Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Debut with Flash: Struck

Struck by Jennifer Bosworth
Farrar, Straus and Giorux BYR, 2012

I'll say this for the debut author class of 2012: they are absolutely blowing me out of the park again and again and again. Struck, the debut novel by Jennifer Bosworth, is one of those books. The premise is incredible, the story has intense world building that is also remarkably realistic, and I've been telling everyone I know 'you have to read this book!'

Meet Mia Price: lightning addict. She's a human lightning rod who has been struck more times than she can count, and her affliction is the whole reason she, her mom, and her brother moved to Los Angeles in the first place - it barely rains there. But then the earthquake happened not so long ago, leaving the entire city in devastation. Rance Ridely Prophet, a televangelist with a large cult called the Followers, has announced the world will end in three days. There's also the Seekers, a group of people who want to take down Prophet and the Followers at any cost. Both sides have prophecies indicating that Mia is a central player in all of it. It doesn't seem to matter to anyone that she wants nothing to do with any of them - all she wants is to keep her family alive - but she also desperately wants to trust Jeremy, a stranger who says he wants to protect her. When the end of the world is on the line, Mia must risk everything to try to save what she loves.

Not since Katniss Everdeen have I come across such a strong protagonist. Mia is willing to do whatever it takes to keep her mother (who is suffering from PTSD) and her brother safe. She has an incredible ability that she'd rather not use because she hates bringing pain to others. She is incredibly complex and a survivor in every sense of the word.

Bosworth's world building here is also impecable. I've only been to LA once, but I have very little doubt that this is what the end of the world would look like there. The situations that arise and the fears that consume people within these pages are all incredibly realistic, as are the wide range of reactions.

Readers will be kept on their toes as they make their way through this story. Primary and secondary characters are all fully flushed out, and Bosworth does an especially good job with Jeremy in my opinion. All in all, this book has action, big questions, big emotions, and the fate of the world is on the line. I was blown away by this novel, and I cannot wait to see what Bosworth comes up with next.

Comments welcome, and, as always, happy reading!

Jennifer Bosworth's Website
JenniferBosworth on Twitter

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