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The Lucy Variations
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The Lucy Variations
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Lucy Beck-Moreau once had a promising future as a concert pianist. The right people knew her name, her performances were booked months in advance, and her future seemed certain.That was all before she...
Lucy Beck-Moreau once had a promising future as a concert pianist. The right people knew her name, her performances were booked months in advance, and her future seemed certain.That was all before she...
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Description-

  • Lucy Beck-Moreau once had a promising future as a concert pianist. The right people knew her name, her performances were booked months in advance, and her future seemed certain.


    That was all before she turned fourteen.


    Now, at sixteen, it's over. A death, and a betrayal, led her to walk away. That leaves her talented ten-year-old brother, Gus, to shoulder the full weight of the Beck-Moreau family expectations. Then Gus gets a new piano teacher who is young, kind, and interested in helping Lucy rekindle her love of piano -- on her own terms. But when you're used to performing for sold-out audiences and world-famous critics, can you ever learn to play just for yourself?


    National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr takes readers inside one girl's struggle to reclaim her love of music and herself. To find joy again, even when things don't go according to plan. Because life isn't a performance, and everyone deserves the chance to make a few mistakes along the way.

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Sara Zarr was raised in San Francisco, California, and now lives with her husband in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is the author of The Lucy Variations, How to Save a Life, What We Lost, Sweethearts, and the National Book Award finalist Story of a Girl. Her website is www.sarazarr.com.

Reviews-

  • DOGO Books poofybear3 - people who like playing the piano...read the book...its awesome
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from March 11, 2013
    Zarr (How to Save a Life) doesn’t waste a word in this superb study of a young musical prodigy trying to reclaim her life. Sixteen-year-old Lucy Beck-Moreau has led a privileged and extremely focused life in San Francisco as a renowned pianist. Her mother and grandfather have provided her with the best teacher money can buy and ensured that she has entered the most prestigious competitions. But when Lucy refuses to perform in Prague after hearing her grandmother has just died, her career unravels. She retreats into the shadows, letting her talented younger brother, Gus, take center stage. After the arrival of Will, her brother’s vibrant new instructor, Lucy begins to reconsider her decision to stop playing piano. Like every teenager, Lucy has moments of self-doubt, self-centeredness, regret, infatuation, and humiliation. This multifaceted characterization makes her a deeply real and sympathetic character, and that dimensionality extends to the rest of the cast. The pressures Lucy is under feel powerful, immediate, and true—her journey of self-discovery will strike a profound chord with readers. Ages 12–up. Agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management.

  • Kirkus

    April 1, 2013
    Having publicly abandoned a promising piano career after her grandmother died while Lucy Beck-Moreau was a continent away preparing to perform, the 16-year-old struggles to figure out the place of music in her life apart from her family's expectations. What makes Lucy's story especially appealing is the very realistic way this "entitled brat" (as grandfather called her) acts out as she experiments with new identities. Prone to adolescent crushes, she obsesses about an English teacher, impulsively kisses a serviceman met in a candy shop and falls hard for her brother's new piano teacher, Will Devi. Lucy is impressively privileged: Old family money makes it possible for her to wear expensive clothes and attend an exclusive school; the family housekeeper provides important support. She also hurts. As the book opens, eight months after the death of the grandmother she still misses, she's futilely performing CPR on her brother's former teacher, dead of a stroke in the middle of a piano lesson. The third-person narration focuses entirely on Lucy but allows readers enough distance to help them understand her behavior in ways Lucy cannot. Occasional flashbacks fill out the back story. The combination of sympathetic main character and unusual social and cultural world makes this satisfying coming-of-age story stand out. (Fiction. 12-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from April 1, 2013

    Gr 8 Up-When 16-year-old Lucy walked out of a concert in Prague two years earlier, following a devastating discovery, her grandfather and mother abandoned their dreams of her career as a pianist. With Lucy's younger brother, Gus, now the rising star of the family, she must adjust to life as an average high school student. But the arrival of Will Devi, Gus's new piano tutor, inspires Lucy to reexamine herself and challenge her family's assumption that she lacks devotion to her craft. Though self-possessed and intelligent, Lucy is often an impulsive and uncertain protagonist, which makes her an at times frustrating but always realistic adolescent with whom readers will readily identify. Adult characters receive an equally rich treatment; Lucy's cold, dominating grandfather in particular reveals a softer side that keeps him from verging on cliche. The novel's measured plotting, which includes brief flashbacks to Lucy's previous life, effectively conveys both the rigorous discipline and joy that defined her commitment to music. The quiet, restrained prose is well suited for this thoughtful story about the struggle to find one's voice. Exploring relationships is where Zarr soars; in addition to Lucy's difficult rapport with her overbearing mother and stern grandfather, she must also cope with Gus's anger and jealousy as Will's interest in her career grows, her increasingly strained friendships, and her complicated feelings for Will himself. This strong coming-of-age story about music, passion, and the search for identity will appeal to longtime fans of Zarr's work and newcomers alike.-Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal

    Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from March 1, 2013
    Grades 9-12 *Starred Review* Pressure, expectation, the responsibility of proving to the world and yourself that you weren't just taking up space. This has been privileged San Franciscan Lucy Beck-Moreau's childhood as a renowned concert pianist. But after a family betrayal eight months ago, the 16-year-old walked off the stage in Prague, and her controlling grandfather's words haunt her: I take this as your final decision, Lucy. Now, though, Lucy's talented pianist brother, Gus, has a new teacher, Will, and he has taken a special interest in Lucy, asking her questions such as What do you love? and encouraging her to find the fun in music again. As she and Will grow closer, their relationship begins to cross lines, and she eventually wonders if Will has her best intentions at hearta question that's perhaps not fleshed out enough in the novel's end. But Zarr (Story of a Girl, 2007) does what she does best. Writing in the third person, she really, truly gets inside her characters' minds and shows us what makes them complex human beingstheir faults, fears, and hopes. The supporting characters, from best friend Reyna to English teacher Mr. Charles, are also deeply drawn, and each provides insight as Lucy searches for her own sense of self. The novel itself is structured like a musical composition with three movements of varying tempos and the occasional intermezzo. This is a mellifluous novel about rekindling joyin music, in the everyday, and in the beauty around us. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Zarr's Story of a Girl was a National Book Award finalist, and her books are consistently met with multiple starred reviews. A national author tour kicks off the publication of her latest.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2013, American Library Association.)

  • The New York Times Book Review An elegant novel...Zarr vividly develops the title character, illuminating Lucy's teenage insecurities, her close and fractious friendships and the coming-of-age realization that she can pursue her dreams on her own terms...A rewarding journey for readers.
  • James Dashner, New York Times bestselling author of The Maze Runner (Metro New York) This book has so much depth and character that it stays with you like actual memories. I love how Sara Zarr can make you laugh and cry on the same page, and I think this is her best book yet.
  • Booklist, starred review [Zarr] really, truly gets inside her characters' minds and shows us what makes them complex human beings — their faults, fears, and hopes...This is a mellifluous novel about rekindling joy — in music, in the everyday, and in the beauty around us.
  • Publishers Weekly, starred review Zarr doesn't waste a word in this superb study of a young musical prodigy trying to reclaim her life....[Lucy is] a deeply real and sympathetic character, and that dimensionality extends to the rest of the cast. The pressures Lucy is under feels powerful, immediate, and true — her journey of self-discovery will strike a profound chord with readers.
  • Kirkus Reviews, starred review The combination of sympathetic main character and unusual social and cultural world makes this satisfying coming-of-age story stand out.
  • SLJ, starred review Exploring relationships is where Zarr soars . . . This strong coming-of-age story about music, passion, and the search for identity will appeal to longtime fans of Zarr's work and newcomers alike.
  • The Horn Book A satisfying coming-of-age story and a thoughtful treatise on art, identity, and personal fulfillment.

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    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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