Reading level: Young Adult
Size: 373 pages
Release Date: May 8th 2012
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Stand Alone or Series: Stuck #1
First Line: "When you've been struck by lightening as many times as I have, you start to expect the worst pretty much all the time."
Summary (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
I've been on a great roll lately with fresh and original YA reads and this book was no different.
I loved the fact that in the midst of a flood of dystopian novels...this one dares to set it's plot during the actual disaster time...and right on the cusp of an apocalypse. We're thrown right into the story weeks after a massive lightening storm and resulting earthquake have made Los Angeles a frightening ghost of what it once was. Thousands are displaced..homeless and wandering the streets or living in "tent city."
As typically does happen during times of trouble...the worst of mankind finds it's way out of the darkness and into the light of day...preying upon people's fears and weaknesses and fighting for it's own agenda. Mia finds herself caught between family loyalties, staying true to herself, and looking to the larger picture and her part in it.
The Prophet is an immensely troubling and intriguing character. Psychotic and disturbed enough to put his plan into motion and powerful enough to make it happen. The seekers, with their long history, and mysterious rites fascinated me and I hope to learn more about them in the sequel. And I loved the character development of Mia and her mother and brother. They all, especially Mia, grow immensely-between the simple struggle to survive as a family and then the larger struggle to prevent The Prophet and his followers from succeeding.
The only character that I felt to be lacking was Jeremy...for the life of me I still don't understand why he kept so many secrets when speaking the truth would have made their insurmountable problems a lot more easily tackled.
All in all, though, I found this to be a compelling and unique read and can't wait for the next in the series.