fiction · young adult

Lucy Unstrung by Carole Lazar

Lucy Unstrung

Author: Carole Lazar

Pages [paperback]: 235

Available now!

Where I got it: Won in a contest on

Opening Lines: When my mom finally walks in the door at nine-fifteen, she acts like nothing’s wrong at all. “Where have you been?” I ask. “Dad and I have been worried sick. And now Grandma’s upset too.”

Favorite Characters: Lucy & Ray


Teens who get pregnant and raise their babies are often in the news. But what about those children who are growing up with parents scarcely half a generation older than themselves?

In this wise and funny first novel by Carole Lazar, Lucy is a sensible, perhaps even rigid, thirteen year old who is convinced that Grandma, God, and the Catholic Church are on her side. She tries hard to make her twenty-eight-year-old mother see the error of her ways. It’s not that her mother is wild – in their household even a fancy coffee causes a scene – but she has had to put off her own teenage years and she’s chaffing at the restraints on her life. Lucy is faced with the loss of her family, her home, her school, and even her best friend. As she struggles to preserve what she can from her past life, she finds that while Grandma, God, and her church are still there for her, there are problems she has to solve for herself.


 This book was slow at the beginning, but after the first thirty pages or so, I really started to like Lucy, and wanted to know what was going to happen to her. It’s true-most stories are about the teens who get pregnant, not about what happens to their babies. This story definitely didn’t take the turn that I thought it would, but I still enjoyed it.

The characters in the book were well-defined enough, yet sometimes left a little to be desired. They did things that didn’t fit in with how they were first made out to be, personalities didn’t stay consistent. It was a little annoying, but only a minor concern.

The ending was a bit messy and didn’t wrap anything up. I don’t think there are any books following this one and most of the questions that came to mind during the story were left unanswered. I’ve enjoyed open-ended endings before, so it wasn’t that aspect that turned me off. It seemed abrupt and unnatural. A few pages more might have made it better.

Lucy Unstrung is narrated by a funny, opinionated teenage girl. I would have liked it more if the ending was a little different. I give it 2.5/5 stars.


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