Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr

The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr is realistic YA fiction about a girl coming to terms with her family and her future.

Eight months ago, fifteen-year-old Lucy Beck-Moreau walked off the stage of an international piano competition in Prague, and she hasn't touched a piano since. Lucy was on a trajectory to become one of the greatest concert pianists in the world, but when bad news from home caused her to take a second to think about her life, she realized that she wasn't enjoying piano any more. Now, Lucy is settling into her normal life as a privileged teen -- but can she really give up piano completely? Enter Will, her brother's charismatic young piano teacher. Will and Lucy become friends . . . close friends . . . and Will encourages Lucy to play once more, this time for herself. But can Lucy's family accept Lucy doing piano on her terms?

I spent the bulk of this book thinking "Oh, this is not a good idea, this is really not a good idea," as Will and Lucy grew closer and closer. The author did end up taking that relationship in a direction that I did not expect, and I thought it made for a stronger ending than I was anticipating. But this book is really more about Lucy's personal journey back to loving piano and music again. I'd recommend this book to music lovers and anyone who has been in a highly competitive situation and questioned whether it was worth the stress.

I listened to the audiobook, which was narrated by the author. She did an adequate job, and there were some nice touches in terms of production quality, such as snippets of the music referenced in the text playing under the narration.

(Reviewed from an audiobook borrowed through my library system.)

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