AUTHOR: Jennifer Bosworth
SERIES: Struck #1 (prequel available)
PUBLISHER: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux
PAGES: 373 (Hardcover)
An exciting premise with a healthy dose of originality, Struck is the latest offering in YA dystopia. Though the novel was certainly good enough, it didn’t quite live up to its potential and I struggled to get through the middle third of the book.
The prologue of this novel is the hook; it draws you in with one simple sentence: ‘My name is Mia Price and I am a lightning addict.’ Like many others I expected this revelation to be explored in the novel much more than it actually was, especially since it is perhaps the most important point in the whole plot. Instead, we get the barest of information before Mia is thrown into this tug of war between the two cults – The Seekers and The Followers – whilst I much would have preferred to find out why on earth Mia is able to survive being struck by lightning and what could have driven her to discover this. To say I was confused is an understatement, and I can only hope that if there are future books Bosworth will go into this more thoroughly.
As a heroine, Mia took a while to grow on me. Not that I hated her, but for a while I just felt indifference. One thing that really annoyed me was her ability to take massive leaps and do crazy things when everything could have been sorted with a conversation or some openness from her and the other characters. They were all just too uptight, especially Jeremy, who’s big ‘secret’ I called way in advance. He chose to be deliberately vague when warning her about the Waste, when the truth would have saved time and been way more effective.
A big theme revolving around the plot is this idea of religion, and how the two cults are trying to stop the incoming apocalypse. They both have vastly different ideas of how this ought to be done; yet one thing they have in common is that they need Mia. Rather than being concerned or angry, I just felt vaguely irritated by these two warring factions. One brainwashes its members, whilst the other blackmails and intentionally keeps secrets. In my mind they are both just as bad as each other, and I think Jeremy was completely right when he said to avoid either of them.
This book has been getting quite a lot of hype in the book blogging circle, and for most I would say that Struck is an enjoyable read that is by far not the worst YA novel you could pick up. Though its originality seems to be lost the more pages you turn, I will be keeping an eye out for more of Bosworth’s books in the future.