Struck

Struck

by Jennifer Bosworth

Hardcover

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Overview

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, in this young adult novel by Jennifer Bosworth.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780374372835
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 05/08/2012
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 5.82(w) x 8.34(h) x 1.23(d)
Lexile: 720L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

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, Ryan Bosworth.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

I don't sleep much. An hour here. Two hours there. Chronic insomnia, it's one of my more tolerable lightning strike aftereffects. Not as bad as the veiny red scars that cover me from neck to toes, or the burning in my chest that flares hotter when I get a little emotional. Insomnia? Eh. It could be worse (and usually is). Most people wish they had more hours in the day. I keep almost the full twenty-four.

When I go to bed at night, it's not with the intention to sleep. If sleep happens, great. If it doesn't, well, that's something I've gotten used to.

So when I opened my eyes and saw a guy standing over my bed, I had to assume I'd finally fallen asleep. And when I noticed the shiny silver knife gripped in his hand — the kind of pretty, decorative blade that has no practical application but murder — I decided this was not a dream I wanted to see through to the end. It would have been nice to stay asleep a bit longer, but now I was going to have to wake myself before Nightmare Boy used his knife to gut me.

"Wake up, Mia," I told myself in a voice that came out hoarse and scratchy, like it would have if I'd actually awakened.

The guy startled back from my bed. He dropped the knife and it fell straight down and stuck in the wood floor with a thunk. Must be sharp. He scrambled to yank it free, but looked unsure what to do with it after that. His face was in shadow, but his wide, white eyes and jerky movements told me he was as scared as I was supposed to be. As far as nightmares went, he wasn't too bad. I decided to stay asleep.

I closed my eyes, hoping I'd open them to a new dream.

But there were no more dreams that night, only Nightmare Boy's soft, retreating footsteps.

When I opened my eyes again, feeling as though I hadn't slept at all, it was the morning I'd been dreading. The morning when my brother, Parker, and I would return to school for the first time since the quake.

We had a dream dictionary kicking around the house somewhere. If I consulted it, I was pretty sure it would confirm my suspicion that a knife in your dream was a bad omen. Not that I needed an omen to give me the heads-up that this day was going to suck.

As I dragged myself out of bed, I noticed a small split in the floor, right about where Nightmare Boy's knife had lodged itself in the floorboards. Strange. Then again, there were plenty of other little cracks and splits on the old floor of my restored attic bedroom.

I put thoughts of the dream away. I had bigger problems — real problems — to worry about. I didn't know what to expect back at school, but if the changes that had taken root throughout the rest of the city were any indication, I should probably give in and expect the worst, as usual.

Thanks for the warning, Nightmare Boy. Not that it'll do me any good.

CHAPTER 2

I stood outside Mom's bedroom door and listened to Prophet's muffled voice. I couldn't make out what he said, but after a month of Mom obsessively watching his televised sermons, I could guess the subject matter.

The end of the world is at hand.

Those who surrender their souls to Prophet will be saved.

Those who don't will suffer and die and suffer some more.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We heard you the first time.

"Mom?" I tapped on the door before turning the knob. It was seven in the morning, and outside the sun was doing its job, but Mom's bedroom was a cave. She sat at her window in the grungy bathrobe she hadn't shed in days, peeking through the slats in the blinds. Her eyes traveled back and forth between the window and the TV, which was playing The Hour of Light, Rance Ridley Prophet's morning broadcast. He did three shows a day: morning, midday, and evening. Ever since we brought her home from the hospital, Mom had been obsessed with Prophet. The only way she missed his broadcast was if the electricity or cable went out. I almost looked forward to those outages now.

"Brothers and sisters," Prophet intoned, "God will soon make His final judgment. You must decide now on which side you will stand, on the side of heaven, or on the side of earth and its wicked, worldly pleasures. Will you be lifted up, raptured to paradise, or laid low by God's terrible vengeance?"

Prophet's voice drowned out my entrance into the bedroom. Sometimes I wondered if Mom's hearing was somehow damaged during the quake. She seemed so oblivious to what went on around her. The doctor who attended to her for all of five minutes before he gave her bed away to someone more needy said she was fine. Malnourished and dehydrated, but she'd live. After three days trapped under a collapsed building, she had some bad bruises, a few cracked ribs, and a dozen lacerations on her face and arms — caused by the wall of glass that had exploded near her when the building started to buckle — most of which had nearly healed by now. Physically, she was as sound as could be expected. Mental health was another matter.

The Internet — along with our utilities and cable — had been in and out since the quake, but when our connection was working I'd researched Mom's symptoms until I determined what was wrong with her: Acute Stress Disorder — Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder's evil twin on steroids — caused by a traumatic event, which is re-experienced in flashbacks, anxiety, delusions, emotional detachment, even amnesia.

Mom had all the symptoms and then some. She should have been in a hospital, under the care of a psychiatrist and a team of nurses tending to her around the clock. But the hospitals were still full of patients with actual life-threatening injuries, people with broken backs and crushed limbs and infected burns. People suffering from earthquake fever, an immunity disorder caused by mold released from the ground during the quake. People so malnourished and dehydrated from the lack of food and water in the city that the only way their bodies would accept nutrients was through a tube. There were no beds for those with functioning bodies but malfunctioning minds.

The upside was Acute Stress Disorder usually lasted a maximum of four weeks, and it had been four weeks to the day since the earthquake. Three weeks and four days since rescue workers pulled Mom's unconscious, dehydrated body from beneath several tons of rubble. It was a miracle she'd still been breathing. The people who'd been found with her were not so lucky. Some were crushed instantly. Others suffocated, and it was their deaths that saved my mom's life. There wasn't enough oxygen in the small cavern beneath the wreckage to go around.

Four weeks since the quake ... it seemed like four thousand.

"Mom?" I said again. I kept my voice low, gentle, as though my words might hurt her if they came out too hard. She stiffened and her shoulders hunched as she craned her head around. It had been so long since she'd washed her hair that it appeared wet with grease. The scars on her face stood out in waxy, salmon-colored lines against skin that hadn't seen the sun in weeks. It was an effort not to flinch every time I looked at her. At least my face had been spared from the lightning scars that etched the rest of my body. Mom's face, on the other hand ... she would need plastic surgery to remove the scars if she didn't want to be reminded of the quake every time she looked in a mirror.

"We have already begun to witness God's wrath," Prophet continued. "He whispered to me that He would strike Los Angeles only minutes before His fist came down. The end of all things is at hand, brothers and sisters, and it will commence right here, in Los Angeles. For this is not the city of angels, but a city where devils rule from their hillside mansions and immense studios, spreading their corruption like a plague through your television screens and movie theaters and the Internet. Is it any surprise, in a city so amoral, that our young people — the ones who call themselves 'rovers' — dance and drink and cavort on the graves of the dead in the Waste?"

I turned the volume down, averting my gaze from the milky orbs of Prophet's eyes. His snowy hair avalanched over his shoulders, thick and frosty as a polar bear's pelt, though he couldn't be older than thirty-five, with that peanut-butter-smooth, tanned face. That bleach-white crescent of a smile. But mostly when I looked at him I saw the eyes, empty and opaque, filmed with cataracts.

"Mom, Parker and I have to go," I said.

"What?" she finally responded. "Where ... where are you going?" Her voice dragged, weighted with the antipsychotics and anti-anxiety medications I'd procured for her through less than legitimate means. Even if I could get Mom an appointment with one of the overburdened doctors in the city, they'd just give me prescriptions I couldn't fill. Pharmacies had been looted within the first days after the quake. Supplies of food, water, and medications were trickling back into the city by air, but with most of the freeways shut down, and the trucks that did make it in being looted, there wasn't enough to go around.

When the quake hit, there were nineteen million people living in the greater metropolitan area. The population had thinned since then. Those who could manage it had abandoned the city like the proverbial sinking ship. But there were still too many people to feed and medicate. Even counting the private jets celebrities loaned to aid organizations, there were only so many planes and helicopters available to import goods. Supplies were divided up for the area hospitals and clinics and consumed as soon as they left the trucks. If the trucks made it from the airports to their drop-off destinations.

The only option I was left with for getting Mom's meds was the black market. I knew I was buying the same pills that were being stolen, but I couldn't afford to care. My moral compass didn't point the same direction it used to.

"Mom," I said again. I could tell she was having a hard time focusing on me. Half her attention was on the window and half on Prophet. "Parker and I have to go back to school today. But we'll come straight home after. You'll only be alone for a few hours."

A look started to surface on Mom's face. Terror at the prospect of being left alone in the house, with rioting and looting still going on throughout the city, water and power and cell service still unreliable.

Mom twisted her hands together in her lap, like she was trying to mold them into some new shape. "What if someone tries to get in while you're gone?"

"I checked the doors and windows. Everything's locked up tight. No one's getting in." It was a good thing I'd checked the windows again this morning. I'd found the one in the garage unlocked. It was a small window, but someone could squeeze through if he or she really wanted to.

Mom unraveled her fingers and parted the blinds again. "There was a boy watching the house earlier. A boy your age with glasses. I've seen him before. I can't ... can't remember where. He saw me looking and he went away. I know him from somewhere, Mia. I know him, but I can't remember." She pounded both fists against her temples so hard I jumped. "Why do you both have to go? Can't one of you stay here with me? I don't want to be alone in this house with him out there watching."

I didn't want to tell her why it was so important that both Parker and I return to school, why it couldn't wait another week. We were down to our last cans of food, and the few schools that had reopened not only offered free lunch, but the kids who started attending classes again got priority aid. Parker and I would each receive a ration of food to take home with us for every day we showed up.

This was not about education. It was about survival.

Mom's fists were curled against her temples, her body hunched like she was bracing for impact. Was there really someone watching the house, or was she seeing things again?

"Mom ... Mom, I need you to take your pills before we leave." Xanax for anxiety. Thorazine for the hallucinations and flashbacks.

She pulled her chin against her chest. "I already took them."

"Are you sure?" I sounded patronizing, but Mom hardly ever remembered to take her pills. Most of the time she hardly seemed to remember her own name.

She gave me a sharp look. "I'm sure," she said.

A soft knock at the open door. Parker poked his head in, his thick, straw-colored hair, still wet from the shower, hung in his eyes. The water was on today. That had been a relief. I hadn't taken more than a handful of showers since the quake, and I didn't want to return to school smelling like one of the Displaced.

Parker went to Mom, put his arms around her. "Love you," he said. "We'll be back before you know it, okay?"

Mom tensed at his touch. Parker released her, trying not to look hurt by her rejection, but I knew he was. Out of the two of us, Parker had always been the sensitive one. "Empathetic" was the word Mom used to describe him, but it was more than that. Parker didn't just empathize. He was a "fixer." When someone was hurting, he tried to find a way to make them better.

But Parker couldn't crack the wall Mom had put up around herself, and it was killing him. Mom's rejection wasn't personal, though. At least, that was what I told myself. But she didn't like people to get too close anymore. Every day she seemed to fold more tightly into herself, growing smaller and smaller, as though she were still being crushed under that fallen building.

"I'll wait in the car." Parker avoided my eyes as he walked past me, but I saw they were wet, and I felt emotion close my throat.

When he was gone, I went to Mom. I wanted to hug her, too, even though I knew she would be as rigid and unresponsive as a twist of wood. But more than that, I wanted to grab her by the shoulders and shake her and demand she come back to us. We needed her.

My eyes strayed to the TV. On-screen, the camera panned back, revealing the stage. Several identically dressed teenagers — the boys wearing crisp white shirts and white slacks, the girls in long white dresses — flanked Prophet on each side. Two of them were twins, a boy and a girl, with white-blond hair a shade more ivory than Prophet's; both so tall and thin, they looked like they'd been stretched. Prophet's entourage of adopted children. His Twelve Apostles, he called them, though I only counted eleven on stage with him.

Considering how Prophet had managed to brainwash millions of people into believing he was not just a man named Prophet, not just a prophet, but the prophet God had chosen to let us know the world was about over, I didn't want to imagine the conditioning that went on in the privacy of the man's home.

"He's out there again ... watching the house," Mom said urgently. "The boy. Look."

I bent to squint through the blinds into the bright sunlight. People passed by on the sidewalk, wandering aimlessly. The Displaced. Those whose homes had been destroyed by the earthquake. But I didn't see any boy watching the house.

"What does he want?" Mom asked. Her hand fluttered to her face; fingers traced the knotted line of a jagged pink scar along her jaw.

"I don't know," I told her, hearing the despair in my voice, thick as an accent.

Her voice shook. "Everything is coming apart, and Prophet says things are only going to get worse. He knows what's coming, Mia. God speaks to him."

God. Oh, God, God, God. I was sick of hearing about God, maybe because I hadn't heard much about him (or her, or it) since Mom's mom — our fanatically God-fearing, Bible-thumping grandma — passed away a couple years ago. After that, Mom was free to stop pretending she bought into Grandma's fire-and-brimstone theology. Grandma went to the grave thinking her daughter would someday join her in fluffy white-cloud heaven, instead of plummeting straight to hell, where my father was roasting on a spit with the rest of the unbelievers.

Mom always claimed she was firmly agnostic despite her extreme evangelical upbringing. She didn't believe in anything in particular, and she was perfectly content to wait until she died to find out the real deal. I figured her obsession with Prophet was a phase born out of desperation, like people on an airplane who start praying when they go through a nasty bit of turbulence.

I touched Mom's shoulder. It was a hard, protruding angle. She was nothing but bones under her bathrobe.

"Everything's going to be okay," I told her, even though the words had lost their meaning from too frequent use. I was always saying them to someone now, to Mom, to Parker, or to myself.

"Be careful out there," Mom said, touching me briefly on my gloved hand before pulling away. "Take care of your brother."

"I will." I turned to go, and Prophet whispered over my shoulder, like he was standing right behind me. "And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as a sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood.

"The time is coming," Prophet said. "The end is coming."

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Struck"
by .
Copyright © 2012 Jennifer Bosworth.
Excerpted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Reading Group Guide

1. We've all heard the Stan Lee quote "With great power comes great responsibility." Mia has both power and responsibility, but wants neither. If given the choice, would you accept great power if it came with a price? Do you think it would be worth it?

2. In Struck, the prophet of a doomsday cult has predicted that the end of the world will arrive in three days. How would you behave if you thought the world was ending in three days?

3. Mia refers to herself as a "lightning addict" and is willing to risk everything, including her life, to connect to the power in storms. Do you think the author is drawing a parallel between Mia's addiction and other types of addiction?

4. Struck begins one month after a massive earthquake has devastated Los Angeles. The city is in chaos and millions have lost their homes and are deprived of basic necessities. If disaster struck your town, how would you survive?

5. Mia has Lichtenberg figures––veiny, red lightning scars––that cover her skin from neck to toes. How does this "disfigurement" affect her everyday life? Do you have any scars that you're either proud of or ashamed of?

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Struck 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
Amabe421 More than 1 year ago
* This is rated as 3.5 stars on my blog. It wasn't quite a 4 star book for me, but it deserved more than 3. When I first heard about this book I was super excited to red it. It just sounded so unique and creative. Being someone who has in fact been struck by lightning, (thought indirectly) it sounded extra appealing to me. (If you want to know more about that feel free to tweet me or email me about it.) It was definitely an interesting book. I liked Mia and some of the other characters. There was a lot of religion in it, and being someone who is not religious I can say it didn't bother me. It wasn't annoyingly preachy, it was just a main part of the story. It was done very well to be honest. Mia has a special gift though she feels like it's a curse. She doesn't really know the extent of the power she carries from the countless lightning strikes. She has different people telling her who she can and can't trust on opposing sides and she has no clue what to do. I feel like in the situation she is stuck in she really does pretty well. Yes, she makes some bad decisions, but who doesn't. She's confused and trying to take care of her mother who has basically shut down completely after the earthquake. Jeremy is kind of stalkerish, but it's okay. He's totally hot! Really though, he is a great character. He is a bit creepy, but there is a lot of creepy weird people in this book. When you have the end of the world looking you in the face there are going to be some crazies! He has secrets that he wants to tell, but can't. Well, more he is afraid to than he can't I guess. Anyways, I can't really say much about him except I like him, and I liked him with Mia. He was always there for her when she needed him, even when she didn't know whether to trust him or not. There is a little romance in this book, but it is really isn't a big in your face, take over the story romance. It was there, it does play a part in the book, but it's not annoying and over the top. I actually thought it was great. A little fast, but hey, the end of the world is coming. Things tend to move a little faster when you only have days left. This book was fast paced, and kept my interest from beginning to end. There was nothing that stood out as shocking or any big twists, and no major cliffhanger ending, though there is a little bit of something implied. Overall I would have to say this was a well written book that I really enjoyed. It may not have blown me away, but it was a great book. I am undecided between 3 and 4 stars. I think if we knew a little more about these powers the lightning gives and how people came to know about it and start these groups. I would give it 4, but I still feel like there is a little lack of information on why things happen. I am a bit picky with stuff like that. I need a reason for things, even if it's not a very good one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this story and I really think that it should be turned into a series or at least a trilogy... this was one of my favorite books ever...I JUST COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN Thank you XD
kimba88 More than 1 year ago
Mia is a lightening addict or maybe lightening is addicted to her. Either way, she has the scars to prove it. She has survived countless strikes, and is drawn to storms, like bees to honey. Her family moved to LA, after a horrific lightening event. The recent disasters have left atmospheric hints of a storm to come. Mia can sense it and feels drawn to it. I easily connected with Mia and wanted to know more about her. Since the earthquake, she has really had to hold it together and I was impressed by her stiff upper lip. She is brave and protective. She doesn’t seek out conflict, but will fight when necessary. At times, I was annoyed with the character's inability to communicate…since a lot of crap could have been avoided with a straightforward conversation. Jeremy appears in one of Mia's classes. She has never met him, but is immediately aware of his presence and feels as if she knows him. She finds him to be gorgeous and mysterious. Oddly he makes her feel calm. He doesn’t appear to belong to either cult and tries to warn her. Jeremy’s true identity wasn’t revealed until almost the end. Bosworth did leave clues throughout the novel and I managed to figure it out but I was never really sure if he was helping her or had a secret agenda. All of which made this tale suspenseful. The romance between them was sweet and downright complicated. The energy I felt when the two of them were together made me swoon. Other characters added to the suspense and mystery. I loved some of them and loathed others. Bosworth’s world-building enthralled me. She did a wonderful job of depicting the city and its people after the quake. Her descriptions of the city of tents, the chaos and fear made the world very real. The Prophet and his followers were believable. He has predicted the end is near and urges people to join him and repent. Throughout the novel you get a sense that he is evil. The Seekers are an old and secret society. They appear to be trying to stop a cataclysmic event from occurring. It has been foretold and they are looking for others to make their psychic connections stronger. Bosworth’s tale of their origin and purposes was fascinating. She weaves tarot cards and paranormal ability into the tale creating mystery. Mia is the catalyst for an event yet to come and is sought by both sides. Not knowing the true purpose of each cult and why they wanted Mia made the ride suspenseful.
TinaRK More than 1 year ago
STRUCK is an amazing and exciting story. Mia is a strong man character who will do anything to keep her family safe . The concept of Mia being a lightning addict is brilliant and fresh!   Mia's love interest with Jeremy worked very well throughout the story and I really enjoyed it. I look forward to more novels from Jennifer Bosworth. She is very talented! 
Dazzlamb More than 1 year ago
STRUCK is set in future LA. A city destroyed by a terrible earthquake. Imagining Los Angeles like that was pretty scary. Although it could have been an ace dytopian story, STRUCK wasn't primarily about a disaster scenario and the impacts natural catastrophes could have on people's lives. It was mostly about Mia dealing with her lightning addiction. Yes, you've read correctly. She is like a life-size lightning rod. She has the power to absorb lightning but also to destroy with its energy. She has the predisposition to be an attractive character protagonist-wise, but surprisingly she just didn't grow on me. Grave disappointment struck me after only the first few chapters of Jennifer Bosworth's debut novel. A huge amount of the story felt just wrong to me and I didn't find a way to connect with our protagonist or unterstand the love story. Don't get me wrong, her love interest, Jeremy was a pretty decent guy. Just not that sexy and incredibly defiant guy I wanted him to be. There's also a religious, or better cult-like, aspect that felt kind of like a foreign substance to the story itself. And it really started to bother me after some time, because it became too dominant and held to much of the story's attention. A Prophet gathering people around him and trying to control an entire city with his nonsense, even involving parts of Mia's family. The cult component struck me as really odd and that's what turned the story into something that just couldn't work for me. I was rather sceptical about reading STRUCK in the first place, but somehow found myself reading it after a few weeks anyways. Should've listened to my intuition from the beginning. I'm not happy to say that I didn't enjoy this read, but that's how it is. And for that I hope even more readers find a favourite in it and will give it the love any story deserves. 2/5 ** STRUCK - Promising premise, no electrifying content in the end! This story could have been big, but there was never any tension at all and the action simply fell flat for me. Weak characters and a trivial romance and I was desperate to finish STRUCK to just be done with it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book last summer and found it very unique, i have never read anything like it
sangreal More than 1 year ago
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for reading and reviewing it. For the first two thirds of this book, I was pretty sure I didn’t like it, yet I couldn’t figure out why. The initial premise seemed exciting and original – Mia has been struck by lightning hundreds of times, and has a love/hate relationship with the feelings it producers in her. Additionally, she can channel the energy of the storm, but isn’t sure whether this is a curse or a blessing. The setting is Los Angeles shortly after a storm (complete with lightning) triggers an earthquake that ravages the city. Mia struggles to hold her family together, as her mother was injured during the quake and is recovering plus there’s also a younger brother to care for. Many of the expected dystopian themes make an appearance, including the disparity between those who have and those who are destitute, along with the struggle to get things ‘back to normal’. There is also the rise of religious fervor, symptoms of stress disorder and the partial breakdown of law and order. In the end, I think that was the source of my problems with the book – too many varying issues competing for my attention. The religious and anti-religious factions both believe Mia is central to their future plans and try their hardest to recruit her to their side. Then there’s the boy who’s either trying to kill her or save her – Mia isn’t sure which – but who she can’t seem to stay away from. Not knowing who to trust can make things very difficult, but in the first two thirds of the book, I don’t think Mia made a single decision that didn’t irritate me in some way. Then I came to the last part of the story, and suddenly it seemed like I was reading a different book altogether! The pacing was much better, the action moved along and Mia became a heroine I started to like a little. It helped that the story didn’t quite take the expected route to the conclusion, and I began to find myself devouring the pages to see how things were going to turn out. Also good was that, while this is intended to be a series, the book had a satisfying conclusion with hints that there was more to come. Generally, this was a good YA read, but not a fantastic one. Still, I would at least try the next book in the series when it comes out, and if it’s written like the last third of this one, I’ll be very happy about that.
JanaRose1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Life changed drastically after a major earthquake struck, destroying large parts of LA. Mia, who has been struck by lightning repeatedly, finds herself torn between two groups who desperately want her to join them. The Followers are under the sway of Prophet, an evangelic preacher. The Seekers come across as desperate and needy, and want Mia for a martyr. Mia must decide what to do before the end of the world strikes.This book was well written and very engaging. The characters were interesting and I learned a bit about what happens when lightning strikes a person. At times the book was slow and I thought it was pretty predictable at times. Despite those flaws, I think many teenage girls will pick up the book and enjoy it.
ABookwormsHaven on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have been on a little bit of a young adult kick lately, but I started to get worried when the plots began to blend together and all the books I was reading seemed to be very similar. Luckily, Struck is not one of those novels. It stands out among the crowd and will demand your full and undivided attention. I devoured the entire novel in one sitting. It is over three hundred fifty pages so it is not a small book, but I could not walk away from it without knowing the outcome.The best part of this book was Mia. She was a strong leading female who did not just follow along with the crowd. She asks questions, she watches out for those she loves and she makes her own path. Mia is constantly fed a plethora of information from those around her. I admired her for taking the time to process what she is told and come to her own conclusions, not just jump on the bandwagon of others because they are pressuring her. One of the people vying for her attention is Jeremy. I clicked with him right from the start. It¿s always the mysterious ones that I find intriguing and he was no exception. Part of what won me over was his habit of always looking out for what was best for Mia and not trying to get something out of it. Not everyone in her life was doing that, most of them wanted something for themselves and his intentions always seemed genuine and pure. His past is an enigma for most of the novel and by the end there are quite a few interesting revelations about him that I would never have guessed, but I really enjoyed him as a character.There is a little romance in this book, but it does take a while for it to grow into something Mia is willing to fight for. While I am usually a big fan of the romance taking center stage, I appreciated Jennifer keeping it in the background for most of the novel. There were too many other events that needed to take place before Mia and Jeremy could make sense of what they were feeling for one another. Plus, Mia needed to discover more about herself and where she stands with the events unfolding around her before she could have some else stand beside her.I cannot review this book without talking about the religion that is laced throughout. I know people can hear religion and run for the hills, but I promise you it is not like that with this book. In Struck, there is a Prophet who says God talks to him and tells him when the end of the world is coming so he is gathering followers. He predicts the end to be three days after when the book begins and this fuels most of the conflict in this world. It reflects much of what already surrounds us in society today with the end of the world theories piling up day after day. I am not really a fan of religious fanatics myself and would agree with Mia when she thinks: ¿I had a special dislike for any organization, religious or otherwise, that pointed their finger at this person or that person and condemned them as evil¿¿Just because there is religion in Struck does not mean it is pushed on you in any way. It is just a new take on an apocalyptic scenario and one that I found very interesting.Another element that plays into this book is the survivors of lightning strikes. They posses something that many in this book refer to as ¿the spark¿ and have talents they can put to use because of it. Mia lists some of the side effects of a lighting strike at the start of the novel, but what she comes to discover is that not all of the effects are physical or are even ones that a doctor could explain. Mind reading, visions and many other things can take root in a person after they are struck and be used to help or harm society. Mia is not exactly sure of all the ways lightning has affected her, but as she learns more about others like her, she discovers she may hold more power than she ever thought possible. Storms have always fascinated me, lighting included, and Struck just amped up my interest in them. I don¿t think I will be able to look at lighting quite the same way again.The endin
elliepotten on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As soon as I saw the cover for this book I wanted to read it. I have a borderline-unhealthy love/hate relationship with lightning, for a start. I'm terrified of it but I just find it fascinating, particularly how every strike victim is affected differently (something Bosworth addresses very early on), and the beautiful Lichtenberg figures (or 'lightning trees') that bloom across the skin afterwards. It's also one of the most powerful covers I've seen yet in 2012 and definitely one of my favourite YA covers of recent years.Gorgeous cover aside, this is a thrilling addition to the seemingly unstoppable wave of new dystopian fiction. Mia is a lightning addict. She's been struck so many times that she has a positive charge all her own, and doesn't feel truly alive until a storm brews overhead, setting her skin tingling and her energy reaching out to draw the lightning down. For now, however, she has quite enough on her plate trying to keep her family together in the aftermath of the great earthquake that shook LA a month ago. Thousands are homeless and starving, her mother is wracked with anxiety after her near-death experience, and now she and her brother must go back to school in order to qualify for food rations. But things aren't going to go back to normal for Mia anytime soon. Two warring cults are rising, both proclaiming that the end of the world is coming, that a great storm will herald the beginning of the apocalypse - and that Mia is the key. Throw Jeremy into the mix - a beautiful tormented boy who sees visions of the future and warns Mia away from both the darkly mysterious Seekers and the super-religious Followers - and the scene is set for a cracking good read (no pun intended)! This is a fantastic, complex novel that proved to be quite thought-provoking even as it was roaring towards the gripping climax. I think a lot of this complexity stems from the way Mia has to navigate her way between the two cults that dominate the story. This IS a fantasy novel, and the spiritual Seekers with their blood-red cloaks and tarot readings definitely sway more in that direction, but the Followers and their leader, Rance Ridley Prophet, really gave me pause for thought. Stripping away the fantastical elements, what we're left with is a televangelist who is clearly exploiting the fear and desperation of the people of LA to preach his message of fire and brimstone. That part didn't seem so far-fetched! Nor did the general post-earthquake setting, which felt brutally realistic as I was reading. I thought that staging this apocalyptic battle against such a bleak but entirely plausible backdrop really helped keep the book grounded (or should that be earthed? Pun definitely intended this time!).I really enjoyed Bosworth's debut, and I'm looking forward to reading more from her in the future. She gave me everything I wanted from a dystopian novel - evocative writing, characters I could root for, mysteries I could puzzle over, messages about society to reflect on, a sizzling romance (thank you, I'm here all week) to savour, and a film-worthy climax to race towards - and, of course, a little lightning fix of my own!
hrose2931 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As much as I wanted to love this one, I didn't. The idea was incredible, a girl that could continuously be struck by lightning and not be killed, how could that be? What genetic malfunction caused that? Or was it some type of experiment? Or was it Earth's polluted air as there are others that have been struck more than once and lived, but not to the extent that Mia has. She craves it like a drug and can use it like fire.That question is never broached nor answered in this novel. Not once does even Mia question "Why me?" Given what she experiences, I think she's entitled to a little why me, but never does it cross her thoughts. I think that was a big part of the world building that was left out.The devastation in L.A. after a catastrophic earthquake is complete. Numbers aren't even discussed as far as the scale goes. Thousands have died. Roads have gaping holes in them, chasms that go down so far you can't see the bottom. The earthquake is caused by a lightning strike on a fault line. I don't know if that is or isn't possible, it's one of those things I can buy into without knowing the truth of it. There are displaced people camping on the beach, Venice beach is right down the street from where Mia and her brother Parker and her catatonic mother live. Her mother wasn't found for four days after she was trapped in the debris of a building. Just as with any catastrophic natural disaster, food and water is in short supply. Somehow Mia had water and electricity and even Internet and t.v. again, a premise I'll buy into.I just think about New Orleans and the Gulf Coast after Katrina and it's a little hard to believe. But, hey maybe that little pocket was far enough away that it had electricity. Everyone seemed to have t.v.'s in order to watch Prophet's t.v. show.The characters-Mia is the main character and I don't understand her need for lightning. If I just knew her need for it, I think I could understand how she puts up with boiling blood and feverish skin and an hour or so of sleep at night. The way she describes it all, it sounds painful, yet the pain is welcome to her. And then there is the fact that she has to wear turtlenecks, long pants and gloves to cover the scars the lightning has left on her body. If you watch the trailer you'll see that all her veins look like they are popped up and red, crimson on her skin, like a road map. As far as who Mia is, she's a good character.She seemed like she was close to her brother, but then kept secrets from him. And I realize there wouldn't have been a certain story arc if she'd been honest with him, but I didn't understand why she didn't come clean. There wasn't any mistrust between them. But, then, Mia has two cults basically fighting for her, both using unfair tactics to get her into their group. To her credit, she is so strong and smart, she is able to avoid joining both even when she's surrounded by the group and escape seems an impossibility. Her kryptonite is her family and both cults use that against her. But, you can't fault a girl for loving her family too much, especially when she almost lost her mother once.There is a religious aspect to it, but I have a hard time relating it to a real religion. The Prophet is one side that wants Mia and he's preaching the end of the world and God speaks to him etc. And his Followers go around telling people they will all die in the fiery pits of hell unless they accept the Prophet's ways and become a believer in God. It's more of a cult than a religion. I don't like religious books and this was really more fanaticism than religion.So, should you read this book? It seems like I didn't like it as I read over what I've written and I'm not even going to get started on the romance that happens over four or five days. And literally goes from one extreme to the other. I'm thinking that if you think the end of the world is coming or in catastrophic situations which are happening not just in L.A. but all over the world, maybe you do fall for someone
Bookswithbite on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
With a very intriguing beginning, I was hooked immediately. I really loved how well her past was given to the reader without giving away too much. What I loved most about this book are the great characters. The characters in the book are really developed and have a nice growth through out the book. I really enjoyed reading about each character coming into who they are meant to be. The love interest in the book took very many twists. At first I was happy, then sad/mad, then happy again. I adored their time together as well as they learning about what their destiny really is. I want to mention that my fave part about this book is the choice factor. I liked how well this one line really played well into the story. In life, we all have choices. You don't have to be what people say you are and you don't have to do what you don't want to do. You have a choice. Struck is an amazingly well written book that captures the reader right away. The creativity and tension in the book keeps building till the reader can't take no more. A compelling story from start to finish, Struck is an amazing debut!
BookAddictDiary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Struck wasn't what I expected. Something about that blurb just made me think that this novel was going to head in a different direction than it actually did. While this did bother me somewhat at first, I quickly got over it. Despite my misconceptions, Struck turned out to be a fantastic novel with fast-paced action, a fantastic main character, great writing and a completely engrossing plot that made me desperate for more.Mia has been struck by lightening hundreds of times in her life -and shes' still alive. In fact, she seems to attract the lightening. Once in Los Angeles, Mia hopes that she's safe from the lightening, only to find that a devastating earthquake devastates the city, and everything is plunged into chaos of end-of-the-world proportions. The city is overrun by strange cults, and isn't not long until Mia finds herself drawn into the strange web of religion, romance, betrayal and the end of the world.I was most surprised at author Jennifer Bosworth's heavy use of religion in the novel. While I was a little concerned about where it might be going, Bosworth handles the topic brilliantly, and uses it as an effective device to create a fascinating, tight plot with interesting comments about how humanity acts in the face of oblivion. The use of religion and prophets might make some people uncomfortable, but I thought it was intelligently executed without becoming an attack on religion.From the very beginning, I was drawn into Bosworth's writing style: crisp, clean and strong as well as emotional and descriptive. Not only that, but she does an excellent job of balancing emotion with character development, plot and description to create a unified and well-woven novel that's got all the right elements. And Bosworth doesn't let the reader down -Struck offers endless twists and an action-packed ending of epic awesome that's beyond satisfying.It's been a long time since I've read a book that was the complete package, and Struck has it all. More intelligent and powerful than the average YA novel, Struck is an electrifying debut that hits all the right buttons.
booktwirps on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The premise of this novel really intrigued me. A girl who wants to be struck by lightning? Definitely different. What really surprised me once I started reading it was how much the book dealt with religion.When the story begins, Los Angeles has been hit by a massive earthquake and the city is devastated. There was much loss of life, and many have been left homeless. It's also mentioned that a major hurricane has wiped out a lot of the Gulf Coast and other plagues and natural disasters have affected other parts of the world. Thanks to a man who calls himself Prophet, many people believe that the end of the world is coming. Prophet spoke of the quake hours before it happened on his television show, so people are inclined to listen to him. His message is simple: Join him and be saved, or die when the end comes.Not everyone believes Prophet, and Mia is one of them. Her mother, who was hurt and almost died in the quake, spends her days lying in bed watching Prophet's telecasts. She's terrified of the end of the world that is supposedly coming in a matter of a few days, and this drives Mia crazy.When Mia meets a mysterious boy who warns her against both Prophet, as well as another "cult" who wants to take down Prophet and his group, she has no idea where to turn. Both groups want Mia, but which group should she trust -- can she trust? It's obvious they want her for something, and she can't help but think she may have something to do with the end of the world.The story itself was very intriguing and moved at a brisk pace. I loved Ms. Bosworth's style and voice, and she kept me on edge for most of the book. My problem came toward the end, when the big reveal takes place and the culmination of events kind of fizzled. I was expecting a huge climax, because honestly, in my opinion, the book needed it after the tension-filled build up. For me, it was a little disappointing. I'm not sure what I wanted exactly. There were several different ways it could have ended. I guess I just felt everything was tied up a little too nicely.All in all, it's a descent read, but it left me feeling slightly underwhelmed.
krau0098 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I got a copy of this book to review through NetGalley(dot)com. It sounded like a really interesting premise. While it started out pretty interesting; the characters and the story degenerated into your pretty typical paranormal-type YA book. In the end it was an okay story but nothing special.Mia is addicted to lightening. She's been struck a number of times and has suffered some injuries but has never died from her numerous run-ins with lightening. Her, her mother and her brother live in Los Angeles now. A huge earthquake has happened and Mia and her family are trying to eke out an existence among the rubble. Her mother is out-of commission dealing with post traumatic stress syndrome caused by what she survived during the quake and is becoming increasingly obsessed with a man named the Prophet who is recruiting people to join his Followers. Mia's brother is being pulled towards a cult-like group that opposes the Followers called the Seekers. Mia is stuck in between them and is having run-ins with a mysterious boy named Jeremy who is warning her to stay away from both groups.The idea of humans being struck by lightening and gaining super-human-like powers from the lightening strikes is an interesting one. Having the whole story set after a huge quake which precedes the supposed end of days provided an excellent setting for the story.The above being said I had a lot of problems with this book. Mia as a character is nothing outstanding, in fact none of the characters in this book stand out all that much. Mia is constantly warned over and over not to do things and does them anyway. The book was basically a chain of Mia doing stupid things that resulted in bad things happening. I don't mind tragic heroines, but I have trouble reading about stupid ones.Now lets discuss Jeremy and Mia's relationship. Jeremy has that stalkerish like behavior that for some reason is portrayed quite frequently in YA literature. He is looking into Mia's windows and constantly standing outside her house. That's okay though because Mia is inexplicably drawn to him. If this instant love of Mia for stalker-Jeremy isn't bad enough it gets worse. When Mia discovers that Jeremy was the one standing above her bed with a knife trying to kill her she gets a little angry. Does she avoid this creepy-boy? No, she falls in love with him and starts making out with him. I guess if people trying to kill you is what does it for you...but seriously what is up with this kind of relationship? Are these the kind of role-models we want YA readers to read about...seriously?I wish I could say that was the end of the rant but it's not. This story is basically about two groups vying for Mia's "powers". The Followers and the Seekers. The Followers are uber-religious freaks who want the world to end because we are all sinners. The Seekers are uber-anti-religious freaks who want to save humanity I think...actually I am not sure of their agenda...the only thing made really clear about the Seekers is that they hate the Followers. If you are religious or non-religious you will find parts of this book offensive. Personally I don't care one way or the other, I just don't like reading books with a overly-religion driven plotline. So yeah, I pretty much thought all the fire and brimstone sermons were a bummer to read through. I didn't really enjoy anything that drove this story.The book is decently written, the plot is pretty simple, but technically there was nothing wrong with it. It seems like a fairly self-contained story; everything was well wrapped-up.Overall this book just wasn't for me. There is nothing technically wrong with it. The characters are so-so, there is that wonderful teenage boy stalks teenage girl and she likes it thing going on (which I can't stand), and the plotline is heavily religious but not really pro-religion (so there should be things in here to offend people from both camps). In general I was just disappointed, this could have
Kr15tina on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What I LovedHookThe prologue hooked me from the very beginning, after I read those two short page I was like, "WOW! I really have to do some intense reading like now!" The quote that really had me very intrigued was "My name is Mia Price, and I'm a human lightening rod. Do they make a support group for that? They should, and let me tell you why. My name is Mia Price, and I'm a lightening addict!" This prologue sets the tone for the whole book. CharactersMia: I really enjoyed her character, she is the ever reluctant hero of the story. She just wants to be left alone and not bothered about her weird freakish dangerous addiction. I was completely intrigued by her ability to survive and crave so many lightening strikes. Love her ever stubborn attitude and completely loyalty and protectiveness to her family.Jeremy: The mystery boy know one knows anything about. All the information about him doesn't get fully unveiled till the end of the story, but I had a feeling I knew where he was from by the last third of the book and oh man is it good.RomanceAs I like to put it the book has a side of romance. The main story doesn't fully focus on Mia and Jeremy's interest in each other. For me it was the perfect about, just enough for me to become invested in their happiness together.StoryThe majority of the book, besides the prologue and epilogue, took place over three days. Those three days contained a lot of information and action. Mass hysteria, starvation, end of the world predictions make for the perfect time for a religious fanatic to step in and control people with their fears. It is some crazy and intense stuff all throughout the book. Love to HateI hate the evil/bad person being a religious fanatic, they scare me more then anything because there is no reasoning with them. But at the same time they make for the greatest villains in books because they are complete nut jobs and I get strong feelings against them.Recommendation A great read, got to go pick it upInformation Struck SeriesProphet short story prequel StruckCurrently Struck is a stand alone book with no more books under contract, but Jennifer has more planned.
jennationreviews on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Whoa! This was my reaction when I saw the cover of this book and what I felt as I finished the last page. To say this book was good is a complete understatement. It was amazing and incredible. And I must thank Jennifer for sending me a copy. They say lightning never strikes the same place twice, right? That isn¿t the case for 17 year old Mia Price. She is craves the lightning and has been struck more times than she can count. A terrible earthquake has hit Los Angeles. People live in fear craving comfort; afraid of what¿s going to happen next. They look towards religion, listening to the Prophet as he preaches the end of the world. How does one trust when so many are lying to you? How do you know the truth? Do you go with your gut instinct? What happens when the ones you love won't even speak to you?This is a great read for those who loved The Gone Series by Michael Grant. All I can say I never expected such an ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read
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sandyemerson More than 1 year ago
Imagine having two cults fighting it out to control one person.  Both, who want use that person in their own way.  Even prepared to use your family to do it.  That's what Mia faces in this book.  Mia is a girl who is addicted to lightning - the same way a druggie is fixated on their next shot of heroin.  She knows when storms are coming and has to fight the urge to race towards it.  She lives in post-apocalyptic world where the city she lives in has virtually been destroyed after a horrendous Earthquake and there is more trouble coming.  She fights to keep her family together in a time where the homeless live in tents and the simple things are hard to get.  She has to go to school to get the food she needs.  And, to make her life even more difficult, along comes Jeremy... The thing that struck me the most about this book was the cult element.  I wouldn't call it religion per se because it wasn't a known religion fighting against another.  It was two different sects - one who believed the world was going to end - the other trying to make sure it didn't happen.  There was a sense of good and evil, but not in the usual way that I've been used to.  No angels or demons in this book! The world-building side of it disappointed me.  I didn't know anything about how the world worked apart from what was going on between the two sects.  I know there were militiamen who patrolled the area, but who looked after them?  Where was the government or mayor in all this?  There's always someone who takes charge.  I also couldn't understand why Mia made it so easy to allow Jeremy into her life when he was going to do something to horrible to her (can't say what -spoiler).  There was one scene where she showed her fear and outrage and then she folded as easily as a towel is.  I guess he was the better of two evils. That being said though I did like the characters.  I thought Mia and Jeremy were sweet together.  There was definitely no love at first sight here, but more the situations that were going on in their lives that made them connect.  I think Mia was actually quite a strong character except towards the end.  Even though it was part of the story line, I didn't really like what happened towards the end of the book.  I think it took something away from Mia and left me frustrated with her.  Mind you, that did give her some flaws so I guess it comes down to the way the reader interprets it. The secondary characters really didn't leave me with much of an impression.  I guess it's because I didn't really know that much about them.  They felt empty - like they had been put in the book to make it flow the way it should.  I think the only two who made much of a impression on me were Katrina and Mr Kale. I don't really have much to say about Jeremy.  He was alright, but I can't say I fan-girled over him.  Despite all my 'meh' feelings about the book as a whole, I can't deny that there was something about this book that appealed to me.  I think it was the unique plot of the book.  I haven't read a book quite like it before.  And, I did like the climax of the book and the way it ended.  I think it was that and Mia that saved it from being rated any lower.  If there ever is a sequel to this book, I will read it. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes elemental books.   Book review done by Sandy@Magical Manuscripts
Anonymous More than 1 year ago