Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors

The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors
Michele Young-Stone

Published 2010

First Sentence
"She was a girl like you, or like someone you knew - from a cracked home, a fault line between her parents, for which she felt responsible."

Publisher's Description:

When lightning strikes, lives are changed. 


On a sunny day in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, eight-year-old Becca Burke was struck by lightning. No one believed her—not her philandering father or her drunk, love-sick mother—not even when her watch kept losing time and a spooky halo of light appeared overhead in photographs. Becca was struck again when she was sixteen. She survived, but over time she would learn that outsmarting lightning was the least of her concerns. 


In rural Arkansas, Buckley R. Pitank’s world seemed plagued by disaster. Ashamed but protective of his obese mother, fearful of his scathing grandmother, and always running from bullies (including his pseudo-evangelical stepfather), he needed a miracle to set him free. At thirteen years old, Buckley witnessed a lightning strike that would change everything. Now an art student in New York City, Becca Burke is a gifted but tortured painter who strives to recapture the intensity of her lightning-strike memories on canvas. On the night of her first gallery opening, a stranger appears and is captivated by her art. Who is this odd young man with whom she shares a mysterious connection? When Buckley and Becca finally meet, neither is prepared for the charge of emotions—or for the perilous event that will bring them even closer to one another, and to the families they’ve been running from for as long as they can remember. Crackling with atmosphere and eccentric characters, The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors explores the magic of nature and the power of redemption in a novel as beautiful and unpredictable as lightning itself.

Dear Reader,

This book was just trying too hard to be good, and it failed. I hate to say this, but I really wanted to like it (so cliche but true). It had all the makings of a good story, dysfunctional families, teen angst, lightning strike survivors! I mean, how can you go wrong. But wrong... it went. I think the best parts of the book had to be the in between chapters when we hear facts about lightning strikes and those who survive them. Funny thing is, these facts are from a fictional book that was written by one of the characters in this book, and the book SHARES the same title. Groan... I know. I'd like to tell you what this is about but I think the publishers description above basically tells you EVERYTHING that happens, which isn't much. I'd like to say that I could connect to the characters, but I didn't. Maybe this will be better for someone else but this was not for me. Try it if you like, but don't tell me I didn't warn you.

Happy Reading,
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