Book review: Lucas by Jay McLean

Lucas by Jay McLean
Series: Preston Brothers #1
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Links: AmazonTBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: November 1, 2016
Source: Freebie

In a sprint, every millisecond counts. When you’re waiting for love, those milliseconds can feel like eons.

High school senior Lucas Preston has it all: star of the track team, a scholarship waiting for him, an apartment to himself and a revolving door of girlfriends. He also has an older sister, five younger brothers and a father who relies on him to make sure those brothers don’t kill each other.

His saving grace? Lois “Laney” Sanders, a girl he started to fall in like with when he was just eleven. A girl who became his best friend, his confidant, his courage.

It took only sixteen clicks and eight seconds for Lucas to realize that his like for Laney had turned into love. Eight life-changing seconds.  It’s also the exact length of time it took to lose her.

For my first #killingthetbr book of September, I went with one that’s actually been on my TBR for a long time. I’d seen a ton of positive reviews for Lucas, so I was crossing my fingers that maybe, possibly, hopefully, I would actually enjoy a book that I read. And… I didn’t hate it. I really didn’t. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with it from an objective standpoint. It just wasn’t for me.

I just have so many questions and comments. Some of them may be considered spoilery, so…

click at your own risk!
  1. I know that it’s been a while since I was in high school, but what’s with all these YA books featuring “platonic” friends who sleep in the same bed? I think I’ve maybe shared a bed with a friend once or twice in my life, but not a friend of the gender I’m attracted to and not every night. I’m pretty sure that if you’re sneaking into your friend’s bedroom every night for “cuggles,” you’re pretty much the opposite of platonic, regardless of whether you’re actually dating someone else.
  2. And now, speaking of the “dating someone else” thing, I’m not entirely sure why Lucas had to have a girlfriend. This didn’t endear me to him. He mentions over and over again how he’s in love with Laney, so… why exactly is he dating someone else? And then he breaks up with his girlfriend! Good job, Lucas! And Laney starts dating someone. If they’re so in love with each other, why the HECK are they dating other people?!
  3. I’m not sure why, but I’ve been super emotional lately. I’m not usually like this, but it is what it is. I think that’s one of the biggest reasons that I didn’t like this book. If you’re reading this section, you probably don’t care about spoilers, so let me tell you about some of the things that happen in this book that I wish I would have known about before picking it up.
    1. Lucas’s mom dies and how the family adjusts to it and how it changes everything is a big part of the story. I’m not a big fan of dead parent books to begin with, but especially not when I’m already very emotional.
    2. Another thing I prefer to avoid reading about? Domestic abuse. I mean, I saw it coming. It wasn’t exactly subtle. But the book took a real turn and it just felt over-the-top.
    3. There are also some issues with underage drinking and drug use, which I felt were (with one exception) not really appropriately addressed. I don’t necessarily have a problem with this in books, but I feel like if you’re going to address it for one character, you should address it for all of them.
  4. Quick question: How the heck do you not know that two of your best friends are dating? I was so aggravated by one particular plot point which involved Lucas being irrationally upset that Laney had dated in the past. And when he finds out that one of the boys she dated is his good friend? He gets so weirdly territorial. I just don’t understand how, when you make a point to talk about how the characters are always together, Lucas wouldn’t know that Laney was dating his friend. It just didn’t work for me.
  5. Now I’m going to address the sex scenes, which I’ll admit were fairly well-written. Usually, if I’m going to bring up sex scenes in a review, it’s because they’re terrible. In this case, I just thought that they were (1) creepy, and (2) unrealistic.
    1. Creepy. Okay, so let’s talk about the fact that we have semi-detailed sex scenes between underage characters in this YA book. I have no problem with this kind of writing in a NA or adult book, but in YA? No thanks. I’m all for sex positivity, but I’m also a firm believer that sex scenes in YA books should be primarily fade-to-black.
    2. Unrealistic. Granted, I wasn’t having sex when I was seventeen years old, but I sincerely doubt that it would’ve been full of sexy foreplay and multiple orgasms. I don’t really want to go back to the scene in question for the exact quote, but it was something like, “She came once on my fingers, then again on my tongue.” They’re seventeen years old!!!
  6. Another weird thing is making your son’s friend the godmother of your baby. Like… Laney is seventeen years old and Lachlan is six. So at eleven years old, Lucas’s mother thought that Laney would be a suitable guardian for her child? And then the whole Preston family decides to guilt Laney into spending more time with Lachlan because she’s not fulfilling her “godmotherly duties” or whatever? She has to take him to her house for a sleepover to prove she still loves him? WHAT? I mean, I’m pretty good with kids and I did a lot of babysitting when I was in high school, but I would not have been able to take care of a six-year-old child by myself (because you know her dad’s only around when it’s convenient for the plot) for an entire weekend when I was seventeen.


I’m pretty sure that this is the angstiest book I’ve ever read. It can also be pretty over-the-top at times. It’s not badly written, it’s just not my thing. I liked it better at the beginning when it was cute than I did by the end. I would also argue that it veers more toward new adult than young adult, just given the subject matter and sexual content.

I’d recommend this if you’re looking for something angsty and dramatic. If not… maybe steer clear of this one.

#killingthetbr: 5 months on shelf

Have you read Lucas? Should I give Jay McLean another try?
 Let’s talk in the comments!

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Giveaway with Daniel from Page to Page!

Today is a very special day! I’m teaming up with Daniel, my absolute favorite blogger, to do a joint giveaway! Daniel recently hit 100 followers, I recently hit 900 followers, and both of us want to say thank you for your support!

I honestly can’t believe this is happening — when I decided to move my blog from Tumblr to WordPress, I never thought I would find such an amazing and supportive community, but here we are. Thank you so much for every comment, every like, and for clicking that follow button and letting me know that you actually want to listen to me ramble about books.

I hope that you’ve clicked the follow button for Daniel, too, so that you can enter our giveaway and maybe win a book!

The rules for the giveaway are pretty simple!

  1. You have to be following both me and Daniel!
  2. You can enter through the Rafflecopter!
  3. Two followers will win a book of their choice (up to $20) from The Book Depository!
  4. The giveaway is open internationally as long as TBD ships to you!
  5. Winners will be drawn on September 21, 2018!

Good luck! ❤