Sunday, 10 June 2012

Review: Struck by Jennifer Bosworth - Megan

Synopsis from Goodreads
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.


The premise for this story and the book trailer had me completely hooked before I even read the first page, and believe me, I was not misguided! I thought Bosworth's "lightning addict" idea was refreshing and strikingly visual in terms of description.

"When you've been struck by lightning as many times as
I have, you start to expect the worst pretty much all the time."
After such a strong beginning, we meet Jeremy, and unfortunately, we witness the dreaded insta-love. Or insta-attraction, if you will. Either way, I was slightly disappointed at this because, as yous may have gathered by now, I hate insta-love. I feel it drags down the protagonist when it comes to their primary goal because it always seems to be shadowed by the feelings they have for their love-interest.
Mia and Jeremy's relationship didn't seem to develop much as the plot progressed. They simply fell for each other and that was that. Despite the fact that Jeremy had originally been following her, Mia comes to the conclusion that: "A guy like Jeremy didn’t need to stalk." I was also slightly bothered by the fact that Mia easily brushed off the fact that he tried to kill her in the beginning, basically due to the fact that he's good-looking. I'm still trying to come to terms with this!
"I let my eyes linger on Jeremy, studying him, trying to decide if I could see past the knife incident to trust him. But the only thing I could think about when I stared at him was how I wanted to keep staring, never take my eyes away."
Although the romance was a bit of a let-down, the characterisation was strong. Mia is riddled with guilt over her past experiences with lightning when human contact was involved. Although, no serious harm was inflicted. Her protective nature over her brother, Parker, and her mother was admirable yet sympathetic, as it didn't come without it's difficulties.

In my opinion, Mia's mother was the better developed of all the characters as her trauma plus her desperation for hope equalled to a very distressed yet intriguing woman who ends up joining a religious cult in a quest to find some purpose in her life.

"I should have been the glue holding us together, but apparently I wasn't sticky enough."
Mia is also portrayed as a somewhat sarcastic character which I enjoyed but she became more serious as the story continued and I found myself missing this aspect of personality, probably because it was what we were used to from the beginning.
"There's nothing that makes you feel more alive than being struck. Unless, of course, it kills you."

"So the reason I was struck again and again was because of my overwhelmingly positive energy. Funny, I'd always thought of myself as a pessimist."
Towards the beginning of the book, we get a sense of Mia's distress regarding her addiction and we understand that she is mentally weak when it comes to fighting the cravings as she always surrenders to the painful power in the end. The descriptions of Mia's contact with the lightning was fluently written - you'd almost think Jennifer Bosworth had been struck by lightning herself!

"With the pain came exhilaration, a kind of euphoria that let me know I was alive, that I was connected to everything, every molecule... But I had never felt it this strongly. I had loaned the lightning to this storm, and I could feel it wanting to return to me."
"The pain was more than pain. A word had not been invented to
describe this pain, because it was also perfect. An agony of pleasure."
I've also heard various complaints about the religious theme within the plot. I'm not an overly religious person myself but I believe that the topic of religion was handled expertly here. No beliefs were being shoved down our throats and no religion was being undermined - it was more about tackling the idea of religious fanaticism rather than exposing a specific religion. Most people seem to miss the underlying message within this theme which is to be aware when it comes to following someone in any authoritative position. 
The focus of the story - apart from Mia - is on the warring cults. On one hand, we have the Seekers who believe Mia can stop this oncoming apocalypse and on the other hand, we have Prophet's brainwashed Followers who believe that the apocalypse is God's way of cleansing the earth of the sinners and they want Mia to start the apocalypse. So I guess yous can see Mia's dilemma here. Also, they all seem to have powers that they got from being struck by lightning, how is that even possible?!

STRUCK was #1 on my anticipated reads of the year list (and no, there is no physical list it's just a mental plethora of books I want to read) and if not for the romance and some minor underdeveloped world-building, it would have gotten a full-star rating but overall, I was not disappointed! It was exactly the kind of book I've been craving for. The only thing I'm majorly upset about is that it went by so quickly. I mean, I read it in under 24 hours so now I need Jennifer Bosworth to write me a sequel!

Rating: 4/5 stars

Here's some of my favourite quotes:
"I was about to be murdered by gravity, but time slowed enough for me to feel a world of regret for the things I had done wrong, all the bad choices I'd made, the people I'd hurt."

"I was going to do things right from now on, start acting like I had a future, instead of wandering through life waiting for the next bolt of lightning to fry a hole in my world."

"I almost laughed thinking of the one thing I knew for certain about lightning: it was unpredictable. When it struck, you never knew what effect it could have."

"Bloodred light pulsed behind the clouds, and my skin throbbed with the charge. But the fire in my chest did not light up. I had released the fire and now it was burning in the sky."

And because I love it so dearly, here's the book trailer:

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