*This post may contain spoilers*
Ahh, I'm sorry this has taken so long! Lets just say that life has got in the way of a lot of things I've planned to do over the last few months, including writing reviews and discussions for this lovely blog. Unfortunately reading anything that isn't fanfiction has definitely been pushed down my list of priorities recently but with the start of the new year (Yes, I'm aware it's March, I'm just starting a little late!) I hope to change that. And with that, I bring you the review of the first book I've finished this year (aside from my reread of the entire Hunger Games trilogy in three days), Struck By Lightning!
Struck By Lightning is the deliciously sarcastic and witty YA book by the one and only Chris Colfer. Written in the form of a journal, SBL is an easy but dark read that will leave you laughing out loud at Carson Phillips' wicked sense of humour (trust me, I was sat in Starbucks and had a laughing fit) and his cynical view on high school life. His comments about his schoolmates are ones that any geek and nerd can relate to - after all we've all thought similar things about the people we've had the misfortune of sharing a classroom with at times.
With more colourful language than even I can get through at one time, Carson's descriptions and opinions on the world around him mean this book is not suitable for the younger reader. Unlike in some other books, however, I wasn't phased by the language and I don't think it detracted from the story at all. Readers have to remember that this is written by a seventeen/eighteen year old boy and you just have to think of the language your classmates use to remember that that's just the way people talk.
Perhaps one of the reasons why I loved the character of Carson so much is because he is so incredibly sarcastic, he is extremely ambitious and has a rather dark sense of humour. In fact, he reminds me of a combination of a very good friend of mine whom I have nicknamed 'Camp Bestie' and one of my fellow 'blog minions' as Georgie has called us, Issy. Definitely not perfect by a long stretch, Carson is a believable and realistic character, even if you won't meet too many people like him in real life. Other characters such as Malerie, Carson's best friend and 'sidekick', provide light relief is this rather dark story and Carson's interactions with his grandma leaving me smiling and crying all at once.
I think putting a copy of the magazine in the book was a very clever idea as you see a different side to characters like Remy and even Claire as your view on the characters aren't tainted by Carson's opinions. I also love reading things in the style of a diary or journal as it is called here since it is an American book. There's something about them that really appeal to me, maybe because I feel as though I know the character better than I would if it was written in a different style such as third person because you're seeing their inner thoughts and opinion on the events taking place.
Unfortunately I already knew the ending before I read the book, a downside that comes with being part of a fandom that is obsessed with Chris and have been tweeting about the book and film since they first came out. However, I still like the fact that it isn't your usual happy ending and, despite what happened, it's kind of a bittersweet ending because the character finally finds happiness in his situation, even though his life wasn't turning out the way he planned. I don't think I would have enjoyed it as much if he has gotten everything he had always wanted – not because I dislike the character, but because I don't think he would have grown as a person as much as he did if he had received everything he wanted.
Anyone who knows me could accuse me of being biased in this review, simply because of my love and admiration for Chris Colfer. However it isn't because of that that I love this book so much. Colfer was incredibly clever in this style of writing and portrayal of Carson whose thoughts and opinions are very familiar to those who feel they are simply surrounded by idiots at times... This is a book that I strongly recommend and I give it a well earned five stars =D