Review: Loving Lakyn by Charlotte Reagan

Lakyn James is sixteen years old and hating every second of it. He was supposed to be done, he’d tapped out. End of story, unsubscribe here. Suicide “attempt”, they said. His intentions had no “attempt” in them. 

Re-entering normal life after ‘trying’ to take his own is weird. Especially when the world keeps going like it never happened. He still has to eat breakfast, go to school, and somehow convince a cute boy that he’s too damaged to date.

Scott White comes with his own problems, namely a habit of drinking too much and being indecisive about rather he wants in the closet, or out of it. Lakyn can’t stand him; he also can’t help smiling when Scott’s around.

Unfortunately – or fortunately – for Lakyn, life has decided to give him a second chance. He’s not happy about it, but maybe, with a lot of hard work and a good therapist, he can learn to be. And maybe he can hold Scott’s hand at the same time.

No promises though.

This book contains sensitive triggers so know your limits. Full list of triggers can be found here:


Song For This Book: Fall For You by Secondhand Serenade
Why? This song is the perfect amount of love song and emo song for this book.


I received a copy of this book from Inkitt Exclusive in exchange for an honest review.

Have you ever come across one of those books that, even though there are some weird things going on or awkward writing or it’s not your usual thing or whatever, you can’t help but completely and utterly fall in love with?

Yeah, that was Loving Lakyn for me. I was about thirty pages in before I admitted that I was completely and utterly invested in Lakyn and his journey. To the point that it was one of those books that I dreaded reading because I didn’t want it to be over, and that I look forward to rereading again and again in the future. And definitely one I want to add to my shelf.

The Good Points of Loving Lakyn:

The characters are fantastic. They’re complicated, complex individuals, and their feelings are so honest and raw that you can’t help but care about them, even when you would also really like to kick them. If only every book had characters that were this well done.

I thought that the portrayal of all the problems and struggles in the book were very well done. They’re very sensitive topics, but Reagan handled them well, and never downplayed the struggle of moving on or getting help. This goes for the mental health issues and the LGBTQIA+ issues both.

The pacing in this book is perfect. It’s one of those where it could have gotten bogged down in details, or could have been taken too quickly and made to feel less impactive. But Reagan got it perfect, making it just fast enough without interfering with the impact of the story.

There is so much going on in this book that it really should have been bogged down and too much for such a short book. But somehow it worked, and Reagan pulled it all together beautifully, which is an art form all in itself.

I loved that the author didn’t shy away from what she was writing. Sex scenes were what they were, drugs were what they were, and everything else was presented as honest as possible to what Lakyn was experiencing. There was no commentary or anything on it, it just was. Which is good, because as a YA novel, it was honest to what teens might be experiencing.

The Downsides of Loving Lakyn:

There was a random religious element in this book that kind of came out of nowhere and didn’t really go anywhere, and just kind of felt out of place. It was fine in the story as a general, but it just came and went without much effect, and it was strange.

It was pretty predictable. You pretty much knew what you were getting into with this story, and you knew where it was going. There weren’t too many surprises as far as this book went.

All in all, I absolutely adored Loving Lakyn, and I’m so glad that I got the chance to read it. It’s a beautiful story, with amazing characters and atmosphere, and I can’t wait to read it again. If you like painfully honest books, well written mental health struggles, sweet romances, and great family dynamics, you’ll likely enjoy Loving Lakyn!

Find Loving Lakyn on Book Depository

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