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Thursday, July 5, 2012

SUMMER READING: Today's forecast...dark skies and electrifying reads!

Why hello there!
Fancy seeing YOU here.
If you’re looking for a place to discover the latest alien hunting grounds…this is NOT it.  If you’re looking for a place to be inspired to creative cooking heights…wrong stop again.  If you are in fact looking for place to discover books that you shoulda, coulda, maybe really want to read or perhaps have read and long to discuss, you’ve hit the jackpot because THIS IS…Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

So, it’s the day after the 4th, here’s hoping your celebrations went well.  Mine?  Oh well, they included fireworks (that could be heard, not seen), a barbecue (at 11:30 PM…yep, midnight…) and family (again, at midnight) …and work (though we were ungodly slow…you know, where the time ticks by and you can literally hear it on the invisible wall clock of ages…)…but fun was had nonetheless.  Today is a bright and shiny new day though so enough about all the festivities, let’s make a few of our own with today’s post, shall we?  Ironic choice to because the leading lady can certainly be in charge of the pyrotechnic display, without a single generator but herself…

Today, we are delving into a Young Adult book that saw publication just a few weeks back that really puts the spark into your reading…in more ways then one.  It features a character (well, characters as in plural, but we’ll get to that) with a unique ability (that borders on addiction) that places her as the missing element in more than one world ending…I mean saving…no, I mean ending…scheme.  Shall we cut to the chase?  I say, let’s.  Today’s book of choice is…


From the publisher
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.

This book crackles with emotion, sizzles with intensity, and strikes with the power of Zeus himself.  Sound like too powerful a statement?  I beg to differ. 

Mia Price.  She’s an interesting girl suffering from all the insecurities that comes with being a teenager, or a girl for that matter, but she trumps all of our reality woes with her number one addiction/affliction; her magnetism to lightning.  It’s not JUST that she’s a lightning rod considering how many times she’s been struck, but the sheer fact that despite our natural desire to avoid surges of electricity through our bodies, she LIKES it.  Like I said, an addiction.  The affliction aspect of things comes into play if someone is standing too close to her when it all goes down (sorta like how you were told to avoid BIG towering trees if a storm rumbles your way)…or if they get her too riled up and her steel fisted control on herself is loosed.  Oh, did I not mention that part yet?  Oops.

It’s like the old adage, what goes up, must come down…except in this case, it’s more what is taken in, must be released at some point.  Mia has never been able to nor desired to release her “power” fully…especially since the last time she let go, people got hurt PRETTY bad.  It wasn’t her fault, she didn’t know what she was doing but it affected her all the same; so much in fact, the family moved in order to escape the flashflood of ill intentions swarming her way.  Flash forward now to an earth shattering earthquake and an electrical storm that basically turns LA from Los Angeles to LOST Angeles and yeah…can you see why someone with her “issues” shouldn’t perhaps be living in the middle of it all?  *plays doomsday music*  Good thing for her, people are looking out for her….or perhaps, not so good.  *turns up doomsday music*

Enter the Followers and the Seekers.  Opposing groups that both attract and dispel each other like magnets that can’t make up their minds, each has an interest in Mia and their intentions for her are less than crystal clear.  Don’t worry, by book’s end you get to see the forest for the trees (though if they make a sequel, I’m still not 100% sold on the one group…still intentions left to ponder with them), but until that time, you’ll enjoy guessing which way she should go, if any, or if she should choose Sir Hot-ness behind door number three.  Yes, my friends there is in fact a potential love interest, however saying that sparks fly when they are around each other is the understatement of the year.

His name is Jeremy.  His mission, unclear…though he says he’s there to protect her from a future too horrible to imagine.  Hmm…if you’re sensing something’s up with that statement, you may be sensitive to “the Spark” too; perhaps you should meet the others in Room 317?  (Just kidding!  ^_^ Hehe…inside joke, read it and you’ll get it…) But seriously, there’s more to him than meets the eye and the eye is amply pleased so the discovery of what’s going on behind those blue eyes is a shocker to say the least.  Gotta say, I love the Clark Kent aspect the author merged into this character’s making…it gave him a little something more to be remembered by.  His role in things is more complex than you’d imagine, but if you hold on tight and see thing through to the end, you’ll be more than satisfied.  Trust me.  Moving forward…

Speaking of relationships and the potential for same said, the familial aspect of the story is different than many I’ve read, but very real just the same.  Usually you go one of two ways, evil bad parents that you can’t wait to see drive off a cliff (oh, just admit it…you’ve read books like that and wanted it to happen to) or the perfect pair of mature adults you can count on for anything and everything.  Am I right?  Well, for the most part…there are always exceptions to the rules and this is one of them.  Here we have a mother broken by time and events, unable to cope with things after the earthquake that basically shuts down.  She’s there but she’s not present and when she is, it’s not REALLY her, if that’s makes any sense.  She’s a shell of her former self and yet Mia and her younger brother Parker (getting to him, patience my eager reader) are stuck like glue; dedicated to keeping their little family unit functioning despite the world unraveling around them.  It’s nice to see the little twist on traditional roles, even if the parent doesn’t seem to deserve it (at first…things change somewhere along the lines for better AND worse…).  Now as for Mia’s brother…

Parker is a good kid.  He knows what’s right and what’s wrong; he’s willing to stand for the things he believes in.  He’s the type of guy that sees someone being picked on or stolen from and runs TOWARDS them to assist, not away.  Unfortunately for him, times are not what they were so while his good natured attitude is refreshing, it also makes him easy pickings for those that would take advantage…and to be used like a pawn in a game much larger than him.  Despite that potentially life ending fate looming before him, he still pursues the path less traveled and for that courage, that Nevil-like backbone shown….he remains a favorite of mine amongst this group.  There are however, less favorite characters worth a mention, some of which totally deserve the ends they meet (and more)….

Let’s see, where oh WHERE to begin!  We have Rachel, former bad girl turned Follower who saw the light and decided those around her needed to as well…or else.  We have Katrina, former good girl turned bad girl Seeker that, well let’s just say that despite her many turns in the book…I’m still not convinced by her final performance.  Nuff said.  Next we have Mr, Kale, Katrina’s uncle and Mia’s uber creepy teacher…he’s got power, and I’m not talking about a red pen and a penchant for grading against the curve.  If he gets into your head, WATCH OUT.  Finally we have the Prophet…*rolls eyes*.  Sorry, I have a hard time taking this guy seriously and yet he garners some serious force (or is that better said as “forces”…).  He’ll make you question if you can trust what your eyes are seeing, especially with the miraculous nature of the events, while still giving you the heebee geebees.  There’s a reason for that…a very good reason…but I shan’t destroy your opportunity to discover it on your own. 

In conclusion, a cast of characters you won’t want to miss with a story of a not-too-hard to imagine future that will have you seriously considering whether the City of Angels is quite the place to be after all.  It deals with family both by blood and association.  It deals with trust, both the necessity of it and the heartbreaking reality of when it is broken.  It deals with the issue of power and how its all in how it’s wielded that makes it good or bad.  It deals with addiction, communication, love, lust, and fate….so many things that make up the world we live in now…and yet with just enough juice, the author pushes it to be something more.  A high voltage read through and through, that will leave you counting Mississippi’s until the next bolt out of the blue…if there is a next bolt.  (Tell me there’s a next bolt?!!!)

Recommended read for teen readers through adults for all the reasons mentioned above.  ARC for review courtesy of Ksenia at MacMillan Children’s Publishing.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their full catalog, feel free to check out their site, discover new YA releases on the teen site, read their blog, like them on Facebook, pin them on Pinterest, or follow along on Twitter.  To discover more about author Jennifer Bosworth, be sure to visit her official website, like her on Facebook or follow along on Twitter.  This book was released by Farrar Straus Giroux this past May and should be available now on a bookstore shelf near you.

Until next time…happy reading!

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