Friday, March 2, 2012

Book Review: Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

Release Date: May 8, 2012
(Thanks to ATWT for allowing me to participate in this tour!)
Published by: Farrar, Straus, and Girroux

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.

Ten Likes/Dislikes:

1. (+) Mia Price, the protagonist - The one person who I liked. Mia has done some terrible things in the past but I still rooted for her, because you could see how guilty she felt over it and her addiction to lightning. She's burdened with the huge power but still keeps on trying to take care of those around her, even though she too needs someone to take care of her, needs someone to be there for her because she's pretty vulnerable too. In the end, she's the kind of strong and determined heroine that you want to support.
2. (+) World building - Man.  The details Ms. Bosworth envisioned about this pre-apocalyptic world (I say pre because this book mostly focuses on the apocalypse Mia will bring) were fantastic. From the Tent to the way food was rationed to the way people looked to two different places for comfort--it felt a bit too realistic at times, and that was scary in itself. The great restrained chaos made me believe in the earthquake and the tragic circumstances L.A. has fallen into.  I also really liked what Ms. Bosworth chose to add from the Old Testament and incorporate with the Book of Revelations--it added a nice twist I hadn't been expecting.
3. (--) Portrayal of Religion - Okay, I'm totally fine with someone taking material from the Bible--I do it in my stories as well... but what bothered me was the way Jennifer Bosworth portrayed the villain and subsequently Christianity. Who always get portrayed as a fanatic cult? The Christians. I'm sorry; I'm not even a devout believer or anything, I'm just pissed that it's always The Church of Light or something like that. Like really?  Religion is a sensitive topic in general, and you're going to make the villain stem from Christianity?  I'm sick and tired of reading about how people look down on religion in this pre-described fashion.  Ms. Bosworth does nothing new for that stereotype... I think I would've been fine if you had the rescuing faction from the same religion--that way you're not creating such polarized factions.... It's also annoying because I read that summary and thought, wow, that sounds cool!  Lightning addict!  I was definitely not expecting a portrayal of religion as an evil cult.
4. (--) The Characters - There's something to be said for flawed characters... but when all the characters besides Mia are such douchebags to her, it's kind of hard to root for them.  And it's even harder to root for Mia when I don't understand why she loves these people who treat her so badly.
5. (+) The Romance - at first, it seemed a little too paranormal-y for me. Then I liked it more and more as the time went on. I didn't quite understand their attraction beyond the fact that she thought was good-looking, but I did appreciate how Mia called Jeremy out on his weird behaviors and how neither of them was going to pretend it was love for the other. More like a desperate needing in times of such utter destruction and bad days to come.
6. (--) Predictability - okay, there were some things I didn't anticipate happening, but for the most part, I predicted the big reveal, predicted what was going to happen at the end. In a way, that's almost impossible to avoid with any book with the apocalypse, but the big reveal I saw coming from miles away, because the foreshadowing was not too subtle.
7. (--) The End & the Beginning - I wasn't terribly satisfied with either the end or the beginning. The end, because it felt... a little unrealistic to me. I don't want to spoil anything, but it didn't feel appropriate for a world on the brink of such despair.  The beginning, because that prologue was unnecessary, and while I loved all the details that built the broken world before me, there was a lot of back story to wade through.
8. (+) The Writing - Ms. Bosworth was a screenwriter before this, and it shows. She's really, really good at painting these images of total destruction and masses gone mob-like.
9. (+) The Pacing - The book counts down to the final showdown, so it's really fast paced and I didn't put it down once. The beginning is considerably the slowest part, but once I got past that part, the pacing was fluid.
10. (+) The Cover - Beautiful cover that I think captures the dangerous and apocalyptic feel. Also, you can't see it from the image but there are even red lines along Mia's arms, symbolizing her lightning scars, and yay for cover designers who read the book!

Cinematic portrayal of a religiously inspired apocalyptic book.


  1. You liked the main character? YES! I hope the portrayal of religion is not too much of a minus for me

    Krazyyme @ Young Readers

  2. Hmmm sounds like you had quite a few ups and downs with this. I'm really glad you liked the main character though, I hate it when I don't! Not sure how I feel about this one, I wish books would steer clear of religion and I hate it when the beginning and end aren't great.

    Awesome review from you as always

    The Cait Files


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