Struck by Jennifer Bosworth has been one of the hottest YA spring releases for 2012, at least if you measure it by the buzz it received prior to the release date.
While Struck had a very interesting premise (+ a great cover and a stunning book trailer) and the story hocked me from the first page I'm sorry to say that the execution of the plot just didn't work for me. It felt more like the script for a movie and I believe that Struck is a story that might work a whole lot better for me on screen.
Mia was an interesting character with an intriguing ability but the writing relied too heavily upon known clichés. One of them being my biggest pet peeves at the moment; falling madly in love with a guy who wants nothing more than you lifeless in a coffin six feet under (very few authors can make me buy into this kind of start to a relationship). Also Struck is a novel where religion almost is a character in its own right. I'm not too fond of religion in my books, it can work sometimes but nine out of ten it doesn't.
There was some interesting points for discussion in Struck. I noted that the author brought up all the Americans that is living out on the streets and those who are poor in contrast to the way the politicians spends huge amounts on warfare when they have urgent issues to address domestically.
Nina's opinion on Struck:
It’s not often that a book trailer has sold me on a book, but the trailer for Struck is completely epic, and could just as easily have been made for an awesome action movie as for a YA book. Luckily my high expectations were not only met but exceeded; this book is awesome.
Mia is such a normal teenage girl, except for the whole lightning addiction thing. The author has perfectly captured that feeling of addiction, how Mia knows it’s bad for her yet always craves more. I loved how she was trying so hard to stay away from trouble, and to keep her younger brother Parker out of it as well, which is not easy when two different cults are trying to recruit you! Mia had some trouble knowing who to trust, as Followers, Seekers and Jeremy all seem to have ulterior motives, some more clear than others, and she makes some incredibly stupid decisions, but they’re all based on her love for her family and her need to protect them.
Mia has some very interesting family dynamics going on. Her mom is slowly going crazy, locked up in her own bedroom watching The Prophet’s TV-show, refusing to face the world. Parker, her younger brother, is doing everything he can to help out, even when that means going against his sister’s orders. Despite all of that, they are still very much a family, and they’re about to test just how strong that relationship is. I also really liked Mia’s relationship to Jeremy, the one person who appears to be free from both cults. He’s truly trying to help her, to do what’s best for her as well as avoiding the final disaster, and yet he’s hiding something big.
On the surface Struck is an action packed doomsday story, but it’s got an underlying theme of religious brainwashing that I absolutely loved. One of the cults is being led by a strong figure called The Prophet, who predicted the earthquake, and who’s been converting Followers via his religious TV-show since before the catastrophe happened. It’s weird to see how fear, and especially fear of the unknown, makes people desperate enough to believe just about anything without questioning the logic in it, and for me that was far scarier than any storm could ever be.
The ending of Struck ties up the storyline nicely, but it leaves enough open to make me excited for the sequel, because we are clearly not done with Mia’s story yet. I liked Struck a lot, and I hope you will too!