Paranormal Young Adult
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Available May 8th
Received from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)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.
MY THOUGHTSStuck is an intriguingly unique tale, focusing on a post-disaster Los Angeles as people with dark aspirations of power take advantage of chaos and vulnerability and use them as the stepping stones in their ascension to greatness. Based on that premise alone we’re immediately ready to throw our weight behind anyone who opposes the man who proclaims himself the voice of God, and luckily for us, we’re given a heroine who’s beyond strong on levels both human and superhuman and who stands her ground in a way we’d like to think we’d be capable of were we in her shoes. Ms. Bosworth does a beautiful job of combining the horrors humanity is capable of inflicting on itself with the damage both natural and supernatural are able to wreak on the physical landscape, allowing the world to feel real and tangible despite the addition of some rather fascinating individual abilities.
As mentioned above Mia is a young woman who exudes strength and competency, seeming utterly in control of herself despite her tumultuous family life and the absolute unpredictability of the gifts bestowed upon her through multiple lightning strikes. She adores her mother and brother and would do anything for them, including putting herself repeatedly at risk to ensure their safety while asking nothing in return, all the while standing tall against an onslaught of conflicting fanatical groups who wish to use her to their own questionable ends. When control slips from her grasp she neither flounders nor sits idly by tormenting herself with questions of why and what-if, instead she takes comfort in action (most of the time to her detriment), constantly seeking to spare those she loves pain by bearing the burden or taking the hit herself.
Mia’s romantic relationship with Jeremy, while plagued by the spark of an electric current when they touch skin to skin–a fairly common physical precursor to the dreaded instant and all-consuming love–proceeds to move forward at the perfect pace. The electric current in this case makes sense given Mia’s power, and the level head she uses when she acts in defense of her family blissfully extends to her reactions to Jeremy. She’s attracted to him without being so overwhelmed by her feelings that she finds herself inexplicably in his thrall, and they have both sustained just enough damage mentally and emotionally in the past to mold them into oddly-shaped pieces that seem to fit with nothing and no one save one another, forming a perfectly imperfect connection that keeps things interesting.
The only wish some readers might have for this story is more of a history on the Seekers, a motley group not without their share of supernatural talents who vehemently oppose the teachings of the False Prophet. We’re not sure if they’re a group we can trust or if they are simply the lesser of two evils in a city overrun with those positively ravenous for power, and while that adds to our anxiety in a good way while reading, by the time we reach the end we can’t help but want a few more chapters to help us know them better. Overall, Struck is a fresh story with a solid group of characters, and Ms. Bosworth is an author who has more than caught my attention.