Change Of Luck

Not My Fault

Young Adult - Mystery
90 Pages
Reviewed on 03/26/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

An unfinished dog house for his pup Suzzie is all Bruce wants in an otherwise simple life in Ken Saik's novella, Change Of Luck: Not My Fault. The setting of Saik's story is reminiscent of an older time when children ran around neighborhoods unencumbered and the biggest worry they had was whether or not their friend's feelings were hurt when they tell them to shut up. Bruce had in his possession a glorious $100 bill that he used to pay for Suzzie's vet to spay her. The very same bill that is now back in his wallet, with Suzzie paid in full and the vet none the wiser. Time and time again Bruce uses the bill with the same outcome. Back in his wallet.

As I read through Change Of Luck: Not My Fault by Ken Saik, it was Beaver Cleaver from the days of black and white television that popped into my head when picturing Bruce. If you don't know who that is then you do not deserve to read this awesome slice of life novella. Poor little Bruce is seen as the neighborhood liar and crook and only Tara, who knows of the bill and what happens with it, believes him. He even tries giving it to her. “Maybe this will change my luck. I've had nothing but bad luck since I got this thing.” Tara knows better but it isn't helpful. The story is fun on account of the total and complete character development that Saik lavishes on Bruce, then Saik pairs it with prose that practically sings. Change of Luck is a feel-good wholesome story that flirts with the supernatural in a few dozen pages of entertainment bliss.

Jamie Michele

Change Of Luck: Not My Fault by Ken Saik is a short story that centers around a young boy named Bruce who has a problem that most would not consider a problem at all. He's got a wrinkled hundred-dollar bill with a tear in the corner that he cannot seem to get rid of. Every single time he gives it to someone, pays for something, or has it taken away from him, the bill mysteriously winds up back in his wallet. Initially, Bruce finds the whole thing to be amazing. It's a big deal for a kid to have a hundred bucks. He's the only person he knows that has ever even seen one, except maybe his dad, once. The trouble is, once the bill has started circulating and keeps coming back to Bruce, nobody will believe he's not stealing it.

What a cleverly written and fun story Change of Luck is. Ken Saik writes in a narrative that sounds exactly how one would imagine Bruce would sound. The best bits shine through when Bruce's internal narrative is heard as a point of view. I loved “watching” him sneak down the stairs to actually put the bill in his father's wallet, then rethinks “success” twice when it makes its way back into his own wallet. There is an innocence to it that is absolute perfection. The obvious downside is that his family, friends, and community do not believe such a ridiculous explanation from Bruce and it starts to get him in a lot of trouble. He and his dog are both physically threatened with harm until his father finally steps in and believes him. Saik delivers a story that might be light in weight but it has a crackerjack punch. Very highly recommended.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

What would you do if you had a hundred-dollar bill? And that bill kept reappearing in your pocket even after you’d paid a hefty vet bill? Even after your father took it away from you and then the neighborhood bully stole it? Sounds like there’s some magic at play here, doesn’t it? This is what keeps happening to Bruce, to the point that he hates the feeling of the bill in his pocket and he hates the knowledge that it’s still there and it keeps coming back to him. However, the most important part to Bruce is his dog, Suzzie. He focuses on her training and goes out of his way to keep her safe and comfortable, even when threatened by the bully.

Kan Saik’s young adult novella, Change of Luck: Not My Fault, is a clever twist of fate when a blessing turns into a curse. This is an intriguing plot, complete with a fascinating 'what if' scenario. The plot begins with Bruce retrieving Suzzie from the vet after her surgery and bolstering his courage to face the staff who may believe he stole the money right after he paid Suzzie’s bill. As he begins training his beloved dog, things continue to get stranger. Circumstances require him to use the hundred-dollar bill, but it keeps reappearing in his pocket. The climax evolves after his confrontation with the bully, but the issue of the reappearing bill isn’t resolved, at least not yet. Riddled with fear and despair, he pleads with the fates of luck (or lack thereof) to make the hundred-dollar bill vanish. The story is well structured with adequate descriptive narrative to set the stage, soundly developed characters, and believable and engaging dialogue. There’s a lot of story packed into this short novella, but overall it’s very well done.