I liked that this thing happened gradually I think I would have liked for there to have been more of a pinpoint where things changed. Listening for Lucca really is a story about growing up but its combined with an element of the supernatural and the idea that you can’t let growing up consume you, that you have to take things gradually and you can’t do it on your own, you need the people around you to help. 
Listening for Lucca will be published on August 8th by Puffin Books. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

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