Reviews

Lu by Jason Reynolds

sarahanne8382's review against another edition

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4.0

I'm sad to be done with these kids, but liked how some plot points unexpectedly got resolved in this one.

Now I'll just have to go read all of Reynolds's other books.

alexilse's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

4.0

sparklethenpop's review against another edition

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4.0

Grateful for Jason Reynolds.

migimon2002's review against another edition

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5.0

Although its own unique & separate story, this 4th installment of the Track series brings the lives of the 4 main characters full circle. Things connect in brilliant ways that only Jason Reynolds can make happen (so reasonably and realistically). I DID NOT see that ending coming so again, hats off to Reynolds. I liked this series from the start, but after reading Sunny & then Lu (back to back in pretty much one sitting) I can now say I LOVE ❤️ it! I must also admit...a few tears were most definitely shed while reading Lu. Can’t wait to finish reading Ghost aloud to my students, so they can get their hands on the rest of this amazing series.

mika01's review against another edition

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emotional funny inspiring reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

jaij7's review against another edition

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5.0

I didn’t want it to end and I’m sure sad it is over but I’m so glad I joined the track team. Beautiful series. Thank you, Jason Reynolds.

retwiss's review

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fast-paced

4.0

amyv's review against another edition

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3.0

It took me a while to get through this, the fourth and final book in the Track series. I loved the first two, and just didn't particularly connect with the main character in the third. I was a bit more invested in Lu as a character, but this final installment just didn't feel as real to me as the others. The metaphors were heavy handed and tended towards cheesy. (What's integrity? It's an Olympic gold metal you hold in your heart.) The bit about Lu taking his contact lenses out made me feel like Reynolds doesn't have any experience with impaired vision or lenses - in 25 years I've never had to suddenly remove and *throw away* a pair of lenses because some grit blew into my eye, and I would only ever do as an absolute last resort, since suddenly being functionally blind out in public when you're used to having corrective lenses is pretty terrifying. That's a good example of the overall sense I had that Reynolds was forming his story around what he wanted to accomplish with this book, rather than allowing the story to evolve naturally. The way all the characters' families' lives are woven together at the end was narratively satisfying, but also felt too tidy and convenient.

I was also disappointed by the decision Lu and the team made at the end of the book, and disappointed that it seemed to be presented as an unqualified good choice.
Spoiler(Not one adult in dozens considered that maybe it was a bad idea for a huge uninvited group to mob the hospital to "support" Coach when he's in the middle of a crisis, instead of waiting, competing as Coach certainly would have wanted, and then visiting the hospital an hour later with his permission and invitation?)
The takeaway felt like big, performative displays of supposed integrity and loyalty are what matter most, even if those displays aren't actually helpful. It makes for a dramatic and emotional final scene (I teared up a little despite myself) but doesn't feel satisfying or authentic.

mariahistryingtoread's review against another edition

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3.0

The conclusion to the Track series was anti-climactic.

We get a random backstory to Coach that felt incongruous with the rest of the book. After all this time picturing him as John Witherspoon - something I believe Guy Lockard encourages with his vocal direction - it turns out he's a lot younger than I thought and apparently has a baby son that was just born? Completely blew my mind nothing about a pregnant wife was mentioned in a previous book.

The fight between Lu and the other kid (I do not recall his name) about being the sole track captain is finished with a whimper. They just suddenly respect one another. Even though Lu literally was being bullied by him which - to me - should have been enough to demote the kid or kick him off the team, but Coach was fine since he and Lu 'are the same' and they just didn't realize it.

Lu's story ended up being the least interesting of the whole bunch for me. In spite of how interesting a drug dealing fathers' past coming back to haunt him sounds on paper, it played out in a very detached way due to the writing style. It was the literary equivalent to sitting in a room with your friend who is reading a newspaper, and they say 'oh, it's supposed to rain tomorrow' and you quietly lift your head from your knitting to glance at them before going back to your knitting.

There is technically a continuous narrative here that you might want to see through, but honestly I'd say stop at Sunny or even as far back as Ghost, and you'll have a better time overall. I wish the series had been all about Ghost honestly as the chopped up story beats made me feel like none of these characters are actually experiencing any growth despite there being four separate books where they are featured.

jwinchell's review against another edition

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4.0

I love everything Jason Reynolds writes and Lu was no exception. In this final episode from the Track series, Lu grapples with his own insecurities and issues with his dad as they bubble over into how he is as a member of The Defenders. Coach played heavily into this book, resolving some of the mysteries about why he’s such a hardass. Ultimately this series is about learning to be vulnerable and authentic as we make our way into a confusing but ultimately rewarding world. Now I want to read the whole series over again. Highly recommended.