Review: Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux BYR
Released May 8, 2012
373 pages
Where I got it: E-galley received from publisher via NetGalley
Rating: ★★★★☆

Blurb (from Goodreads):

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

Struck surpassed my expectations of what this book would be. Instead of merely being yet another YA paranormal romance, I found myself pleasantly intrigued by the lightning addiction, post-mega natural disaster Los Angeles, and the cult theme. Plus, Bosworth has given us another strong female character who takes control of her situation instead of acting passively. Combined with fast-paced storytelling and the high stakes of needing to save the world, this adds up to a really strong debut novel.

I used to live in Los Angeles. I love L.A., as the song goes. And so I was delighted to see Los Angeles presented in the aftermath of a giant destructive earthquake. Californians are always expecting the “big one,” and Struck takes place after such an earthquake has hit. The details of how L.A.’s destruction has affected everyday life, and how people are struggling to continue with life even though aid is slow coming was touching and seemed truthful.

Mia is a pretty rad main character. She has Lichtenberg figures decorating most of her body: branch-like darkening of her skin where lightning has struck and spread. Google it. Mia attracts lightning, but also craves it. Lightning has burned her clothes off, and has made her heart stop on multiple occasions. While this makes her totally cool, it also sets her apart from those around her.

The villain of the story is a cult leader named The Prophet. He interprets the disaster as a precursor to the Second Coming, and uses a television show to gain support. In fact, his numbers have swelled because he was able to predict the time of the earthquake, causing many to believe that he is the real deal. I love books with cults, so the inclusion of this made me really happy.

The only downside for me in Struck is that it has yet another insta-romance, which I’m pretty much over. However, that wasn’t the central point of the story, and there was enough going on that I didn’t actually mind too much. I think Struck was one of the stronger YA paranormal books of the year I’ve read so far, and definitely fun enough to garner a read by somebody who is casually interested.

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2 Responses to Review: Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

  1. Well, that’s encouraging! Struck’s one of the books I’ve been most looking forward to, but also most afraid of being disappointed by. I think I’ll probably like it, but I’m taking the instalove into account. Who does that in real life? Who?!!

    • Audrey Audrey says:

      Ha, I wish it happened! Although, I instantly liked my current boyfriend the moment I saw him, so maybe it does happen? It took a few dates for him to reciprocate, though.

      When I was reading this, I kept wishing I could get the Lichtenberg figures without actually being struck by lightning :-) I also kept thinking about the guy on “Benjamin Button” who keeps telling Brad Pitt about all the times he was struck by lightning.

      Hopefully you’ll enjoy it! I definitely did.

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