STRUCK (Struck #1)
by Jennifer Bosworth
RELEASE DATE: 10th May 2012
FORMAT: Paperback, 432 pages
GENRE: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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. (Goodreads)
STRUCK by Jennifer Bosworth is an interesting premise for a young adult novel, set in dystopian LA with our heroine torn between the ideals of two different cults vying for her power. She is torn between protecting her family and protecting herself, trying to work out the motives of those that want her.
Mia Price is a survivor of numerous lightning strikes, her body conducting and attracting lightning whenever there is a storm. It affects her in different ways each time it hits, but always leaves her with more red scars on her body, jagged like lightning bolts. She craves lightning, claiming to be addicted to the power, setting her up as special, being able to store the power but unable to control it.
I want the lightning to find me. I crave it like lungs crave oxygen. There’s nothing that makes you feel more alive than being struck. Unless, of course, it kills you. It does that to me from time to time, which is why I moved to Los Angeles.
The novel is set in dystopian LA, after a huge earthquake has ripped the city to pieces, tearing lives apart, with Mia’s being no exception. Her mother has a post traumatic stress disorder, forcing Mia to hold their family together, keeping a watchful eye out for younger brother, Parker. She is dedicated to her family, wanting to keep them safe at all costs, which is an admirable trait, but emphasised too much in the novel, like an obsession.
It is Mia and Parker’s first day back at school after the earthquake, where one of Mia’s old teachers asks her to join ‘The Seekers’, a cult group who want to save the world from the prophesised apocalypse that will occur in three days time. Their leader can read minds and plant suggestions, making him a dangerous force to be reckoned with, especially when Mia is never certain of his motives for wanting her power.
On the other side we have the Prophet, a religious cult leader who wants people to become his ‘Followers’, taking advantage of those lives that have been devastated by the earthquake. He claims to be able to heal people, with his 12 Apostles going with him everywhere, the twelve adopted children that he has taken under his wing. His televised sermons aid him in converting people to his cause, with Mia’s mother being fixated on him. Prophet was the one who predicted the past LA earthquake, his validity earning him followers, with his apocalypse theory taken as gospel by many.
Mia is at the heart of the apocalypse, having been seen in a vision by mysterious fellow student, Jeremy, who can see the future. She is instantly drawn to him, heat sparking between them when they are close, but one touch from him will cause Mia to share his visions. However, as mysterious as he appears to be, I could predict every revelation about him, as Bosworth drops hints that aren’t at all subtle.
Overall, I had a lot of issues with this book, because as soon as I started reading it I could tell that I wasn’t going to enjoy it. I didn’t enjoy Bosworth’s writing style, and wasn’t at all interested in the heroine. There was hardly any character development, with little information from her past being revealed, and we never really learn anything about her brother apart from his appearance. Her relationship with Jeremy seems too spontaneous, as they get together without much being shared between them, seeming overly forced by the author. The ending of “Struck” was weak, and is way too convenient for my liking. It is also a little rushed, with the whole plot being resolved in only around ten pages. I didn’t enjoy this book, but fans of dystopian fiction may disagree.
This book didn’t grab me at all, with there being little depth or development to the main character and a weak plot resolution. The majority of the plot twists could be predicted easily, not making for an enjoyable read.
BUY THE BOOK