Monday, May 14, 2012

Struck by Lightning

Thunderstorms can either terrify you or fascinate you. But what if they were drawn to you? What if you were basically a conductor for the storms, and the threat of lightning and what you could do with it was so terrible, you moved to Los Angeles, a place where lightning and thunder rarely come? In Jennifer Bosworth's Struck, we watch a young girl who runs from the very energy that runs through her veins.

Mia and her mother and brother, Parker, survived the earthquake that all but destroyed Los Angeles, but they haven't done so unscathed. Their mother teeters on the edge of full blown mental illness, Parker is struggling to find his path and Mia is struggling to keep her family fed and alive. When the school is finally reopened, they struggle with the idea of leaving their mom home all day, but one full, square meal is more than just slightly tempting. At the school, though, Mia encounters two groups of people who want to get their hands on her.

The Followers are devoted to Prophet- the man who claims to have seen the end of the world and claims to be able to save those who devote themselves to him. The Seekers are people with the Spark (ability to harness and use energy like Mia) who devote their lives to stopping Prophet from ending the world. Mia doesn't want anything to do with either side, but a mysterious boy named Jeremy makes her reconsider everything she thought she knew. Now, with Parker going with the Seekers and her mother obsessed with the Prophet, Mia has to figure something out to save her family, especially with the storm of a lifetime heading straight for her. 

I have to say this was a strange and sometimes confusing story, but I can't say I didn't like it. In fact, I really did like it, but it took me right to the end with some big questions and confusions. The clash between the cult-like Followers and the avenger-like Seekers was an interesting one, but you don't get to really know the true story behind either. Well, that's not entirely true. You get more about the Followers, but the Seekers are still left a strange little mystery. There was enough of their back story to at least help you to understand what was happening, but it still left me scratching my head at times. I also wanted to know more about the Spark. What caused this? How many people have it? What are the side-effects? There were quite a few unanswered questions by the end of the story.

Still, it was very interesting. I loved the idea of the Spark and the people who can harness and attract energy like the lightning. Mia was clearly unhappy with her power, but seeing her meet others like herself was fascinating. Unfortunately, you didn't get enough time to see that interaction before everything spun out of control again. I wonder if Bosworth plans on continuing this story. It ends with a good deal of finality, but there could be room to continue if she wanted to. This is a great story for the typical young adult sector, late middle school through high school students. There is a hint of the supernatural, and a good deal of creepy cults and depressing disaster, but Mia is a character you want to learn more about. So consider continuing, Bosworth! I want to see more of Mia and Jeremy!

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