Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Me on Struck
Author: Jennifer Bosworth
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux (Macmillan imprint)
Mia is a lightning addict. She's survived being struck countless times, but the craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and everyone around her. L.A. is one of the few places she feels safe from her addiction, but when an earthquake rips it apart it's transformed into a mass of chaos. Two warring groups rise to power, two cults, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing prophecies. Mia wants to trust someone else, but she fears he isn't who he claims to be. When the final disaster strikes, she must risk unleashing everything to save the people she cares about, or lose everything.
Immediate and powerful, Struck is a fast-paced and moving story of a girl finding her place and making her own choices in a world that craves her power for different purposes. What's most intriguing about this book is the mash-up of different elements, the post-apocalyptic/post-disaster events mixed with a little urban fantasy, a lot of religious fanaticism, and a lot of possible prophecies. So much happens to Mia over the span of a few days, and it all shapes her, breaks her apart and puts her back together, lightning scars and all, leaving her to make the ultimate decision.
Mia seems to follow the trend of female narrators with massive chips in the shoulders. She was rather headstrong and rough, defiant and stubborn, but I thought it worked. There were some times when she made some rather suspicious decisions and made me hate her, but to get that kind of reaction for only part of the story is big. It was only those couple of instances where she bothered me, I actually liked her for most of the book. There was just that time or two where she did something that I knew was obvious and would lead to bowing open a massive can of worms.
There was a weird start to Mia and Jeremy's relationship. It felt a little suspicious, but it was different. I rather enjoyed her nickname for him in the first part of the book.
Still, there was a more important relationship in this book than the one between Mia and Jeremy, and that's the one between Mia and her lightning addiction. She felt like an addict, like a junkie searching for her next fix, but the fact that she knew she was an addict was interesting. I wonder if it wouldn't been different if she hadn't been aware, if she was even more desperate for her next fix. It would've made her more flawed as a character, would've led to a massive realization that she was an addict.
This was an intriguing look at religion, cults, and followers. What it boils down to are people looking for explanations, people trying to find reasons why the world does what it does. The thing with cults that makes them look frightening is the blind loyalty and fanaticism, but what it really boils down to is the one in charge who can sell his position to anyone with doubts, to anyone looking for that reason why. If he sells it well enough, if he can persuade and cajole and influence, then those looking for an explanation to fill the gap will buy into it.
To me, this book seems to be about realizing your own abilities, about having connections to others while having different beliefs or interpretations of the same situation. In this book, Mia had to decide which side to follow, who to trust, who to have faith in. There might be such a thing as fate, that we're following the path already set out before us, but there will always be choice and free will.
(I received an e-galley of the book from Macmillan through NetGalley.)