Author: Jennifer Bosworth
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Release Date: May 8th, 2012
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.
Summary from Goodreads.com
My Review: I have been on a little bit of a young adult kick lately, but I started to get worried when the plots began to blend together and all the books I was reading seemed to be very similar. Luckily, Struck is not one of those novels. It stands out among the crowd and will demand your full and undivided attention. I devoured the entire novel in one sitting. It is over three hundred fifty pages so it is not a small book, but I could not walk away from it without knowing the outcome.
The best part of this book was Mia. She was a strong leading female who did not just follow along with the crowd. She asks questions, she watches out for those she loves and she makes her own path. Mia is constantly fed a plethora of information from those around her. I admired her for taking the time to process what she is told and come to her own conclusions, not just jump on the bandwagon of others because they are pressuring her. One of the people vying for her attention is Jeremy. I clicked with him right from the start. It’s always the mysterious ones that I find intriguing and he was no exception. Part of what won me over was his habit of always looking out for what was best for Mia and not trying to get something out of it. Not everyone in her life was doing that, most of them wanted something for themselves and his intentions always seemed genuine and pure. His past is an enigma for most of the novel and by the end there are quite a few interesting revelations about him that I would never have guessed, but I really enjoyed him as a character.
There is a little romance in this book, but it does take a while for it to grow into something Mia is willing to fight for. While I am usually a big fan of the romance taking center stage, I appreciated Jennifer keeping it in the background for most of the novel. There were too many other events that needed to take place before Mia and Jeremy could make sense of what they were feeling for one another. Plus, Mia needed to discover more about herself and where she stands with the events unfolding around her before she could have some else stand beside her.
I cannot review this book without talking about the religion that is laced throughout. I know people can hear religion and run for the hills, but I promise you it is not like that with this book. In Struck, there is a Prophet who says God talks to him and tells him when the end of the world is coming so he is gathering followers. He predicts the end to be three days after when the book begins and this fuels most of the conflict in this world. It reflects much of what already surrounds us in society today with the end of the world theories piling up day after day. I am not really a fan of religious fanatics myself and would agree with Mia when she thinks:
“I had a special dislike for any organization, religious or otherwise, that pointed their finger at this person or that person and condemned them as evil…”
Just because there is religion in Struck does not mean it is pushed on you in any way. It is just a new take on an apocalyptic scenario and one that I found very interesting.
Another element that plays into this book is the survivors of lightning strikes. They posses something that many in this book refer to as “the spark” and have talents they can put to use because of it. Mia lists some of the side effects of a lighting strike at the start of the novel, but what she comes to discover is that not all of the effects are physical or are even ones that a doctor could explain. Mind reading, visions and many other things can take root in a person after they are struck and be used to help or harm society. Mia is not exactly sure of all the ways lightning has affected her, but as she learns more about others like her, she discovers she may hold more power than she ever thought possible. Storms have always fascinated me, lighting included, and Struck just amped up my interest in them. I don’t think I will be able to look at lighting quite the same way again.
The ending of Struck had my heart pumping so fast, I was flying through the pages. There are so many things happening and my eyes could hardly read fast enough. I thought I had almost everything figured out, but Jennifer definitely saved some of the best plot twists for the end. An array of emotions played through Mia and I felt all of them right along with her. I was very satisfied with the ending and can see this as a stand-alone novel, but have my fingers crossed that we have not seen the end to this world.
Honestly, I could keep going about this book, but this review is starting to get a little long, so I am just going to encourage you to read this book for yourself. In a young adult world fill with the same story recycled constantly, Struck is a powerfully original debut that will keep you up well past your bedtime to finish! It will suck you in from the first page and keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last. I have been finished with the book for a while and as I write this review I still have climax replaying through my brain. I know this is a book I will not forget and Jennifer has made a lifelong fan out of me.
FTC: Thank you to the publisher for sending me this ARC for review.