Thursday, May 10, 2012

Review-Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

Struck
by Jennifer Bosworth

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.

As much as I wanted to love this one, I didn't. The idea was incredible, a girl that could continuously be struck by lightning and not be killed, how could that be?  What genetic malfunction caused that? Or was it some type of experiment? Or was  it Earth's polluted air as there are others that have been struck more than once and lived, but not to the extent that Mia has.  She craves it like a drug and can use it like fire.
That question is never broached nor answered in this novel. Not once does even Mia question "Why me?"  Given what she experiences, I think she's entitled to a little why me, but never does it cross her thoughts. I think that was a big part of the world building that was left out.


The devastation in L.A. after a catastrophic earthquake is complete. Numbers aren't even discussed as far as the scale  goes. Thousands have died. Roads have gaping holes in them, chasms that go down so far you can't see the bottom. The earthquake is caused by a lightning strike on a fault line. I don't know if that is or isn't possible, it's one of those things I can buy into without knowing the truth of it.  There are displaced people camping on the beach, Venice beach is right down the street from where Mia and her brother Parker and her catatonic mother live. Her mother wasn't found for four days after she was trapped in the debris of a building.  Just as with any catastrophic natural disaster, food and water is in short supply. Somehow Mia had water and electricity and even Internet and t.v. again, a premise I'll buy into.
I just think about New Orleans and the Gulf Coast after Katrina and it's a little hard to believe. But, hey maybe that little pocket was far enough away that it had electricity.  Everyone seemed to have t.v.'s in order to watch Prophet's t.v. show.

The characters-Mia is the main character and I don't understand her need for lightning. If I just knew her need for it, I think I could understand how she puts up with boiling blood and feverish skin and an hour or so of sleep at night. The way she describes it all, it sounds painful, yet the pain is welcome to her.  And then there is the fact that she has to wear turtlenecks, long pants and gloves to cover the scars the lightning has left on her body. If you watch the trailer you'll see that all her veins look like they are popped up and red, crimson on her skin, like a road map.  As far as who Mia is, she's a good character.
 She seemed like she was close to her brother, but then kept secrets from him. And I realize there wouldn't have been a certain story arc if she'd been honest with him, but I didn't understand why she didn't come clean.  There wasn't any mistrust between them. But, then, Mia has two cults basically fighting for her, both using unfair tactics to get her into their group.  To her credit, she is so strong and smart, she is able to avoid joining both even when she's surrounded by the group and escape seems an impossibility. Her kryptonite is her family and both cults use that against her.  But, you can't fault a girl for loving her family too much, especially when she almost lost her mother once.  

There is a religious aspect to it, but I have a hard time relating it to a real religion. The Prophet is one side that wants Mia and he's preaching the end of the world and God speaks to him etc.  And his Followers go around telling people they will all die in the fiery pits of hell unless they accept the Prophet's ways and become a believer in God.  It's more of a cult than a religion. I don't like religious books and this was really more fanaticism than religion.

So, should you read this book?  It seems like I didn't like it as I read over what I've written and I'm not even going to get started on the romance that happens over four or five days. And literally goes from one extreme to the other.  I'm thinking that  if you think the end of the world is coming or in catastrophic situations which are happening not just in L.A. but all over the world, maybe you do fall for someone quickly in an attempt to have someone for companionship.  So that I'll give a pass.
The premise for it is incredibly amazing and I think, seeing that this is a series, I will get the explanation that I need for why Mia is the way she is and what is going on with the world.  I'll understand the cults and everyone's role in it.  And did I say anything about the writing?  It's superb!  Great descriptions, using words in a new way to describe the same old thing so that you see it in a brand new way.  Like the Prophet's "snowy hair avalanched over his shoulders, thick and frosty as a polar bear's pelt" Kindle ARC
Everything was fresh and very original. A lot of the character's need some depth, I'm sure later to come.
Oh, and there is a lot of action. A lot of action! With two cults after you, trying to keep tabs on your family, the displaced eyeing you all the time, a yummy motorcycle riding love interest and trying to keep herself from being drawn to The Waste, downtown LA where the energy crackles in the air from the lightning, Mia is one very busy girl! So yes, I think you should read it and I'll be waiting for the next novel to see if my questions get answered.

***And please remember, though I had some problems with the novel, I finished it rather quickly, the ending is so spectacular, you can't help but hold your breath. And again the writer's words add so much to the experience.***

I received an ARC from the publishers Farrar,Straus, Giroux through Net Galley.  This in no way influenced my review .

23 comments:

  1. Hehe! So, I found that the ending totally made up for the very slow beginning. I also liked Jeremy and was eager to find out more about him. I do agree that there are way too many things left open and it was confusion.... I ended up liking it although I have to Struck and me had some rough times in the beginning:))

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    1. Yes, like a tornado eh? Kind of all over the place until it settled down into one story line.

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  2. sounds interesting!! i'm not sure if the cult stuff is really for me though.

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    1. Oh the cult stuff is tame. It's not like sacrificing people or anything. It's like a televangelist predicting the end of the world and another secret society looking for members in a different way. Neither is into killing people.

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  3. I definitely didn't like the romance; it seemed like Mia was just attracted to Jeremy and knew it was meant to be without really spending any time with him or getting to know anything about him. Even if the world is going to end, I would like to know a little bit more about a guy!

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    1. Yeah, me too. Especially when she found out his dubious start to their acquaintance. I couldn't get the positive/negative attraction thing. Maybe I was too dumb to get it. Maybe, I should read it again!

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  4. Hrmm...not sure about this book. I think you bring up some really valid points that I would also have a problem with, Heather. I think I'll wait to see what people think about book 2 before diving into this one.

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    1. I think book two will explain a lot more just because we didn't get much in book one. Jenny loved it though so don't let just my opinion be the one that sways you.

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  5. Awwww sorry this one wasn't quite as successful for you Heather! I loved it, but you make some good points about running water and electricity, and I'm with you on wanting to know a little bit more about Mia's lightning addiction and why she craved it so much since it's something super unusual. Wonderfully thorough review as always!!

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    1. Thanks Jenny! I know I should buy into all that, I guess I just couldn't. If it were a movie, yeah. Book, no.

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  6. Great review. I'll definitely give the book a try. I'll see what I make of book one. It's one I've been looking forward to reading. Haven't been able to get through many books lately, mostly because I haven't found one that has been able to capture my attention enough - any YA books, that is.

    Fingers crossed, eh!

    Alecia :)

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    1. I don't think I'd start with this one then. Start with a bestseller. I don't know what you like really but I could recommend some.

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  7. I'm seeing buzz about this book around Bloglandia. Since I live in LA, and lived through the '94 quake, I'm interested to see a literary take on that flavor of catastrophe.

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    1. Hey-
      Hope your feeling well! Yikes, this might make you move! You guys have so many natural disasters I'm quite sure it is not the place for me! But ripe for natural disaster stories and doomsday cults!

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  8. I know people have been raving about this book, and I wish I could too, but for some reason, I can't muster the interest to even read it. Like you mentioned, it does seem a bit far fetched, even for fiction. But I love the book trailer for it.

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    1. I know right? Maybe if Mia had been more of a force to be reckoned with, but she was always holding back. Never really used her powers. If I had the power of lightning at my fingertips, I'd be leaving!

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  9. I have this on order, and I still really want to read it, but I'm not going to get my expectations up too high.
    Great review!

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    1. Thanks! Maybe if my expectations hadn't been so high....I was just looking for Superwoman and Mia is so not that.

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  10. Hm... I'm not sure about this one. I'm sorry it didn't rock you. It does sound like a great premise, but I don't know if all the questions I would be left with would interfere with me not liking the book. I mean now that I'm prepared, perhaps it won't disturb me so much... perhaps... :)

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    1. Well the romance is not anything to get excited about so don't look for that. I think I've adequately prepared you. Jenny liked it alot, don't forget!

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  11. I've had this book on my TBR for a little while now and it seems to be getting mixed reviews. I do like the premise of it though. I'm from Northern California and the whole earthquake aspect of the book is what first drew me to it, ironically, even though they seriously freak me out! I'm still interested in reading this one, but your review was great Heather! It's also good to know that there are things left unanswered in this book.

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  12. Hmmm. I don't know that I will enjoy this one. Sounds like it has some good elements, but maybe not those that I can overlook. Thanks for the honest review.

    - Jessica @ Book Sake

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  13. Oiy, I'm not into quick romance. I prefer the kind that grows over time. Not over an hour. lol. I just read a book with that kind of romance and it drove me nuts. Plus I'm not into religous stuff. I may have to pass on this one.

    Great review. :)

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