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'Lucy' by Laurence Gonzales - Book Review

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


Lucy by Laurence Gonzales

Lucy by Laurence Gonzales


The Bottom Line

Lucy by Laurence Gonzales is a fiction novel about a teenage girl who is half human, and half bonobo ape. Her father was a scientist who secretly bred her with the intention of creating a new, superior race. He is killed, and another scientist (Jenny) finds his daughter, Lucy, and takes her to the United States. When Jenny finds out the truth about Lucy, she devotes herself to protecting the girl. This is a science fiction thriller that is enjoyable to read and makes you think about what it means to be human.
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  • 'Lucy' is a page turner.
  • 'Lucy' raises some interesting issues about the treatment of animals (and humans).
  • The characters are likable.


  • Some aspects of Lucy's personality are unbelievable.
  • Gonzales hammers home human depravity a little too much.
  • It felt like Gonzales had an agenda that was laid too thickly on the story.


  • 'Lucy' by Laurence Gonzales was published in July 2010
  • Publisher: Knopf
  • 320 Pages

Guide Review - 'Lucy' by Laurence Gonzales - Book Review

Lucy by Laurence Gonzales has been compared to a Michael Crichton novel. I think the comparison fits. Like Crichton, Gonzales makes readers feel like they understand modern science, and he delves into ethical issues that could arise in the near future. Also like Crichton, Gonzales writes a fast paced thriller that keeps you wondering whether there can and will be a happy ending.

In some ways, Lucy is a coming of age story about a girl finding her place in the world. In other ways, it is a high speed chase novel where it is not clear how the good guys are going to escape. The combination creates an emotionally gripping story that was a quick, but thought provoking read.

I enjoyed how thoroughly modern Lucy is -- YouTube and facebook are important to the story. I also loved the character Lucy, and appreciated her new view of things we take for granted. At times it felt as if Gonzales was overemphasizing the evil in humanity and perhaps glorifying the animal world. That flaw, though, did not ruin the novel. Overall I recommend Lucy as a fun read.

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