Author: Chris Colfer
Genre: Middle grade
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: November 2012
Hardback: 272 pages
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
How did I get this book: Borrowed from the library
Let’s start with a brief synopsis from Goodreads:
Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal follows the story of outcast high school senior Carson Phillips, who blackmails the most popular students in his school into contributing to his literary journal to bolster his college application; his goal in life is to get into Northwestern and eventually become the editor of The New Yorker. At once laugh-out-loud funny, deliciously dark, and remarkably smart, Struck By Lightning unearths the dirt that lies just below the surface of high school. At a time when bullying torments so many young people today, this unique and important novel sheds light with humor and wit on an issue that deeply resonates with countless teens and readers.
What I thought:
I saw the movie version of this book last year at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. I’m not a huge fan of Glee or anything – I’ve only really watched the first two seasons, if that – but I remember Chris Colfer being my absolute favorite. So when I saw that he was going to be in a movie at the festival, I went. I wasn’t disappointed. It’s got Colfer, Rebel Wilson, Allison Janney, and several other hilarious actors that I liked. So when I saw that Colfer wrote a book based on his screenplay, I wanted to read it.
If you’re ever in the mood for a quick, fun, interesting read, check this book out. I read it in no time. It made me laugh a lot. It also made me think, get angry, be sad, and even though I knew the end was coming, I was still a little taken aback.
The book touches on some pretty hard subjects, but overall, it’s got a really light, conversational feel that made it easy to fly through. Like I said earlier, it is super funny. There’s this one line that made me laugh for several minutes. The main character, Carson, discovers something about the Spanish exchange student that is shocking (I won’t give it away), which prompts him to give him something while saying, “This is for you, si se puedophile.” OMG. I don’t know why, but I laughed for ages when I read this.
Really the only thing that got on my nerves was Carson. He was arrogant, self-righteous, and pretty rude at times. I know that he has created this hard shell around himself because he’s used to being made fun of for his dreams and because he’s so different from everyone else in his small town. He has high hopes for himself, but I don’t think that means you get to be an epic douchebag to everyone else in that town. He did develop throughout the story some which I appreciated, but several times I found myself a little angry at him for being such a jerk.
The bottom line: I’m not going to lie: I was kind of surprised by how much I liked this book. Yes, I enjoyed the movie, but a lot of actors are given book deals and they should have just stuck to acting. But Struck by Lightning was entertaining, fun, funny, and quite enjoyable. It deals with some deep emotions and issues but manages to still be light-hearted and fun. Obviously this book isn’t a work of amazing literary fiction, but if you’re looking for a fun and charming light read, this is it.
Rating: 7 – pretty good
Currently Reading: One of Us by Tawni O’Dell