30 junho 2012

Review: Struck (Jennifer Bosworth)

Struck by Jennifer Bosworth
Publisher: Doubleday (2012)
Format: Paperback | 370 pages
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Description (GR): "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." 
WARNING: Contains minor SPOILERS
"My name is Mia Price and, I'm a lightning addict."
Promising start, I'll give you that. But also an immense potential for the idea to turn sour. I mean logically many people hit by lightning simply die, but Mia seems to bear it extremely well (except for burnt clothes and hair). Why? What is special about her? And did she ever wonder?

The book opens with Mia and her family recovering from the effects of an earthquake that hit Los Angeles, a month before. The setting for this novel is, thus, post-apocalyptic. Los Angeles was nearly completely destroyed, millions of people died or are missing and millions more lost their houses. Electricity and water come and go, food is scarce. Mia and her brother have to care for their mother, who was buried beneath a building for days and now has Acute Stress Syndrome. They also need to go to school if they want to get food.

In this bleak environment, the Church of the Light, a cult, gains followers. They are everywhere with their white clothes, trying to recruit more followers, warning people that the end of the world is near. Their Prophet has predicted the earthquake and predicts that something worse is coming.

This is the setting of the book and I simply loved it. I thought Bosworth did a great job with her world-building. In such times many people turn to religion and to something that gives them hope so the rising in popularity of the Church of the Light was to be expected. The water, electricity and food shortage, the militias, the looting; I thought the world-building was good and very interesting. It had a movie quality to it (it may not have been the most realistic, but it worked).

Mia seemed like a sensible girl (except for the fact that she likes to get hit by lightning), but I was very confused at the beginning... I mean, didn't she wonder why she was able to survive so many lightning strikes?

Still, I was loving this book, the whole world-building, the slow uncovering of Mia's past, how she and her brother dealt with their mentally unstable mother.

Then Jeremy came along. Yes, you're guessing right. He's the hot, mysterious guy who warns Mia away from some people who might be another cult, the Seekers. She feels attracted to him, he is mysterious and tortured and voilá: we have the insta-love.

A few eye-rolls later I was ready to continue. I guessed I just had to roll my eyes at the mushy insta-love scenes and carry on. But things got worse because... Mia found out a few things about herself and her lightning addiction. Suddenly everyone was out to get her, and for some reason the story became immensely predictable; I figured out who Jeremy really was pretty quickly. At the same time we get to know very little about the Seekers and their objectives. I still don't get them and I finished the book. How were they planning to save the world? Why did they want Mia to die?

Mia changed personality and seemed to have lost a few brain cells along the way. She was slow on the uptake and got herself into stupid situations.

So, after our male protagonist was introduced, Mia's development as a character stopped and she turned into a classic YA heroine (tm). Jeremy was simply brooding and tortured, not much development there either. Mia's mother and brother were much more fleshed out and interesting characters, for example.

Overall I loved the concept and world-building. But then the author had to go and add all the most annoying clichés in YA literature which ruined about half the book for me. I felt there was too much pointless running around and not enough information about Mia's powers and their origin. Could have been so much better; it definitely had the potential.

1 comentário :

addle disse...

O resumo do livro parece bom, mas pelo que percebi o romance é igual a tantos outros.