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Struck
Jennifer Bosworth
Ferrar, Straus & Giroux, 384 pages

Struck
Jennifer Bosworth
Jennifer Bosworth lives in Los Angeles, California, where lightning hardly ever strikes, but when it does she takes cover. She is the writer half of a writer/director team with her husband.

Jennifer Bosworth Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Fated

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Katherine Petersen

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I've been reading more young adult paranormal fiction lately, and while most of them are fairly good, only a few jump out as the ones you can't put down or that seem to end too soon. Struck, Jennifer Bosworth's debut novel and the first in a series, had the ability to suck me out of my own reality for the time it took me to pretty much read it straight through. Our heroine, Mia Price, has a unique addiction; she craves lightning and has been struck so many times that she has veiny scars all over her body. Luckily her face has been exempt, but one more strike and they'll expand there, too.

Mia, and her mother and younger brother, Parker, live in Los Angeles, a city rarely hit by lightning. Its lack of affinity for lightning, doesn't preclude earthquakes, and a massive one, which many believe originated with an electrical storm has turned downtown L.A. into a wasteland with the surrounding areas not a whole lot better. The displaced, as they are called, have built large tent cities on Venice and other beaches, and two cults with opposing beliefs have come out of the woodwork believing Mia is the answer to their respective prophecies. One wants to save the world and one pretty much save themselves sand obliterate the rest of humanity.

Mia would rather be left alone and has no wish to join either side. She'd like to believe the enigmatic Jeremy, to whom she is inexplicably drawn, can protect her, but deep down, she doesn't believe he is who he says and may not have her best interests at heart either. In fact, Mia may have to use all her power to save the ones she loves but may lose herself in the process.

Sure, there are some clichés in Bosworth's story, but personally, I don't think they detract from the whole. Mia is strong and independent, and it's easy to empathize with her struggle to protect her family and not get sucked into either cult or their differing motives. Bosworth gives gritty and realistic descriptions of post-Earthquake L.A. I do have a couple of quibbles having to do with Jeremy who seems to come out of nowhere and Mia falls for him. I've never been a fan of the insta romance, and I never understood the allure. That said it didn't take away from my enjoyment of the story. People seem to gain powers from lightning, which I took on faith, but it never really got explained. Perhaps, we'll learn more about this during future novels. Struck fit my need for a fast-paced tale that would keep me turning pages. I will read more by Jennifer Bosworth in the future.

Copyright © 2012 Katherine Petersen

Katherine Petersen started reading as a young child and hasn't stopped. She still thinks she can read all the books she wants, but might, at some point, realize the impossibility of this mission. While she enjoys other genres, she thrives on fantasy, science fiction and mysteries.


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