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Lucy Clark Will Not Apologize

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Lucy Clark has had it. After being bullied one too many times at the boarding school her parents enrolled her in, sixteen-year-old Lucy—who has been underestimated her entire life—retaliates. But when the fallout is far worse than she meant it to be, she gets suspended and sent to New York City, where she must serve as a full-time companion to the eccentric Edith Fox. Once Lucy Clark has had it. After being bullied one too many times at the boarding school her parents enrolled her in, sixteen-year-old Lucy—who has been underestimated her entire life—retaliates. But when the fallout is far worse than she meant it to be, she gets suspended and sent to New York City, where she must serve as a full-time companion to the eccentric Edith Fox. Once in Manhattan, however, Lucy discovers the glamorous, mysterious Edith is nothing like she expected. With Edith, Lucy learns to revel in the freedom of being herself. And though Edith’s world of hidden gardens and afternoon teas is magical and beguiling, there’s one other thing about her that makes her unlike anyone Lucy has ever met...she thinks someone is trying to kill her. And Lucy has to find out who it is.


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Lucy Clark has had it. After being bullied one too many times at the boarding school her parents enrolled her in, sixteen-year-old Lucy—who has been underestimated her entire life—retaliates. But when the fallout is far worse than she meant it to be, she gets suspended and sent to New York City, where she must serve as a full-time companion to the eccentric Edith Fox. Once Lucy Clark has had it. After being bullied one too many times at the boarding school her parents enrolled her in, sixteen-year-old Lucy—who has been underestimated her entire life—retaliates. But when the fallout is far worse than she meant it to be, she gets suspended and sent to New York City, where she must serve as a full-time companion to the eccentric Edith Fox. Once in Manhattan, however, Lucy discovers the glamorous, mysterious Edith is nothing like she expected. With Edith, Lucy learns to revel in the freedom of being herself. And though Edith’s world of hidden gardens and afternoon teas is magical and beguiling, there’s one other thing about her that makes her unlike anyone Lucy has ever met...she thinks someone is trying to kill her. And Lucy has to find out who it is.

30 review for Lucy Clark Will Not Apologize

  1. 4 out of 5

    Margo

    I wrote a new book! And I revised it DURING A PANDEMIC! With my children home all the time in remote school! It has cake and tea and food and flowers in it, and I hope you enjoy it if you read it, and I hope it offers an escape from the pandemic for a while, as it did for me while writing it. :) xo Margo

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lexi

    Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book was so much fun and kept me on my feet the entire time! The mystery of the murderer surprised me, even though I was constantly guessing who it could’ve been or what might’ve been happening. I enjoyed every second of this book and found it so hard to put down. The blurb of this book described it as a “modern day version of The Secret Garden” and this book had so Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book was so much fun and kept me on my feet the entire time! The mystery of the murderer surprised me, even though I was constantly guessing who it could’ve been or what might’ve been happening. I enjoyed every second of this book and found it so hard to put down. The blurb of this book described it as a “modern day version of The Secret Garden” and this book had so much of the charm and nature (literally) of that original story! All of the characters are so interesting and easy to like, even the ones that you’re supposed to be suspicious of. Lucy was such an interesting main character, as was Edith and their overall dynamic together and trusting of each other.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa Thomas

    this cover is like a beautiful print you'd find at anthropologie and hang up in your entryway next to your delicate butterfly hook that holds your polene paris bag this cover is like a beautiful print you'd find at anthropologie and hang up in your entryway next to your delicate butterfly hook that holds your polene paris bag

  4. 5 out of 5

    Clara

    Lucy Clark Will Not Apologize was such an odd book. It was maybe one of the most strange books I've read in several months, and not in a good way, either. The main strange thing about this book is that someone was trying to murder Edith, and everyone was so chill about it. The prevailing attitude here could be summarized as "someone is trying to murder Edith. We should probably get that sorted out." If someone is trying to murder you or your friend, you should be very, very nervous, and these ch Lucy Clark Will Not Apologize was such an odd book. It was maybe one of the most strange books I've read in several months, and not in a good way, either. The main strange thing about this book is that someone was trying to murder Edith, and everyone was so chill about it. The prevailing attitude here could be summarized as "someone is trying to murder Edith. We should probably get that sorted out." If someone is trying to murder you or your friend, you should be very, very nervous, and these characters absolutely were not. They took some sensible anti-murder precautions, sure, but there were not many nervous vibes at all. This book was supposed to be, like, fun. (I didn't find it fun, but it was clearly trying to be fun). A character was almost murdered on several occasions, and it was supposed to be fun. Sure, Margo Rabb, sure. I'm sure it's possible to write a fun book about murder, but this is not how you do it. I think it would have to be more darkly fun. Fun for the readers, but not the characters. Another strange thing about this book was the inconsistencies in the criminal justice system. The police were reluctant to investigate the attempted murder, (view spoiler)[but the fact that Lucy once pushed someone down a flight of stairs warranted an investigation for looking into whether she pushed someone else down a flight of stairs. (hide spoiler)] That's less strange and more just inconsistent. But there are other strange things. - One character catcalled Lucy and then she and other characters had a brief discussion about how accurate the catcalling remark was. - One teenage character kissed another (younger) teenage character, and then made a remark about how it was actually illegal in New York for him to be kissing her. What was the point of this statement? Who decided this was a good idea? - (view spoiler)[One of the villains was named Beverly Leery, which is remarkably close to Beverly Cleary, the author. This was almost certainly not intentional, although it was strange. (hide spoiler)] - Lucy low key hit on a septuagenarian. - Jack was fond of ferns, and this was seen as a ✨meaningful personal confession✨ that took a lot of courage to talk about because people might have considered it weird. How could anyone think fern enthusiasm is weird? Ferns are cool. In what universe do people thing a fondness for ferns is weird? (view spoiler)[Lucy had this ✨revelation✨ at the end of the book that her parents actually didn't love her because they displayed an unwillingness to accept her as she was and because they were frequently away, leading her to be raised by her grandmother. The entire self-discovery and self-acceptance themes in this book were awkward and not very good, anyhow, but it's especially ridiculous that Lucy came to the conclusion that her parents don't love her because their work required them to travel. This was never really challenged either. She was seeing a therapist at the end of the book to work through some things, but it wasn't clear that she was learning that her parents actually did love her. I'm not convinced that the author didn't want me to come away from this book thinking that Lucy's parents didn't love her. They were, to be sure, not great at parenting. But it was very silly to suggest they didn't love her. (hide spoiler)] Lucy Clark Will Not Apologize exhibited significant unfulfilled potential. The author could have improved this book by ~25% if she had used more Incorrect Capitalization to illustrate Lucy's father's extreme Pretentiousness. I loved the Incorrect Capitalization. It was so fun. It showed Authorial Brilliance, in my Opinion. That would have been the main way to fulfill this book's Potential. This book displayed a few redeeming qualities. The solution to the mystery largely made sense. Some of the characters were kind of fun. The author did a good job of making Nanette and Liliana seem extremely ridiculous. Clifford was a good character, too. Another redeeming quality was this typo in which Lucy meant to say, "Maybe someone else is after the diary, too," but instead said, "Maybe someone else is after the dairy, too." That was a good typo. I enjoyed that typo. Oh, and another thing, there was a metaphor about how the characters' situation was like a frog being gradually boiled to death, and how they were immersing themselves in dangerous things that were eventually going to lead to their demise or something (I don't know; I didn't understand it), but ordinary frogs actually cannot be gradually boiled to death. They'll jump out of the vessel of water once it reaches 25 degrees Celsius (what is this in degrees fahrenheit? good question. i couldn't tell you). This guy from the 1800s did an experiment in which he tried to gradually boil frogs, and (ordinarily) he couldn't. If he removed the frog's brain, it would boil to death. But of course it did. It didn't have a brain.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Stacey-Lea

    Lucy Clark Will Not Apologise is your run of the mill mystery YA. There’s nothing too special here but it is a cute little story a very interesting cast of characters. I was really looking forward to this one as I love a good teenage girl detective lead YA mystery, with the likes of the Truly Devious series and A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder being some of my faves. Sadly, Lucy Clark Will Not Apologise just didn’t quite get there for me. I was never fully gripped into the mystery of who was trying Lucy Clark Will Not Apologise is your run of the mill mystery YA. There’s nothing too special here but it is a cute little story a very interesting cast of characters. I was really looking forward to this one as I love a good teenage girl detective lead YA mystery, with the likes of the Truly Devious series and A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder being some of my faves. Sadly, Lucy Clark Will Not Apologise just didn’t quite get there for me. I was never fully gripped into the mystery of who was trying to kill Edith because the stakes never seemed high enough. This one maybe isn’t for the seasoned YA mystery readers, but a younger, newer reader to the genre will probably enjoy it. The story as a whole aside, what I didn’t quite mesh with in this one is how the characters speak. It all felt really unnatural and I couldn’t picture anyone actually talking like that. This is most notable in Lucy’s parents, who in classic YA fashion are never around, and while I get that they had the whole ‘life coach’ schtick, they felt particularly clunky and robotic. Also, the strange interactions between Lucy and her love interest, Jack. Yikes, I was uncomfy. But! The characters themselves are all fun and you’re definitely not going to get confused (okay I did forget who Peter was when he showed back up at the end there but anyway). Quirky book is quirky. Just, don’t take it seriously. ARC provided by Edelweiss for an honest review

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kalyn✨

    DNF at 32% - just couldn’t get into it! Might try again later.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    Rating: 4.5 Stars After "the incident", Lucy was sent to New York. Her punishment was to intern for the fabulous and eccentric Edith, who believed someone was out to get her. While other questioned Edith's mental capacity, Lucy set out to solve the mystery and made discoveries about herself along the way. For a story driven by a search for a murder, this was a rather sweet and charming tale. Rabb did an amazing job keeping this on the lighter side while still exploring weightier topics. The book Rating: 4.5 Stars After "the incident", Lucy was sent to New York. Her punishment was to intern for the fabulous and eccentric Edith, who believed someone was out to get her. While other questioned Edith's mental capacity, Lucy set out to solve the mystery and made discoveries about herself along the way. For a story driven by a search for a murder, this was a rather sweet and charming tale. Rabb did an amazing job keeping this on the lighter side while still exploring weightier topics. The book was filled with a fantastic cast of characters, plenty of humor, and lots of feels. Things that delighted me: • The characters were definitely the biggest draw for me. They were such an interesting group, and I enjoyed every second I spent with them. They were wonderful as individuals, but it was the group dynamic I loved most. • The gardens sounded incredible. Rabb pulled me right into these whimsical and magical places. As a native New Yorker, I revel in those green spaces that exist alongside the concrete jungle. The physical beauty of these gardens came across clear as day, but there was more to it. It was about what these places gave back to those who worked in them or simply gazed upon their beauty. • Edith's columns were really lovely. There were some snippets of columns Edith wrote for a garden publication, but they were more about how gardening related to life. Each of those columns shared some real wisdom, and I loved the way Rabb worked them into the story. • It was gratifying to see Lucy find herself and her people. Lucy struggled with feeling accepted. Her parents left her to be raised by her grandmother, and then when her grandmother died, they sent her to a boarding school. Though she formed a few solid friendships there, Lucy struggled to fit in. New York was a whole new realm for her, and I delighted in seeing her find a place she was accepted as she truly began to accept herself. This was fun, warm, and cozy mystery, which surprised me in the best way. I enjoyed following the trail and getting to the bottom of things along with Lucy, but I didn't expect to find those pieces about belonging, acceptance and family, or for the story to warm my heart so much. Overall, this was a satisfying mystery, which left me smiling and basking in the warm-fuzzies. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  8. 4 out of 5

    Abbey

    I received a digital ARC of this book. Okay, first of all a weirdo teen girl going to help a chic, eccentric, elderly lady solve a mystery is very much Abbey-bait. Of course I loved it. The beginning scenes at the boarding school didn't totally gel for me, but after reading the whole thing I liked them better in retrospect. Things really pick up when the story moves to New York. I loved the cast of characters, there is something so warm about reading about these rollicking group scenes. I enjoye I received a digital ARC of this book. Okay, first of all a weirdo teen girl going to help a chic, eccentric, elderly lady solve a mystery is very much Abbey-bait. Of course I loved it. The beginning scenes at the boarding school didn't totally gel for me, but after reading the whole thing I liked them better in retrospect. Things really pick up when the story moves to New York. I loved the cast of characters, there is something so warm about reading about these rollicking group scenes. I enjoyed the mystery for the most part, although (view spoiler)[ I wish Lucy had been around for the whole unraveling of everything. Hearing about it after the fact is an efficient way to get the information across but it does take her out of the action in a way that isn't completely satisfying. (hide spoiler)] Where this story really shines is Lucy's relationship with her parents. Understanding that your found family can be better for you than your traditional family and that you have agency and are deserving of unconditional love. It's a powerful message uniquely told. I can see recommending this to fans of "Ordinary Girls" by Blair Thornburgh.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jenni

    This is a fun mystery about Lucy, who leaves her fancy boarding school to live in NYC to take care of an elderly lady who believes that someone is out to get her. Is the old lady crazy? Is it dementia? Or is there really someone who is trying to get to her and why? Yet another kids in boarding school book--it's getting really old and I can only hope for better in 2021. This is a fun mystery about Lucy, who leaves her fancy boarding school to live in NYC to take care of an elderly lady who believes that someone is out to get her. Is the old lady crazy? Is it dementia? Or is there really someone who is trying to get to her and why? Yet another kids in boarding school book--it's getting really old and I can only hope for better in 2021.

  10. 4 out of 5

    talia ♡

    i literally don't even care what this book is about, this cover is SO PRETTYYYYYYYY!!! i literally don't even care what this book is about, this cover is SO PRETTYYYYYYYY!!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sofia

    Ever since "the incident," things have not been going well for Lucy Clark. Her best friend was pulled out of their boarding school, her grandmother died, and her parents have been just as distant as ever. Following "the incident," Lucy is suspended and sent to live with her cousin in NYC, where she will assist an elderly woman named Edith. Life in NYC is nothing like Lucy expected, and to complicate matters, Edith is sure there's someone trying to murder her. With a cast of eccentric characters Ever since "the incident," things have not been going well for Lucy Clark. Her best friend was pulled out of their boarding school, her grandmother died, and her parents have been just as distant as ever. Following "the incident," Lucy is suspended and sent to live with her cousin in NYC, where she will assist an elderly woman named Edith. Life in NYC is nothing like Lucy expected, and to complicate matters, Edith is sure there's someone trying to murder her. With a cast of eccentric characters (who sometimes felt flat), a beautiful garden setting, and a solid mystery, this was a pretty good book. The pace felt too slow up until the end when it finally picked up and I feel like it was maybe 75 or so pages too long. Overall, it was a solid 3.5 that I'm rounding up. I loved the cover art and the art on each chapter page! Thanks to the publishers for sending an ARC!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    I have to say, I loved this book. Thank you to the publisher and Goodreads giveaways for the free advanced copy! The mystery I couldn’t figure out. It was written in a way that was vague and left me wondering until it was finally revealed. Maybe others might find it an easy solve, but it wasn’t the case for me. I thought it made the book more enjoyable. I loved the characters, a bunch of misunderstood underdogs. I especially loved Lucy, her journey of finding herself and understanding her life an I have to say, I loved this book. Thank you to the publisher and Goodreads giveaways for the free advanced copy! The mystery I couldn’t figure out. It was written in a way that was vague and left me wondering until it was finally revealed. Maybe others might find it an easy solve, but it wasn’t the case for me. I thought it made the book more enjoyable. I loved the characters, a bunch of misunderstood underdogs. I especially loved Lucy, her journey of finding herself and understanding her life and her parents I found really captivating. There were times she was talking down to herself and I felt so akin to her troubled self-esteem. Her emotions were definitely real and the author wrote them perfectly. I couldn’t put this book down once I got into it. The cover is also gorgeous, as is the art in the chapter headings. So pretty!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Branwen Sedai *of the Brown Ajah*

    "To be nobody but yourself - in a world which is doing it's best, night and day, to make you everybody else - means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting." ~ E.E. Cummings "To be nobody but yourself - in a world which is doing it's best, night and day, to make you everybody else - means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting." ~ E.E. Cummings

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay Nixon

    DNF at 23% The amount of triggering that happened in the first 30-odd pages had me wanting my weighted blanket. Elder abuse. Bullying. Parental neglect. Family dysfunction. Gaslighting. Invalidation. Mental illness shaming. (Just to name a few) SUMMARY: Lucy’s parents are abusive fat-shaming narcissists and the head of her boarding school is an abusive authoritarian (a copy of Carol Burnett). Together they decide to suspend Lucy and force her to undertake an “internship” which involves her carin DNF at 23% The amount of triggering that happened in the first 30-odd pages had me wanting my weighted blanket. Elder abuse. Bullying. Parental neglect. Family dysfunction. Gaslighting. Invalidation. Mental illness shaming. (Just to name a few) SUMMARY: Lucy’s parents are abusive fat-shaming narcissists and the head of her boarding school is an abusive authoritarian (a copy of Carol Burnett). Together they decide to suspend Lucy and force her to undertake an “internship” which involves her caring for an elderly woman. Lucy is told the woman is “mentally unsound” except to Lucy, she appears fine, save for that she is suspicious and thinks someone might be trying to kill her. That’s as far as I got. I just couldn’t ✋🏼 🛑 with the horrible “parents”, nasty headmistress, and mean girls.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jenni

    This is a fun mystery about Lucy, who leaves her fancy boarding school to live in NYC to take care of an elderly lady who believes that someone is out to get her. Is the old lady crazy? Is it dementia? Or is there really someone who is trying to get to her and why?

  16. 4 out of 5

    John Clark

    Part coming of age, part teen detective, part how friendship endures, while containing lots of deceit and betrayal sums up this YA story. Lucy Clark was raised by her grandmother because her parents were far too self-absorbed and into fleecing the world with new age guru baloney. After Gram died, they stuck her in an incredibly toxic private school, one guaranteed to eat her soul piece by piece. When her one act of rebellion costs her bestie, when Dyna's dad pulls her out of school, it seems lik Part coming of age, part teen detective, part how friendship endures, while containing lots of deceit and betrayal sums up this YA story. Lucy Clark was raised by her grandmother because her parents were far too self-absorbed and into fleecing the world with new age guru baloney. After Gram died, they stuck her in an incredibly toxic private school, one guaranteed to eat her soul piece by piece. When her one act of rebellion costs her bestie, when Dyna's dad pulls her out of school, it seems like the world couldn't get any worse. When she's suddenly suspended and packed off to be a companion to an elderly woman in NYC who's supposedly suffering from dementia, it seems like the fates have decided to kick her to the curb. Instead, Lucy finds herself entering an adventurous new world that is at times, scary, but more often exhilarating and capable of life changing power. Read the book to find out how. It's a terrific story and deserving of a place in any library caring about providing good thoughtful fiction to teen readers.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Miriam

    I stayed up late to finish this mystery. I just loved the characters. Lucy and her friend Dyna were plucky, Edith and her friend Mimsy loved plants, gardening, and were feisty "elderly" ladies (maybe 60 years old). And the mystery was puzzling. Rabb put together an endearing and intense mystery that allowed the 16 year-old girls to grow up, learn to be a little independent, and to believe in themselves. Best of all, we see "older" folks behaving in age appropriate ways and enjoying life. While th I stayed up late to finish this mystery. I just loved the characters. Lucy and her friend Dyna were plucky, Edith and her friend Mimsy loved plants, gardening, and were feisty "elderly" ladies (maybe 60 years old). And the mystery was puzzling. Rabb put together an endearing and intense mystery that allowed the 16 year-old girls to grow up, learn to be a little independent, and to believe in themselves. Best of all, we see "older" folks behaving in age appropriate ways and enjoying life. While the book ends on a high note, it also leave room for a sequel. I do hope Margo Rabb plans for more adventures with Lucy, Dyna, Edith, and Mimsy. Thanks to the BookLoft of German Village (Columbus, OH) http://www.bookloft.com for an ARC to read and review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    BreeAnn (She Just Loves Books)

    This was a good coming-of-age story with what felt like a cozy mystery setting. I enjoyed some of the characters and the overall story. Some parts felt a bit slow for me, but overall, this was a good story. I was provided a gifted copy of this book for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    At Reading Rants: http://www.readingrants.org/2021/06/2... At Reading Rants: http://www.readingrants.org/2021/06/2...

  20. 4 out of 5

    Naomi Nair

    If a book can present one with the most exhilarating feeling after an enthralling reading session, then I'm quite high at the moment! Seriously, who needs drugs when books can make you deliriously happy! I just finished the most amazing book, "Lucy Clark Will Not Apologize" by Margo Rabb and it's all I can think about. 💭 Deeply endearing and strikingly witty, this is a well-crafted coming-of-age thriller I have read in a long time. There are so many things about this book that delighted me, right If a book can present one with the most exhilarating feeling after an enthralling reading session, then I'm quite high at the moment! Seriously, who needs drugs when books can make you deliriously happy! I just finished the most amazing book, "Lucy Clark Will Not Apologize" by Margo Rabb and it's all I can think about. 💭 Deeply endearing and strikingly witty, this is a well-crafted coming-of-age thriller I have read in a long time. There are so many things about this book that delighted me, right from the quirky title and the dreamy cover art! Beautifully written, I was less the reader and more like a silent spectator bearing witness to the events that forced Lucy to take up an unusual internship with an eccentric employer, and being privy to her inner most thoughts that had me both laughing out loud and tearing up at the same time. All the characters are cleverly drawn and they really bring out the best or worst in you, just like they did with Lucy. Take for example, Lucy's parents! They sure know how to test one's patience, with the forced positivity and so-called well-meaning advises. Edith's columns were soul-soothing and a much-needed reminder of what truly matters in life. This is one of those books that will stay with you for a while. I'll be sure to peek into its pages time and again to get lost in the magical and fascinating world of Lucy Clark. 💜

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    Lucy Clark's parents are stupid jerks who leave her with her grandmother, who raises her. Everything is fine until her grandmother dies and her parents ship her off to a boarding school, where trouble ensues. Said trouble gets Lucy expelled from school, so she is sent to NYC to work for an eccentric old lady who is convinced someone is trying to murder her. Lucy comes into her own and discovers that family is not necessarily who you're born to, but who you choose to surround yourself with. This Lucy Clark's parents are stupid jerks who leave her with her grandmother, who raises her. Everything is fine until her grandmother dies and her parents ship her off to a boarding school, where trouble ensues. Said trouble gets Lucy expelled from school, so she is sent to NYC to work for an eccentric old lady who is convinced someone is trying to murder her. Lucy comes into her own and discovers that family is not necessarily who you're born to, but who you choose to surround yourself with. This was a fun, quirky, beautiful, magical read that kept me guessing and made me long to have tea with Lucy and Edith and Mimsy on a rooftop garden.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Clay

    Really enjoyed this one.

  23. 5 out of 5

    sarah

    BOOK REPORT for Lucy Clark Will Not Apologize by Margo Rabb Cover Story: Montell Jordan BFF Charm: Let Me Love You Swoonworthy Scale: 4 Talky Talk: Konigsburg, Dahling Bonus Factors: Gardens, Sea Change DayAnti-Bonus Factor: Dan Scott Award for Awful Parenting Relationship Status: Budding Romance Cover Story: Montell Jordan Bright colors and enchanting illustrations, a.k.a. this is how we do it, y'all! Plus the flowers aren't just for show--like the fox, the cake, and the diary, they play a vital ro BOOK REPORT for Lucy Clark Will Not Apologize by Margo Rabb Cover Story: Montell Jordan BFF Charm: Let Me Love You Swoonworthy Scale: 4 Talky Talk: Konigsburg, Dahling Bonus Factors: Gardens, Sea Change DayAnti-Bonus Factor: Dan Scott Award for Awful Parenting Relationship Status: Budding Romance Cover Story: Montell Jordan Bright colors and enchanting illustrations, a.k.a. this is how we do it, y'all! Plus the flowers aren't just for show--like the fox, the cake, and the diary, they play a vital role in the story. My only complaint is that I can't order this in wallpaper.  The Deal: Ever since the incident at Thornton Academy and the departure of her best friend, Dyna, Lucy Clark has been quietly miserable, diminished by bullies and the dreadful headmistress, Ms. Leery. It seems to Lucy like things can't get any worse, especially after she's finally suspended, but that's actually when her life takes a turn for the better, in the most bonkers way imaginable. Sent by her absentee parents to New York City to live with a cousin, Lucy is charged with serving as a companion for Edith Fox, a fabulously wealthy, famous horticulturist who believes that someone is trying to kill her. It seems crazy, but Lucy feels compelled by her immediate connection with Edith to help her discover the truth, so the two of them (along with a few accomplices) embark on a madcap adventure through family secrets, glorious gardens, and the charming streets of the Upper West Side.  BFF Charm: Let Me Love You I can't recall the last time I wanted to hug a protagonist THIS HARD. Basically abandoned by her parents and still grieving the death of her beloved grandmother, Lucy sees herself as a failure, a bad person who always ends up disappointing people, when hello, that could not be farther from the truth! She's compassionate, reflective, and wonderfully imaginative, with a sneaky sense of humor, and thankfully, Edith gives her the space and encouragement she needs to understand her worth. (Because lord knows, me *gently* yelling, "LUCY, YOU ARE AWESOME!" at the pages of the book made zero impact.)  Swoonworthy Scale: 4 After she moves in with her (awful) cousin Nanette, Lucy meets a teenage neighbor out walking his cat on a leash (always a good sign). Jack is a thoughtful, earnest guy who sometimes takes after his father, a no-nonsense cop, and other times embodies the sweet, joyous spirit of his mother, who recently passed away. I liked the slow development of Lucy's relationship with him, but the romance itself felt a little middle grade to me, though definitely realistic and true to their characters.  Talky Talk: Konigsburg, Dahling With Lucy Clark , Margo Rabb channels a truly marvelous combination of E.L. Konigsburg and Roald Dahl. There's even a Dahl quote prefacing one of the chapters, though you don't need it to see his influence peppering the pages, including the colorful characters, and I mean characters. There's Edith's bestie, Mimsy, whose decorating scheme is "bordello meets indie bookshop,"; Dyna's dad, a cruise-loving widower dubbed "Hairy Tomato,"; Uriah, the hoodie-rocking Thornton librarian who never speaks; and Ms. Leery, a more sophisticated, conniving version of Trunchbull. In the vein of Konigsburg, Rabb writes in a frank but playful style, with clever comedic sparks like this depiction of Lucy's dad, spewing his self-help guru crap:   "'Let's stay focused on the How here and the Future. How happiness and joy are around the corner. We just have to walk through the Jagged Path to get there.' In his writing, capitals popped up in his sentences like gophers."  Simply put, reading this book was a goddamn delight.  Bonus Factor: Gardens Given her horticulture career, it's no surprise that Edith has some incredible gardens, and not only does Lucy get to explore them, she gets to help them grow (as a person with absolutely no yard, I'm extremely jealous). I had a Secret Garden -level THRILLS while reading about Lucy planting dahlias with names like Fuzzy Wuzzy and Mandragora Moon and discovering, amidst the blooms, the outdoor library with stone books featuring titles like It's Never Too Slate. We're talking straight up garden porn here, y'all, and I am HERE FOR IT.  Bonus Factor: Sea Change Day Edith and Mimsy, absolute legends and my new old lady icons, have a lot of excellent traditions and rituals, but my favorite is Sea Change Day. Inspired by the writings of M. F. K. Fisher, who described how your soul changes when you cross the ocean, these two dames have their own version of Treat Yo' Self. As Edith explains:  "A Sea Change Day is when you say 'screw it' to everything that's expected of you, everything you're supposed to do. It's a way to turn around a blue day. A low day. To take a break and explore. Have dessert for lunch. Eat something beautiful."  Edith, your wish is my command. Anti-Bonus Factor: Dan Scott Award for Awful Parenting Holy moly do Lucy's parents suck. Her dad is completely absorbed in his self-help empire, which is run by her mom, and because his "vision" is so important, they've had to travel the world and leave Lucy behind. As if that wasn't enough, they're constantly fat shaming their daughter, to the point where they send Lucy boxes of shakes (from Dad's new line of health smoothies, natch) to keep her on a diet in NYC. I wanted to punch those platitudes right off Mr. Clark's face.  Relationship Status: Budding Romance Like a dazzling dahlia, my connection with this book grew and blossomed into complete adoration. I dug (get it?!) the topsy turvy mystery, the eccentric cast of characters, the gorgeous garden settings, and Lucy's journey towards self-acceptance, and even after our season together ends, thoughts of this book will always put a spring in my step. (I'll see myself out.) 

  24. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    This book had everything I like: amateur detectives, eccentric elderly people, diaries, secret codes, strong female friendships, boarding school stories, librarian and lunch lady allies, international chocolates, Sherlock references, cats, the beauty of nature, finding art as a small mercy in a fraught world, choosing one's own family, and recognizing and overcoming past trauma. I only read a few pages at a time because I didn't want it to end. This book had everything I like: amateur detectives, eccentric elderly people, diaries, secret codes, strong female friendships, boarding school stories, librarian and lunch lady allies, international chocolates, Sherlock references, cats, the beauty of nature, finding art as a small mercy in a fraught world, choosing one's own family, and recognizing and overcoming past trauma. I only read a few pages at a time because I didn't want it to end.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    A sweet, funny mystery that is a adventure without too much thinking to it. It's not bad or great, but its worth your time if you enjoy a cozy mystery. A sweet, funny mystery that is a adventure without too much thinking to it. It's not bad or great, but its worth your time if you enjoy a cozy mystery.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Natasha

    This was the first YA book I've read after really a long time. It was the right mix of fun, quirky, mystery with a sprinkling of colourful characters. This was the first YA book I've read after really a long time. It was the right mix of fun, quirky, mystery with a sprinkling of colourful characters.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tabby

    OMG! This book was amazing! I definitely needed a good mystery! I was not expecting all the twists and turns this book had, but it made me want to keep reading! I would highly recommend for anyone!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Starr ❇✌❇

    I received an Arc from Edelweiss 3 It's bad enough that Lucy's grandmother, the person who raised her, died. It's bad enough that thanks to The Incident her best friend was taken out of school and isn't allowed to talk to her. But being in the middle of a murder attempt? The internship in New York isn't anything like Lucy expected it to be- companion to an old woman, Edith, who seems like she can handle herself. And when it comes out that Edith believes she's in danger of being murdered, everythin I received an Arc from Edelweiss 3 It's bad enough that Lucy's grandmother, the person who raised her, died. It's bad enough that thanks to The Incident her best friend was taken out of school and isn't allowed to talk to her. But being in the middle of a murder attempt? The internship in New York isn't anything like Lucy expected it to be- companion to an old woman, Edith, who seems like she can handle herself. And when it comes out that Edith believes she's in danger of being murdered, everything goes off the rails. Supplied by helpful, yet nosy, old women, a best friend who literally jumped ship to get there, and a boy who might be more than just a neighbor to her, Lucy's determined to make sure Edith gets taken seriously, and stays alive. This book sounded like it was going to be a pretty fun coming of age, but it fell flat for me. My expecatations for this story, and the tone at large, was way more realistic than the actual story is. If you want a kooky mystery then this might be your story, but don't expect anything close to realistic. The thing I wound up liking most in this whole book was Lucy's connection to her Jewish religion, and how prevalent Judaism is in this story. There aren't a lot of practicing Jewish people in YA, and I was happy to see how integral her faith and culture has to her, even if it wasn't to her parents. But for the most part I thought this was a pretty flat and over the top story. Lucy isn't much of a character, everyone at her school is a carciture of that role (like the headmistress or the strangely chummy cook). The Incident itself is brought up so often that it needs huge pay off and it disappoints because it can't quite get there- mostly because the bullies and their harassment doesn't have enough weight to give the actual "incident" the stakes it needs for it to feel like more than just another wacky hijink. This is a more juvenile YA than I thought it would be, and I think a younger reader would have fun with it. For me, the story never found its groove, and I couldn't get invested in it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Lucy Clark, a 16-year-old junior in boarding school in Texas, is mourning the loss of the grandmother who raised her, as her parents’ globe-trotting life has prevented Lucy from ever living with them. Alone and bereft, she becomes best friends with Dyna, but when the girls are involved in an altercation with some bullies, Lucy is suspended from school and sent to New York City to live with a cousin and work for an elderly woman named Edith. Lucy is immediately swept up in a mystery as Edith beli Lucy Clark, a 16-year-old junior in boarding school in Texas, is mourning the loss of the grandmother who raised her, as her parents’ globe-trotting life has prevented Lucy from ever living with them. Alone and bereft, she becomes best friends with Dyna, but when the girls are involved in an altercation with some bullies, Lucy is suspended from school and sent to New York City to live with a cousin and work for an elderly woman named Edith. Lucy is immediately swept up in a mystery as Edith believes someone is trying to kill her. An eccentric group of suspects is revealed, and, in an implausible twist, Dyna joins Lucy in New York and the girls piece together the clues of who is trying to kill Edith. This story feels more like a cozy mystery for adults that was modified to fit a YA audience. The theme of creating a family of choice versus a family of origin is certainly worthwhile, but the trope of absentee parents in YA novels is taken to an extreme here. While the whimsical tone and the multigenerational connections are a plus, the mystery is far-fetched. Little description of Lucy and Dyna’s appearances is given in the narrative. Verdict: This mystery might take some hand-selling by librarians but would be a good fit for teens who feel misunderstood and yearn to be heard. I reviewed this book for the School Library Journal and can be found here: https://www.slj.com/?reviewDetail=luc...

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jaye Berry

    Lucy Clark Will Not Apologize is about a girl named Lucy who after getting suspended from her boarding school, is sent to NYC and tasked to take care of an elderly woman. Edith is nothing like Lucy expected- Edith believes that someone is trying to kill her. As Lucy works on the mystery, she learns to enjoy the freedom of living in the city. The overall vibe of this book was pretty good but I feel like if a different author had written it, I would have actually loved it. The writing was just off Lucy Clark Will Not Apologize is about a girl named Lucy who after getting suspended from her boarding school, is sent to NYC and tasked to take care of an elderly woman. Edith is nothing like Lucy expected- Edith believes that someone is trying to kill her. As Lucy works on the mystery, she learns to enjoy the freedom of living in the city. The overall vibe of this book was pretty good but I feel like if a different author had written it, I would have actually loved it. The writing was just off to me?? Character descriptions and what Lucy would call them were weird. Everything was so quirky and it was strange, like watching a tv show that has an insanely bright color palette. I know this makes no sense but it felt like the entire book would have fit better as that insanely bright tv show (that of course only becomes insanely bright after she leaves the boarding school where she got bullied behind and comes to NYC.) Like please, the sitcom writes itself. The mystery is... a thing that takes them around the city and back to the boarding school and it was a little far fetched. I loved Lucy's friendship with the old ladies and her best friend so much but the romance was just sketchy to me. He was older by a couple years, okay whatever. But when he mentioned the age of consent just when they are about to kiss I no longer want to read that kiss, you weirdos. The cover is absolutely beautiful oh my god though!

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