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Yes, the world was beautiful But music made that beauty personal Nothing else could do that NothingWhat I love about Sara Zarr is how she can manage to fully reveal her characters emotionally I mean I can feel with my heart the genuine emotions these characters carry with them, either it s joy or grief It s contagious, too, that made me get attached or connected with them in any way possible.Sara Zarr wrote about life issues and she was really good at it Her novels I ve read were moYes, the world was beautiful But music made that beauty personal Nothing else could do that NothingWhat I love about Sara Zarr is how she can manage to fully reveal her characters emotionally I mean I can feel with my heart the genuine emotions these characters carry with them, either it s joy or grief It s contagious, too, that made me get attached or connected with them in any way possible.Sara Zarr wrote about life issues and she was really good at it Her novels I ve read were moving, uplifting and very much realistic Lucy Variations is not an exemption.Lucy Variations is a great read Heartfelt, hopeful and complicated Reading this book is like being surrounded by different emotions I can t describe the complexity of it But, all I know is I can feel it all This book has family drama, the elements of dreams being shattered into pieces, disappointments, jealousy, exploitation and the joy of getting on the right but different track Which were accumulated and delivered very well by the author It s not confusing It also has an almost forbidden romance that has been treated and handled properly And of course, it has classical music.I may not be fully connected to the classical music on this book but I am sure I knew the feeling of being stucked in doing a specific thing for your family because they wanted it for you That, it feels like they are grabbing away your right to be normal, to do normal things I also knew the feeling of missing these things you did in the past and now, after some time, you want to do it again for yourself alone and not for the others Anyone who has ever created something or pursued a passion knows that sometimes you hit that flow and nothing else in the world exists because what you re doing is the best thing there is and it fills you with everything you need And anyone who has ever created something or pursued a passion also knows that it can be the MOST SOUL CRUSHING THING IN THE WORLD That you re never good enough, that you ll never be good enough, that it s all just a fleeting sort of thing that you get lucky at doing Anyone who has ever created something or pursued a passion knows that sometimes you hit that flow and nothing else in the world exists because what you re doing is the best thing there is and it fills you with everything you need And anyone who has ever created something or pursued a passion also knows that it can be the MOST SOUL CRUSHING THING IN THE WORLD That you re never good enough, that you ll never be good enough, that it s all just a fleeting sort of thing that you get lucky at doing well once in a while You struggle with being true and honest to yourself, while you re putting something out there to be consumed by others in some capacity Zarr s novel is about that.Lucy is a champion pianist and has been her entire life It runs in her family s blood She s talented, she s made the rounds of the world performing, and people know who she is Her grandpa and her mother have given her every single opportunity to pursue this talent and they helped groom her so that she has a world class reputation Up until eight months ago, she went along with the game She was happy or at least thought she was But when she s in Prague on a big stage, and she learns that her family has been keeping her sick grandmother s condition from her view spoiler she leaves She gets up, doesn t perform, and walks onto the streets of Prague Her grandmother, who had given her the kind of unconditional love and confidence she needed, was dying and her family kept this from her because to them, her performance wasimportant hide spoiler It s then that her grandfather, the patriarch of the family and of the performance gene all together, says she s done That Lucy can never perform again She d disgraced them, and she could come back Lucy accepts this fate until the long time piano teacher she and her brother Gus shared view spoiler dies in their home Lucy tried to save her, but the teacher was gone before she could And when grandpa and mother come back to their home to a dead teacher, it s no big deal They have her sent away, and they immediately look for a new teacher for Gus, so that he can continue on his track to be the next big performer himself The death of the long time teacher can t get in the way of him being at his best hide spoiler Will enters their lives and while he s a good teacher to Gus, he s really interested in helping Lucy come back around to playing He doesn t pressure her, but he simply asks if she d ever consider playing again It s that simple question of whether or not she d consider playing again whether or not LUCY would consider playing again that sets the entire story into motion.This is a question Lucy never considers for herself Because she was told she couldn t Her grandfather said it was over for her and there was no going back But Lucy does consider it, and she does decide she wants to play again Except rather than play for an audience and rather than play for the praise and glory that she did in the past, Lucy wants to play for herself She wants to relearn what it s like to love the thing she does and the thing that she has mad talent for As simple as it sounds, though, to reignite that passion, it is anything but Will s question forces Lucy to realize that playing should be something SHE chooses to do, a passion to which she dedicates HER time because it matters to HER For her life up until then, she never realized the power of ownership of talent, of skill, and how she can chose the course of the future for herself Her grandpa and her mother had been owning it for her Complicating this are Lucy s feelings toward other people Whereas it s easy to see how much she dislikes and even fears both her mother and her grandfather, what s less clear is why she s attached and attracted to Lit teacher and then Will view spoiler As the story progresses though, and we start to understand the complicated feelings Lucy has toward performance, we understand her feelings toward these two older men are simply projection of her desire to love and believe her art for herself in the way that these two mentors have done for her In other words, both have offered her the sort of support and confidence to go in the direction of her own interests and passions and desires in a way that no one else ever has hide spoiler It s not that easy to understand though because view spoiler Will s belief in Lucy is too much for her to take He s pulled strings, and he s broken her trust when she opens up to him about wanting to play again Will used his own connections in the industry to make sure that Lucy s interest in piano again can be accommodated That she can jump right back in where she left off This is, she realizes, the last thing in the world she wants She doesn t want to be someone s prodigy or someone else s creation or prize She wants to perform and play because SHE loves to do it and because it brings HER joy Not because someone else simply believes she has the ability to go far with it hide spoiler Zarr excels at making her characters dynamic, and I appreciate how unashamed she is in making it clear that Lucy comes from privilege Because rather than make it a way for the reader to dislike and resent Lucy, her inability to fully trust and love her own skills and talents at their own level makes her utterly relatable No amount of money or resources can change how human the creative struggle is This is balances so well with the grandfather, who is unlikable and sees art as nothing but a way to get ahead and make a name for oneself It s, of course, how his family came to have their reputation It s furthered through what seem like much tinier plot points, including Lucy s regular lateness to class, which causes her Lit teacher to treat her not as a special snowflake, but as a student who is being disruptive and, well, privileged view spoiler And when Lucy has to confront this because she s copied bits and pieces of her own teacher s scholarship on Alice Munro for her class project, she has a huge awakening and ah ha moment about how MUCH privilege she really has had No one just gets what they get they have to work for it Of course, that working for it is precisely the struggle and the purpose of the story hide spoiler While there s no question Zarr can write, the structure of the book is brilliant It s not entirely linear, but rather, it s built like a symphony It s layered and complex, building to a high, then drawing back to a scene from the past It mimics not just the way a song sounds and the way a song plays, but it precisely mimics the creative process and the struggle therein It s good when it s good, and it s ugly when it is ugly This book is also written in third person, which removes the reader from the characters But rather than be distancing, this choice is the right one It makes the reader better understand Lucy s struggle because it s being explored almost objectively And, of course, since creativity is anything BUT objective, it hits even harder It s up and down It s good and it s bad And there is nothing objective about feelings and passions and desires They re dynamic The hardest thing to learn is to pursue something because YOU love it and not because someone else tells you you re good at it And even during those times you know you re good at it and you know you like it, there are periods when you question why and whether or not it s all simply luck Zarr nails these ups and downs and these challenges and rewards through Lucy This is a book I don t think I ll be forgetting any time soon because it spoke to my own heart I think it ll speak to the heart of anyone who has ever questioned why they re doing something Is it for yourself or is it for an audience When do you push forward and when do you step back and say it s time to move on.Even though nothing particularly sad happens in the story despite there being some sad moments I welled up a couple of times because of how raw and tender the emotional and mental honesty is What Lucy struggles with is something that never goes away, but it s something you come to accept and honor as part of creating and living Zarr cuts to the core of what it means to BE The Lucy Variations is DAMN good Longer review to come It appears the three of us Catie, Flannery and I are pretty much on the same page as to why this new Sara Zarr novel didn t work for us Pardon me for repeating what has already been said.Generally, it s a good thing when authors try to experiment and explore new points of view and styles of writing But sometimes when they try something new, it just doesn t work as well as the old This is the case with The Lucy Variations I think The thing I disliked the most about this novel is its POV, sp It appears the three of us Catie, Flannery and I are pretty much on the same page as to why this new Sara Zarr novel didn t work for us Pardon me for repeating what has already been said.Generally, it s a good thing when authors try to experiment and explore new points of view and styles of writing But sometimes when they try something new, it just doesn t work as well as the old This is the case with The Lucy Variations I think The thing I disliked the most about this novel is its POV, specifically its 3rd person POV instead of Zarr s signature 1st It was a challenge for the author herself she talked about this in her blog post , and the challenge, in my opinion, not well met in this case I am still scratching my head in an effort to understand why Zarr chose to write this new novel this way 3rd person POV added nothing to the narrative it is a very close 3rd person, with only Lucy s perspective used, we never get insight into any other character s mind and added unnecessary feeling of detachment to the story.As for everything else, while the book was still enjoyable to a degree, the plot felt a bit stale I never finished Virtuosity, but these two novels sound fairly similar artistic girls in creative and personal crisis and all that Whatever new and interesting Zarr had in her version mainly Lucy s inappropriate relationships with older men never materialized into anything tangible and punchy Lucy s friends were a waste and underutilized in the plot, and so were many other plot lines which started out promising but ended wit.All in all, The Lucy Variations is just an average read and by far Zarr s weakest Fingers crossed, her next effort is better This book is my first book of Sara Zarr,and I think reading this novel made me fully understand now, why my friend NEIL had fallen in love with this author This is a story of a 16 year old pianist sensation,who struggles to reclaim her love of music and herself.Lucy Beck Moreau came from a musically inclined,well known family,so Lucy at a very young age is already a star and became famous at the age of 15,until she quit on stage one day before an important performance And this had cause a big This book is my first book of Sara Zarr,and I think reading this novel made me fully understand now, why my friend NEIL had fallen in love with this author This is a story of a 16 year old pianist sensation,who struggles to reclaim her love of music and herself.Lucy Beck Moreau came from a musically inclined,well known family,so Lucy at a very young age is already a star and became famous at the age of 15,until she quit on stage one day before an important performance And this had cause a big issue in their family,and had been one of the central points of this story aside from music.And while Lucy no longer plays after walking off the stage 8 months ago,her younger brother Gus is now kind of taking her place which somehow gave her a relief because the pressure won t be on her any.Noplay this piece Lucy, wear this dress, and try harder Lucy from her mother and from her controlling grandfather She only hopes her little brother won t end up like her.What I loved about this book is how Lucy adjusted herself to a normal life,finding her own place in the world I saw how she grew and matured a lot to figure out how to stand up for herself.I also admire the kind of love she has for her little brother That when Gus became bratty with his jealousy over Lucy s sudden love of playing again cause her brother thought he won t be able to carry on their family s heirloom any ,she only caredof him and did the right thing for him at the end.Oh yes, I did love the ending of this story.So to those of you who love music, I highly recommend this It s a different kind of young adult contemporary I would have enjoyed reading thisif the author didn t use the third person as a narrator But overall,Zarr did an excellent job I m not going to give a synopsis of THE LUCY VARIATIONS because the publisher s cover copy at the top of the page does a pretty darn good job of bringing us up to speed Instead, I m going to give three reasons why everyone should read this book 1 It s by Sara Zarr It s no secret that I m a fan of Sara Zarr Enough of a fan that I begged Little, Brown to send me an ARC of THE LUCY VARIATIONS Which they did, because they re nice like that Lucky me Very, VERY lucky me.My two favorite authors a I m not going to give a synopsis of THE LUCY VARIATIONS because the publisher s cover copy at the top of the page does a pretty darn good job of bringing us up to speed Instead, I m going to give three reasons why everyone should read this book 1 It s by Sara Zarr It s no secret that I m a fan of Sara Zarr Enough of a fan that I begged Little, Brown to send me an ARC of THE LUCY VARIATIONS Which they did, because they re nice like that Lucky me Very, VERY lucky me.My two favorite authors are Meg Rosoff and Sara Zarr, and they have something in common that I treasure Every new book is a departure from what has come before, but is also still recognizably their own In Sara Zarr s case, a major thread that runs through her books is that she cares about her characters Deeply It seems like an obvious and essential thing, but it s not as common as it ought to be Caring means acknowledging a character s flaws and trying to find the root cause of them Caring means working especially hard with lower tier smaller characters because they only have a few lines of dialogue with which to distinguish themselves It means putting characters in difficult situations and trusting them to work their way out organically, not through an authorial sleight of hand Love between friends, families, and boyfriends and girlfriends is most often the catalyst for personal growth and narrative resolution in her books But that doesn t mean love is found easily In THE LUCY VARIATIONS, Sara Zarr makes her characters work for it, chipping away at the issues that divide them through small, intimate scenes And sometimes, as in real life, good relationships are compromised, and trust has to be earned back Her characters are never less than one hundred percent real.2 It s not like any Sara Zarr book you ve read There are a couple of reasons for this One is technical it s the first time she has written in third person First person tends to foster an immediate connection between narrator and reader, and that s something Sara Zarr specializes in But don t worry third person narration doesn t stop her from peeling back the layers of each character, and revealing their hidden thoughts and flaws Anotable reason this book feels different, though, is because it seems to dial back a little on the Sara Zarr Intensity Meter If you ve read STORY OF A GIRL, which has a SZIM score of 10, or HOW TO SAVE A LIFE, also a SZIM score of 10or heck, ANY of her novels, all of which have a SZIM score of 10you ll know what I m talking about THE LUCY VARIATIONS doesn t go all the way to Stephanie Perkins territory I also love Ms Perkins books, by the way , but you might say we ve taken one small step in that direction In other words, if you prefer your SZIM score around the 8 mark, you ll adore this book If you prefer a SZIM score of 10, wellit s by Sara Zarr, folks You can t go wrong see 1, above.3 It s about music My background is in music, and while I was never in danger of pursuing a career in performance, I certainly know that world I have several friends who have made a living as soloists or members of top symphony orchestras Like any small and highly selective field, the world of the virtuoso performer is an odd one Especially when you re young That s the world that Lucy, the main character, knows It has given her a slightly warped sense of self She longs to find herself in music again, away from adoring audiences, but as her best friend Reyna notes, in a sense she still craves an audience for everything she does in life It s an interesting and profound metaphor for what it means to be a teen, and the way Lucy deals with it is as floundering as it would be for any of us Lucy s identity has been shaped by her accomplishments as a pianist As music is important to her family, it naturally causes her to wonder if their love for her is conditional on her continued success in that world The answer to that question is extremely complicated, and varies depending on the family member More important, though, is what Lucy needs to do to take ownership of her performing Again, this will resonate with teens whose interests intersect with those of their parents, and who discover, belatedly, that they re no longer sure whether their love for that thing is genuine, or if they re simply trying to please their parents For that reason, this book won t just resonate with musical teens, but with anyone who has aspired to be great at almost anything Before this review becomes a thesis, I ll sign off with one instruction READ THIS BOOK Full Review on The Candid Cover4.5 StarsThe Lucy Variations is such an emotional rollercoaster This book about grief and self discovery has so many layers The main character is a piano prodigy who quits and struggles to figure out who she is I found the writing absolutely beautiful and recommend this book to everyone.This is such a complex and emotional book It tells the story of a piano prodigy who quits piano and tries to figure out who she is and what she wants I loved the piano aspects Full Review on The Candid Cover4.5 StarsThe Lucy Variations is such an emotional rollercoaster This book about grief and self discovery has so many layers The main character is a piano prodigy who quits and struggles to figure out who she is I found the writing absolutely beautiful and recommend this book to everyone.This is such a complex and emotional book It tells the story of a piano prodigy who quits piano and tries to figure out who she is and what she wants I loved the piano aspects in the book, and I feel like it is an accurate portrayal of what competitive piano playing is like Reading about Lucy gainingconfidence and discovering her true identity was also so inspiring and touching.I really enjoyed Lucy s character I was able to relate to her a bit as a fellow piano player, but I am far from her level Lucy is such a caring older sister and so protective of her little brother, which I loved She deals with many family issues and drama, which made me sympathize with her However, there are many moments in the book where Lucy is selfish and a terrible friend, which bothered me It would have been so much better if she didn t act so spoiled.The writing in The Lucy Variations is so beautiful I have never read anything by Sara Zarr in the past, but I definitely feel like I should pick upof her books since I loved this one so much The characters are all developed so well and the reader can really feel an emotional connection with each one I also found the descriptions of Lucy overcoming grief so raw and believable Her writing kind of reminds me of Sarah Dessen s, in a way, and this is something that I found enjoyable while reading.The Lucy Variations is the emotional story of a piano prodigy struggling with her identity I enjoyed the main character, even if she is snobby at times, and found the writing so mesmerizing I would definitely recommend this book, especially to music fans I was cautiously optimistic about this novel my very first Sara Zarr book My friends had read her previous book and loved it immensely so I decided to request this one because I cannot resist books about music prodigies Especially ones who are mistaken and full of angst and feelings It s a thing.And for the most part, The Lucy Variations delivers The writing is crisp and infused with sharp wit The friendships portrayed are varied and interesting and the family dynamics are complicated enou I was cautiously optimistic about this novel my very first Sara Zarr book My friends had read her previous book and loved it immensely so I decided to request this one because I cannot resist books about music prodigies Especially ones who are mistaken and full of angst and feelings It s a thing.And for the most part, The Lucy Variations delivers The writing is crisp and infused with sharp wit The friendships portrayed are varied and interesting and the family dynamics are complicated enough to provide a rich source of tension and drama which makes for good reading My problem was Lucy herself For the most part, she s a sympathetic protagonist and it is easy enough to empathize with her, especially since her mother and grandfather are difficult characters So the first half of the novel was fine where Lucy is concerned It is in the second half that things began to gradually fall apart.The way Lucy treats her best friend is atrocious I understand that she s an adolescent going through puberty but I think she went beyond what I would accept in a protagonist Especially during the party at Will s house The romance in this is another thing that makes me queasy There are no obvious love interests in this novel, not in the traditional sense of the word and that would have been fine had the dude who was offered not a married man.If Zarr was going to make that the topic or theme of the novel, the adultery like relationship between Lucy and Will, it should have been properly discussed with all its conflicts and confrontations and emotions Instead, all we get is a hint of it, some too close and inappropriate hugs and no resolution to it The ending was anticlimactic and even though I enjoyed the relationship Lucy had with her brother, her actions are beyond creepy she steals Will s nail clippers and very gross The bits that Lucy spends playing the piano or thinking about music were nice and I wish this story had taken another twist and left the whole romance bit on the side I would have liked the friendship between Will and Lucy to be just that a friendship However, Lucy ends up sounding entitled, spoiled and entirely without a conscience when she displays no consideration at all for Will s wife who is implied to be some sort of drunk, to soften Lucy s feelings for the man, I suppose Apart from the problematic romance and Lucy s less than appetizing character, the novel is easy to read and the pacing fluid enough If you are not bothered by the same things I am, I dare say you will enjoy the novel a lotthan I did Another Zarr treasure, unafraid and unashamed to make readers uncomfortable by inviting us simply to look at real life through the lens of fiction Life and relationships are often uncomfortable, messy, and full of misunderstandings Main character Lucy s feelings of confusion, shame, hope, burnout, regret, pride, and rekindled passion in the wake of a possibly career ending decision at a prestigious piano competition are authentically tangled and explored As an author, I especially con Another Zarr treasure, unafraid and unashamed to make readers uncomfortable by inviting us simply to look at real life through the lens of fiction Life and relationships are often uncomfortable, messy, and full of misunderstandings Main character Lucy s feelings of confusion, shame, hope, burnout, regret, pride, and rekindled passion in the wake of a possibly career ending decision at a prestigious piano competition are authentically tangled and explored As an author, I especially connected with Lucy s often painful journey to discover whether it s even possible once you turn your passions into a career to find joy in your art again just for you, just for the pure love of it, without fearing external judgement or fretting about the expectations of the industry or even one s own family.Zarr never relies on melodrama or manufactured angst to convey tension and turmoil in her narratives just real people confronting difficult life situations and this story is no different THE LUCY VARIATIONS will find a comfortable spot on the favorites list for Zarr s existing fans, and new readers will easily connect with Lucy s struggles to rediscover her lost creativity, her passions, and the small yet special moments that make life worth living (DOWNLOAD) ê The Lucy Variations æ 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 certainThat was all before she turned fourteenNow, 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 Collaborative Intelligence her performances were booked months in advance Rick Steves Croatia & Slovenia and her future seemed certainThat was all before she turned fourteenNow Alphabet Juice at sixteen Me and My Amazing Body it s over A death Graphic Artists Guild Handbook and a betrayal Major (www, led her to walk away That leaves her talented ten year old brother Heaven Forbid Gus Everyday Paleo: Thai Cuisine: Authentic Recipes Made Gluten-free to shoulder the full weight of the Beck Moreau family expectations Then Gus gets a new piano teacher who is young چه كسي باور مي‌كند رُستم kind The White Gates 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 Chains (The Seeds of America Trilogy) 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 The Ramayana: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic eBook: R. K. Narayan: Amazon.fr: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l. even when things don t go according to plan Because life isn t a performance Poderosa (Poderosa and everyone deserves the chance to make a few mistakes along the way Perhaps I m not the proper audience for this book, but, being who I amI can say that it didn t sit well with me Not only because Lucy had an unhealthy obsession with older men, but because of Will s unhealthy attraction to a teenage girl The relationship dynamic between these two turned my stomach, and the reason I kept reading because I wanted to see just how far the author would take things And now that I ve finished, I m still not sure if it was intended for them to appear asthan Perhaps I m not the proper audience for this book, but, being who I amI can say that it didn t sit well with me Not only because Lucy had an unhealthy obsession with older men, but because of Will s unhealthy attraction to a teenage girl The relationship dynamic between these two turned my stomach, and the reason I kept reading because I wanted to see just how far the author would take things And now that I ve finished, I m still not sure if it was intended for them to appear asthan friends or for Will to come off as a pedophile but that s certainly how I interpreted it And that s justnot okay with me Who knows, maybe I was looking for things that weren t there, and it was completely innocent between them, but like I said, that s not at all how it reads And that s sad, because this could have been a lovely book Zarr s writing is nice, and the subject a girl coming of age and finding out what she wants could have been really, really good Sadly, I never connected with Lucy as a character, therefore nothing that happened besides her weird relationships with older dudes affected me I was justmeh about it overall