Shelf Control #78: The Lucy Variations

Shelves final

Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! Fore more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!


My Shelf Control pick this week is:

Title: The Lucy Variations
Author: Sara Zarr
Published: 2013
Length: 309 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

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?

The Lucy Variations is a story of one girl’s struggle to reclaim her love of music and herself. It’s about finding 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.

How I got it:

I picked up a used copy online.

When I got it:

After reading Roomies, which made me want to read more by Sara Zarr.

Why I want to read it:

Having a pianist at the center of a YA novel reminds me a little of The Sea of Tranquility (review), which was such a powerful read — plus, having read two Sara Zarr books by now, I have a lot of confidence in her ability to tell a story that feels real and puts unusual young women in the spotlight.


Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments!
  • If you’d be so kind, I’d appreciate a link back from your own post.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!









5 thoughts on “Shelf Control #78: The Lucy Variations

  1. I am going to reread The Lucy Variations again because I don’t think I appreciated it (maybe) as much as I did the first time around. Older and (maybe) more wiser kind of thing.
    You may be interested in Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez as it has to do with a young adult who is a violin prodigy and is dealing with anxiety (not sure if trigger warning, since it does mention it briefly in the summary, but I thought I would throw it out there anyways). Again this is one of my rereads. I know I didn’t fully appreciate it the first time around and I am going to read it again in a different mindset and with more knowledge.
    Can’t wait to do my first Shelf Control post!

    • Thanks for your comments! I definitely think mindset and timing have a lot to do with enjoying books — sometimes I know in my head that a book is good, but I’m just not in the right space to appreciate it in the moment. Looking forward to seeing your Shelf Control posts — please be sure to leave me your link so I can check them out!

      • I hate when it happens and I feel guilty that I hate the book for no apparent reason besides mindset and timing.
        I had fun writing up my Shelf Control for this week. I’ve linked it in the post (2x) and commented on your OP too 🙂

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