Review: Struck by Lightning by Chris Colfer

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Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips JournalStruck by Lightning by Chris Colfer
Published By: Atom
Publication Date: November 20th, 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Format: Paperback
Pages: 272
Rating: 4
Date Read: November 11th, 2013
Links: Goodreads | Kobo | Book Depository | Amazon

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 humour and wit on an issue that deeply resonates with countless teens and readers.

This is a short book, written in a journal style of a very young talented author and an actor Chris Colfer. The book is written in a journal format by Carson Phillips, an extremely smart and ambitious senior student who is determined to get into Northwestern and become a top editor through all means possible. Carson lives in a small town called Clover. He has lived there all his life and wants to get out of there as soon as possible.  As no one will willingly help him in writing a literary magazine which is essential for his university application, Carson turns to blackmail in order to get other members of the school to write for his magazine.

“Life comes at you fast. It hits you and tries to escape and be expressed in any way possible. In a way, it’s a lot like lightning.”

Carson is a character who feels very real. Though he wasn’t particularly a likeable character, I did understand where he was coming from a lot of the time and I think that a lot of people will be able to connect with him in some way – he did tend to say things that a lot of us probably secretly think to ourselves at some point. Initially, Carson was pretty self absorbed, intolerant and not very understanding of others – he just saw what people were like on the surface. The whole story is about Carson discovering more about himself and the others around him and it succeeds in doing that.

The rest of the characters were complete clichés, but I actually didn’t really mind — it just added more to the whole feeling of the book. Though the book is generally quite humorous and easy to read, it does touch on some serious issues, such as alcohol abuse and dementia.

Overall, this was a fun enough book and I recommend this to anyone who wants a fun, quick read — it’s amusing, authentic and easy to read. It was very good. Not only the story, but the writing as well.

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