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Una is a princess secluded from the city. Her mother passed away giving birth to her brother when she was young, and her father neglects her, treating Una as an afterthought. Julien’s mother also passed when he was young, but he and his father have a bond beyond love. However, Julien struggles to get by with the little they make foraging for raw ingredients in the forest, especially since his father’s sickness began. After his father is wrongly imprisoned, Julien searches for the rare Silva flower to present to the king and earn the funds to pay for a lawyer. When Una learns of the contest her father has announced to find the silva flower, she sees a chance to prove herself and escape from her dull, humdrum life. 

Ginger Johnson’s The Other Side of Luck embodies the unforgettable experience of escaping from reality into another world. With Johnson’s elegant prose and robust sensory details, I felt as if I were living the lives of the main characters Una and Julien. The Other Side of Luck takes place in a simple fantasy world, and the story seems almost cliché at first glance, but it is far from. Ginger Johnson weaves a powerful story about the importance of family and making the most of even the worst circumstances. This book is jam-packed with solid and eloquently put life lessons. In such a constantly changing world filled with so much violence and complexity, it’s often difficult to find a moment of peace or simplicity. The Other Side of Luck encompasses escapism at its finest, and the plot and the characters are easy to follow. The details paint a vivid picture, and Johnson’s sensory descriptions feel so real I couldn’t help but believe I was walking through a forest on the outskirts of a fantasy kingdom, seeking out the Silva. Her descriptions of the various sounds plants make and her descriptions of the specific scents of emotions seemed to manifest within my reality. Only 240 pages, The Other Side of Luck is a quick and exciting read suitable for ages 8 - 100 that is sure to please. 

The Other Side of Luck by Ginger Johnson. Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, 2021. Buy the book here and support Stone Soup in the process!

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