Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

Title: Struck
Author: Jennifer Bosworth
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux BYR
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Pages: 373 pages (hardcover)
How I Got the Book: ARC I received in a swap with a friend.
Purchase/Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Promotional Materials and More: book trailer | author website

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.


I sit here with this book next to me and have just seventy pages left until I reach the end. For the last two-hundred pages or so, I have been skimming and forcing myself to keep reading but I can't do that anymore. My brain is so adamantly against this book that when I try to read it, I can't register any of the words on the page. I've got limits on the bookish torture I will inflict upon myself. With lackluster development, annoying insta-love, a heroine and love interest I didn't care much for, and sometimes cliched writing, one of the most fascinating premises of the year goes to waste in Struck.

The warring-cults aspect of the novel, though unexpected, was what I enjoyed the most and what had the most potential. Numerous religious groups and cults are focused on when the end of the world is coming and it's only logical one would spring up when it appears the apocalypse is upon us as it is in Struck. That people would join them when the world appears to be going to rot the way Mia's mom did? Totally realistic to me. The sci-fi aspect of the novels that gives people struck by lightning their powers undoubtedly makes this novel fantastic for some readers, but I felt the novel would have been more powerful and entertaining if it was contemporary rather than sci-fi/post-apocalyptic. Personal tastes and all. Surprisingly, the heavy doses of Christianity and religion did not bother me like usual.

Mia states at the beginning of the novel that she has lost her hair more than once after lightning struck her. I think the lightning strikes made her lose some brain cells too. When she calls love interest Jeremy's eyes "the most beautifully tortured blue eyes I'd ever seen (ARC p. 68)", a flag so red that it burned went up because torture is not beautiful. At all. The way Mia reacts the the idea of Jeremy stalking her with "Jeremy, a stalker? No way. A guy like Jeremy didn't need to stalk (ARC p. 86)" is actually kind of dangerous. I hate seeing that myth be perpetuated. And there's the whole thing where he sneaked into her room and meant to stab her...

As far into the novel as I got, I still wasn't sure why Mia liked Jeremy. I get part of why Jeremy likes Mia after reading through his backstory, but why does she like him? Is it because she's a hopeless girl in a hopeless world trying to find some hope in a guy who appears to be interested in her? Is it because he's hot (spoiler: YES)? I applied as many reasons to them as I could, but nothing worked and made me understand. With so many pages in this book, seeing so little development for these two was disappointing.

Overall, Struck needed a little more time in the oven so it came out golden brown instead of lily white. The characters experienced very little growth and were given little depth. This book was of a somewhat formidable length, but so little was done in all those pages. Why do any of these characters do the things they're doing? Why can lightning do everything from giving people superpowers to curing cancer? Eh, they just do and it just can. Just go with it. "Just go with it/just because" is the answer to about half the questions I asked about this book and that kind of non-explanation can ruin a book for me.

And that is why Struck is yet another novel I did not, could not, and will not finish.

What am I reading next?: Falling Under by Gwen Hayes

1 comment:

  1. I'm impressed you stopped with only 70 pages to go; I probably would have made myself finish. I also did not like the romance elements but I was really interested in the cult stuff.


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