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.
A Promising Debut
Struck by Jennifer Bosworth was an interesting read. Here's the thing about this one - everything about it was super cool, it was just extremely slow. It wasn't til almost page 200 that I thought things picked up and got really intense. In her unique and enticing debut, Jennifer Bosworth delivers a suspenseful story filled with intrigue and action.
Cult books are always so fascinating, and Jennifer Bosworth does this so well. The Prophet and his Followers are almost a bit scary at points of the book. That along with the whole idea with the lightening and the "Spark" was just so neat! It was just so alluring.
Struck was a fascinating read once I really got into it. I did like the first half of the book, but it was so slow that I felt like this took away from some aspects of the plot. But all is forgiven when that last part of the book hit, as Jennifer Bosworth doesn't hold back. It was so intense and I could not put it down at all. There were several twists that I did not see coming at all, and it was awesome!
The characters were an interesting mix - Jeremy and Mia were awesome. I loved both of them, especially when they were together. Militiaman Brent was pretty cool as well, even though he only played a very small role in the book. Katrina kind of grated on my nerves, as did Parker. They both were just kind of obnoxious.
The ending was awesome. I loved how nicely everything was tied up, and the last page was seriously about the most adorable thing ever.
Struck by Jennifer Bosworth is a book you will have to stick with to get through the slower beginning. But it is definitely worth it! Overall this was a promising debut from Jennifer Bosworth and I cannot wait to see what she writes next!
Struck (A Room with Books review)
Struck was one crazy, adrenaline-filled ride. I’ve just finished and my heart is still pounding!
Going in, I was quite wary since I’ve been hearing a lot of mixed reviews. Some people absolutely loved it and some people hated. I, for one, side with those who loved Struck.
Before I go any further, can I just talk about Jeremy for a second? I did have to move past the fact that he shared a name with my younger brother, but once I did…let’s just say I was a fan ;] I mean, shaggy hair and “Clark Kent” glasses? Swoony, swoon-swoon. Plus, he’s all like “Who cares about your scars, Mia, you’re still pretty.” Except, you know, way more eloquent than that.
Speaking of Jeremy and Mia, even though Struck takes place over the course of three days their relationship didn’t feel at all like insta-love to me.
I’ll give you the science in Struck is pretty unlikely, if not completely, but considering the Spark isn’t a realistic thing, I don’t think it really matters. And if I’m going to be honest, I’m a fan of fake science :P
I liked that Mia was willing to do anything for her family, though I think that was also a drawback for me. I’m coming to realize characters that blindly do whatever for the good of this or that person kind of gets on my nerves. In the end, though, Mia did what was right though it was the more difficult thing to do.
If religion makes you squirmy then you might have a problem with Struck but at the core of the story that’s not at all what it’s about so hopefully you’ll look past it.
The Nutshell: I think Struck would have made a great standalone, but I’m looking forward to the sequel nonetheless. Mia is a strong character who’s willing to do whatever it takes to make sure those she loves are safe. There’s also a super hot love interest if that’s what you’re looking for ;] Overall Struck does a fantastic job of weaving a treacherous story filled with science (albeit fictional science), love, post-apocalyptic setting, and just a dash of the paranormal (don’t think ghosts or anything, just simple things that can’t be explained by the laws of science and whatnot).
Unique and Refreshing!
Struck has to be the most original apocalyptic - no, scratch that - one of the most original novels I have ever read. I love Bosworth's vision of a future Los Angeles in turmoil, and the idea of a person being able to survive being struck by lightning multiple times. But predictable plots twists and the withholding of information to create suspense had me struggling to get through this with my original intrigue intact.
I found Mia to be an ok protagonist. I admired her determination to keep her family safe and together, even though they didn't always make it easy for her.
"I should have been the glue holding us together, but apparently I wasn't sticky enough."
I was desperate to learn about lightning's power over her, and how she was able to be struck without it causing her extreme harm (if not death), so I was disappointed when a clear explanation was never truly given. She often made the stupid decision, which inevitably got her in to some sort of trouble, and by the end I was almost hoping that Jeremy's visions of her martyrdom would come true. It seemed like a lot of what happens in Struck could have been avoided if Mia had taken the time to actually communicate with those around her, instead of keeping people in the dark or refusing to ask the questions that needed to be asked.
I didn't believe in Mia's relationship with Jeremy. Putting aside my issues with Bosworth romanticizing Jeremy's stalking, there was just no development. Mia constantly puts her focus on how striking Jeremy is, and how her body reacts to his when they touch. She even goes so far as to use kisses to be able to share in his visions - instead of kissing him because she felt something for him.
I found the two cults fascinating and learning more about them made for some of my favourite parts of Struck. Faced with the choice of becoming one of Prophet's Followers by joining the Church of Light or joining the Seekers in their effort to thwart the Church of Light and it's "false prophet", Mia chooses to join neither. I understood why she was hesitant to trust Prophet, but I don't feel like she gave the Seekers enough time to explain themselves and their mission before dismissing them as well. It also prevented her from learning about her ability and how to control the Spark inside of her. Prophet was written fantastically and I found myself drawn to his presence. His ability to control his Followers and have them follow his word blindly was eerie and I kept wondering if that was an intentional comment on religion in general. I didn't understand the motives of the Seekers, and again I was disappointed with the lack of explanation.
I've seen other people comment on the amount of religious references in Struck - mainly the End of Days mentioned in the Bible (The Sixth Seal, the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the righteous being saved) - but it didn't bother me. I didn't find myself being preached to, as Mia was constantly doubting anything Prophet said. I actually found it all kind of interesting, because it was presented in a way that wasn't forcing me to believe anything, to pick a side.
All in all, I enjoyed Struck. I loved the dynamic Bosworth created between Mia and her family, the pacing was spot on and the plot was unique and refreshing - I don't even know what I would compare it to! I'm definitely interested to see what this debut author comes up with next!
I really, really wanted to love this book. Absolutely everything about it sounded so completely awesome to me: girl with magical powers from lightning, earthquakes, dystopia, cults. The plot sounded so intriguing and unique, and right up my fantastical alley. Unfortunately, the book really just did not work for me, from the beginning to the end.
From the very beginning, I sensed that I was going to have some serious trouble with this particular read. Very early on, Mia, who suffers from insomnia, manages to fall asleep. She wakes up in the middle of the night to see a boy standing over her bed holding a knife. He drops the knife, picks it up and leaves, all while she watches. Then SHE GOES BACK TO SLEEP. Not what I would do but she thought it was a nightmare, so okay. In the morning when she wakes up, she notices a cut in the floor right where the dream dropped a knife AND SHE STILL THINKS IT WAS A NIGHTMARE. This may be a small point, but I really could not get past it, and it's a perfect example of why I could not relate to Mia.
Normally, I really identify with main characters that are outcasts, because I know what that feels like. Maybe if there had been a bit more background about Mia and her family I would feel more attached. As it is, I was just frustrated by her inability to put things together. Realizing she was NOT dreaming takes her forever, even though it was INCREDIBLY obvious to me (and I really don't think that's a spoiler, since there was a cut in the freaking floor).
Another example is that, as all of the paranormal business gets explained to her, they keep mentioning a quality she has in excess but other people have somewhat. I swear it takes her like a hundred pages to figure out where that power came from, when I totally thought we all knew from the beginning and it hadn't been stated explicitly because it was so obvious no one needed to. About a hundred pages later, she has another revelation that was clearly the plot of the novel. The main character should not be so incredibly shocked to learn things on page 300 that I knew on page 25.
None of the other characters felt especially real to me, either. The one we get closest to is Jeremy, who is described as looking "like a European underwear model," except for the Clark Kent glasses he wears to hide his "beautifully tortured blue eyes." When I read those bits, I rolled my eyes so hard it hurt. Why can't Jeremy just be an attractive, real person? Why does he have to look like an underwear model, specifically European? What are beautifully tortured eyes? None of the other characters really seemed to have much depth to me, though, to be fair, there's a reason Mia's mom is catatonic through to much of it.
Then there are the cults. They're fascinating and terrifying, yes, but I feel like I don't really know anything about them. The Prophet's crew reminds me of the church in True Blood. They're crazy, and they don't require too much of a mental leap to imagine, but I'm having real trouble with the Seekers. It would be one thing if they formed to combat the crazies in white, but they came from some prophecy from yesteryear. How did they know? And how did they maintain interest for so long?
That's one thing I wonder about. The powers are seriously cool, and fortune-telling certainly is one of them. What I wonder, though, is where the heck these powers came from. Am I supposed to see them as coincidental? Is there some sort of god granting the powers? I just don't know.
Something else I would really like to know: WHAT'S HAPPENING IN NOT L.A.? L. A has a devestating earthquake, thousands die, and no one comes to help? The rest of the country just leaves the city to die of starvation and to be taken over by a crazy cult? I don't have much faith in humanity particularly, but I'm pretty sure their would be support from the government, like food and aid workers, unless there was drama going down elsewhere too. There is no mention of this, though. What's going on?
As you can see, I was left with more questions than anything. The concept here is great. Bosworth's writing definitely shows promise, and she definitely had a style to her syntax. I also really appreciate that she did not shy away from touchy subjects. Though this came out as a resounding meh for me, I am definitely not writing Bosworth off completely. There was enough good here, in the concept and writing, to give her another chance. I hope to find her next book a bit more well-planned.
Seriously guys, do not judge this one off of me alone, because I know other folks really enjoyed it. Just because I wasn't impressed, doesn't mean you won't be blown away by it.