Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 2312
The Odds of Lightning
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
THE ODDS OF LIGHTNING by Jocelyn Davies is a fun coming of age story as told by four different protagonists, Tiny, Lu, Will, and Nathaniel. Each teenager is struggling with his or her own identity crisis that has grown exponentially over the past three years, during which they have stopped being friends. However, on a fateful night before the SAT’s, they are all struck by lightning and change in magical ways. As they cannot go to the hospital for help, they must count on each other and themselves to survive and to make it to the test on time.

The book itself deals with some heavy issues teens face without trivializing them or watering them down. To Davies’ credit, she represents the plights of these characters in a fair way and many people on the cusp of adulthood will be able to relate. How do I fit in? Who am I going to be? Will I lose myself? Will I let myself be vulnerable? These are all questions the characters ask themselves. On the other hand, the plot is adventurous and light, which keeps the story from getting too serious, and the setting is New York City, practically a fifth character in the book. Honestly, it seems going to high school there would be anything but boring.

With that being said, the book is predictable in many ways and feels vaguely reminiscent of stories that have come before. However, maybe for this particular genre, that is fine. The main purpose of this genre should be to remind others that they are not alone in what they are going through, which it does. It also has the added benefit of being very entertaining and quick to read. Overall, THE ODDS OF LIGHTNING highlights the often fraught high school experience and in the end, leaves the reader with hope.
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