Struck

 
(i)

 

Intense sci-fi romance in post-big-earthquake L.A.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Struck provides a vivid depiction of what life might be like in a Los Angeles destroyed by a colossal earthquake. But it uses fantasy rather than science fiction to drive the plot.

Positive messages

The characters in Struck demonstrate that, even in the toughest times, friends and loved ones are the most important things. Mia learns that she must let go of her own needs and fears to save her mother and brother.

Positive role models

Mia makes an almost superhuman effort to keep her fractured family together. With barely enough money for food, she obtains medication for her mentally traumatized mother and looks after her younger brother, who's in danger of being pulled into a strange cult. As another terrible storm heads toward Los Angeles, Mia must decide how to use her powers and whether she will have to sacrifice herself to save the city.

Violence

A handful of violent scenes. A prescription drug deal goes bad, and Mia has to physically fight the dealer. Members of a secret sect at her high school attempt to brand her hand as part of an initiation process. A religious ceremony ends with the stabbing of one of Mia's loved ones and a fiery death. Much talk of impending apocalypse.

Sex

Mia and Jeremy are physically attracted to each other from the first moment they meet. Mia's lightning power seems to make physical contact too dangerous, so the couple steal only a few passionate kisses here and there. After their life-changing adventure, however, it's implied that they will consummate their relationship.

Language

A few instances of "damn," "hell," and variations of "ass." In one extremely intense instance, a character exclaims "f--k!'

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drugs and alcohol are available at the "roves," where young people party as if it were the end of the world (as well it might be). On the way to one, Mia partakes of some "moonshine." She also receives a bottle of specially brewed "red lightning" is honor of her 18th birthday.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Struck is an intense adventure set in Los Angeles in the wake of a huge earthquake, and its protagonist is a teen girl who possesses a special power from having been struck by lightning many times. The novel features a handful of violent scenes, including a fight with a drug dealer, the threat of being branded during an initiation ceremony, and a showdown full of blood and uncontrolled electricity. There's a small amount of profanity, and the romance involves a few passionate kisses. 

Parents say

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What's the story?

Having been struck many times, Mia Price is now addicted to lightning. As she, her mother, and her brother attempt to put their lives back together in post-major-earthquake Los Angeles, Mia finds herself being courted by two strange factions at school, one of which is led by a religious prophet who claims that the apocalypse will arrive in three days. With the help of a mysterious boy, she prepares for a final, fiery confrontation that may bring an end to everyone she loves.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

STRUCK has an intriguing premise and features a well-drawn protagonist facing an usual conflict. Author Jennifer Bosworth keeps the action moving swiftly across only three days of narrative time. The final showdown is suitably electric, but some readers might wish for a twistier resolution.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why readers find stories about the apocalypse so compelling. Why do you think so many of the world's religions feature stories about the end of the world?

  • In Struck, Mia is addicted to being struck by lightning. How do real-life addictions affect people's behavior?

  • What kinds of precautions can people take to maximize safety in the event of an earthquake or other natural disaster?

Book details

Author:Jennifer Bosworth
Genre:Science Fiction
Topics:High school
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:May 8, 2012
Number of pages:376
Publisher's recommended age(s):12 - 17
Available on:Paperback, Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byNomacop January 1, 2013
 

struck

An entertaining dystopian blend of superstition and action that has an interesting premise.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old November 12, 2012
 

STRUCK

Its really good, and tells kids to stick up for themselves. But its kinda weird throughout the book.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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