Book Review

Choices Shape, Losses Break – Nia Lucas

Today I can finally share my thoughts on the latest book by Nia Lucas, Choices Shape, Losses Break. I have been looking forward to talking to you about this. Many thanks to Nia for providing me with a copy of the book, and to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of the tour.


Shunned and struggling at home and school, teenager Lorna Davies clatters into chaotic and charismatic Shay O’Driscoll and Leon Barrett at an illegal rave in 1995. As Lorna’s talent for dancing sees her unexpectedly employed in the strobe-lit heart of 90’s club culture, her world is turned on its head by her budding friendship with Shay and Leon. For the boys, their high-risk lives endanger all three of them in an association that blurs the lines between friendship and dependency.

As the risks escalate, Lorna’s best friend Hannah, her brother Dan, her bully-turned-protector Nico and her unexpected friend Rosa watch with concern as she is thrust ever closer to harm in an intoxicating new landscape. When life-threatening events risk separating them permanently, Lorna, Leon and Shay juggle love, loyalty, sacrifice and exploitation as their lives change beyond recognition. Will the losses they face break them all?


Amazon UK

Amazon US

Nia Lucas’ first book Love Punked will be available for FREE from 18th-22nd August.



Before I jump into my review for this book, I want to start with a small health warning – this book is being marketed as NA contemporary fiction, and that is exactly what it is. Don’t let the age of the main character fool you into thinking it is a YA read – there are some decidedly mature themes involved throughout.

Choices Shape, Losses Break is a heartbreaking read, featuring a cast of characters who are so fundamentally damaged that they don’t know who they are without each other. However, being so reliant on other people isn’t without its challenges, and the road they follow is far from smooth.

I was the same age as Lorna in 1995 so it wasn’t hard for me to relate to her. It was liking stepping back in time, the fashion, the music, the sneaking out to the phone box for private conversations, the overwhelming, confusing emotions. However, while I was headed off to the under-17’s disco at the local sports centre, Lorna finds herself swept up in a life of nightclubs and illegal raves. 

The switch to Leon’s point of view in the later stages of the book, discovering what he had been through and how he felt was like a knife to the heart. I loved Leon at first sight and just fell more and more in love with him as his secrets and insecurities were slowly revealed. He really is just a gentle giant who desperately needed to be loved.

Shay is a more problematic character. I wanted to love him too, and my heart bled for him at times, but then there were the other times were his controlling behaviour towards Lorna was at best more than she was equipped to deal with, and at worst borderline abusive (actually at times not even borderline).

Shay’s behaviour is just one of many challenging themes that Nia Lucas tackles in Choices Shape, Losses Break. It is by no means an easy read. That said, these are important themes that shouldn’t be ignored, and are certainly not unique to the 1990s. Lucas handles them with care, and the resulting book is something raw that reaches right into your soul. It is one of those books that it is incredibly difficult to articulate exactly how it made you feel because by the end, your emotions have been torn to shreds and left in a heap in the corner.

Aside from the three main characters, Choices Shape, Losses Break has a wonderful supporting cast, who are quite literally there to support Lorna, Lee and Shay, no matter how many bad choices they make, and I loved each of them for this.

This book left me wanting to know what came next for so many of the characters, and I was pleased to see that a follow up is on its way that will hopefully resolve some of the questions I was left with.


myAvatarI am a UK-based author of Contemporary women’s fiction who is passionate about writing amazing, strong and relatable female characters who readers really invest in- I love to write stories about the best mate you wish you’d had! My Welsh heritage and my life as a practising Social Worker with teenagers and their families heavily influences my work as does my love of all things 90’s, especially Rave and Clubbing culture. My first novel, ‘Love Punked’ is rated 5* on Amazon and my second 5* rated Novel ‘Choices Shape, Losses Break’ is now available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited!





Make sure you visit the other blogs taking part in the tour for this great book.

Choices Shape Losses Break Full Tour Banner

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