November 19, 2013

Review ~ Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

“When you've been struck by lightning as many times as I have, you start to expect the worst pretty much all the time.”

Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.

Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.

Title: Struck
Author: Jennifer Bosworth
Series: Struck #1
Length: Hardcover,  373 pages
Publisher:  Farrar, Straus and Giroux BYR
Original Publication Date: May 8th 2012
Goodreads || Amazon || Book Depository

When I first came across Struck, I thought its story-line was quite fresh and interesting in this genre and I knew I will read it.. someday. Then later I ran into the book trailer and my jaw dropped. It is so awesome I got excited all over again even though there was nothing new that the blurb didn't tell me earlier. It was just so intense and brilliantly made. A few months later I finally got to read the book too.

Since it's a YA book, I was actually terrified. What if the main character is whiny, stupid, or just too girly for my taste? What if the story is full of cliches? What if the romance will be a total waste of time? Well, they say that the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so here we go. 

It's written in first person POV, so I needed to like the main character to enjoy the book. While Mia isn't one of those tough, bad-ass girls like Rose (Vampire Academy), Katniss (Hunger Games), Jesse (Darker Days), etc, who I adore, she isn't a selfless, delicate flower either. I really liked her sarcasm and she does says anyone to f*** off and doesn't let anyone to control her. Most days anyway.

And there's the story which has everything. Some elements of paranormal, religion, conspiracy, science. All this stuff in a post-apocalyptic city in ruins. With its "slow and steady wins the race" concept, 'Struck'  rivets the readers to their seats, because  they certainly will keep guessing for a good long time, before the reasons of why either cults wants Mia are revealed. Despite the fact that I enjoyed groping in dark and coming up with all kinds of conspiracy theories while trying to figure out who are the good guys - IF there's any -, speculating about the main villain, the Prophet's abilities, how can he do all the shits he does, what's his true goal, etc... still there was a bit too much story build-up... not enough action and no smashing catharsis for me. I also expected to see more crashing and smashing between the two warring cults, but they didn't really do anything to each other, I kept waiting for them to bring a good Raiden fight or something like that, but sadly, I didn't get it. However, I confess valiantly there were some twists that surprised me at the end. The biggest was the true identity of Mia's love interest, Jeremy. I would have loved if his character takes a full 180 degree turn and becomes the exact opposite of what he was, but I knew that's not going to happen. and of course I was right. Maaaan what a waste of an ultimate twist! Okay, maybe it's because I didn't really liked his character, but whatever. It could have been a-w-e-s-o-m-e. Of all the side characters, I have to mention one person particularly. Katrina, a member of the cult called "Seekers". Boy, this girl was on fire! Whenever and wherever she showed up nothing remained peacefully. She was tough and funny. Can't we make her the protagonist??

The love story fortunately, however, wasn't the center of the story. Why fortunately? Because, while as a separate side character I sort of liked Jeremy, the relationship between Mia and him was really missing the fire that she always felt around him. I really did not feel the chemistry between them, I think it would have been better to let them be just friends or allies would have been more interesting than the unnecessary love story.

The 'Struck', despite its slower tempo, completely captured my attention and although I probably will not read the book over and over again because the charm in it is that it keeps the reader in the dark, and slowly reveals the big secrets. But for a one-time, or once/year entertaining read it's perfect. Not much chance that the reader's gonna throw it at the wall :). There are some questions left about the "Seeker" cult members, and maybe we will actually get answers to those if the sequel comes out in 2016, but there was no cliffhanger making 'Struck' a great standalone novel.

Favorite character(s): Katrina, Mia
Favorite scene(s): Basically every scene with the Seekers. They were fun.
Favorite quote(s):

A piece of advice: if you want to remain in control of a doomsday cult, don't give a date for the end of the world unless you're really, really sure it's going to happen. Being wrong tends to undermine your authority.

DhesiX Web Developer

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