Series: Struck, #1
Author: Jennifer Bosworth
Pages: 373 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: May 8, 2012
I received an ARC from NetGalley.
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.
I was completely amazed by and in love with Struck from page one! I was first intrigued by Mia and her self-proclaimed addiction to being struck by lightning. That's crazy, but I had to know more about her! Then the setting completely captivated me. It's Los Angeles 4 weeks after the next major earthquake. The city is in ruin, there's looting, tons of homeless people, not enough food, water or medicine to go around. But most interesting of all is the emergence of an extreme religious group led by Rance Ridley Prophet. He apparently predicted the earthquake, which left so many dead and injured, right down to the minute, so his following has grown exponentially! It's amazing what people will believe and cling to in desperate times! As a Californian who knows all about the impending "Big One," I couldn't help but be drawn into this possible future.
There are so many things about this book that I loved! The setting, which I've already mentioned, was perfect! It's horrible, but that's what happens after a natural disaster. It makes me nervous for when that earthquake actually hits. Mia's home life was directly effected by the quake, because she must now take care of her mother who is struggling mentally after being trapped beneath a collapsed building for three days. Their relationship is strained, and it was really sad watching how things developed between them throughout the book.
Rance Ridley Prophet, or Prophet as he's called, was a super interesting, and disturbing character. He's somehow managed to get hundreds of Followers, who believe he is a conduit for the word of God. But I suppose, it would be hard to deny someone who can predict a devastating earthquake and heal those who were injured. I had a theory about him, which is probably obvious, but I was happy to learn I was right. I wanted to know more about what had happened to him and what he was up to by collecting Followers.
In opposition to Prophet and his Followers are the Seekers, another kind of cult. They want Mia to join them, because she has "the Spark." This is where the supernatural elements really come in. I loved the idea of the prophecy, even though I wasn't 100% clear what it was all about. Lightning plays a pivotal role in their beliefs, but are they trustworthy? Or are they just trying to take advantage of Mia? According to Jeremy, she should stay far away. Jeremy, Jeremy, Jeremy. There's always gushing over the love interest in YA romances, but in most cases I haven't seen the appeal. They just haven't been my type until Jeremy. He wears Clark Kent glasses. That's ALL I needed to know. Seriously. That's how you draw me into a guy; slap some nerdy glasses on him. BUT he was also completely intriguing if also completely evasive and frustrating, until we really get to know him.
I can go on and on about what I loved about this book from the ruined LA, to the possible true prophet, to human lightning rods and apocalyptic prophesies, to roving parties and supernatural abilities. Struck really has it all! This was a fantastically unique debut novel and I can't wait for more from this author! I was never bored for a moment of this. It moves fairly fast, since it covers a span of only 4 days. A lot can happen in 4 days. I am a little bummed that this a series; I thought the ending was absolutely perfect.
As much as I loved this book, I still had some nagging questions: Where did Mia get the $10 for the fortune teller if all of her cash was burned up? How are people getting gas if trucks can't make it into the city? What is Mia's family's real last name? Did the earthquake damage extend to Anaheim and is Disneyland still operable?
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