Peggy H. (North East, PA)
Riveting Read, Disappointing End
The two main characters really captured my imagination, they were well drawn and interesting. However the HandBook inserts got tiring after a while and the repetition of the lightning strikes did stretch my credulity; I wanted the author to have me work a bit more versus spelling everything out.
Nora D. (North Riverside, IL)
An interesting book about a topic I knew nothing about.
Lightning strikes are scary and something I knew very little about. This book focuses on the stories of two individuals whose lives are changed by lightning strikes. The chapters go back in forth in time and between the two characters; the time shifts were a little confusing at first, but Young-Stone does a great job of making the character’s chapters different enough that this wasn’t a problem for long. The book also follows the characters from the time they are children to the time they are adult. Being a young adult librarian, at the beginning of the book, I thought this may be a read for young adults, but because of some of the issues that are addressed in the book, this may be one for adults to preview before passing it along to a mature teen. A great read.
Penny N. (Saginaw, MI)
Lightening strikes some interest
Each chapter had an interesting introduction. Sometimes more interesting than the chapter itself. I didn't really relate, much less understand most of the characters. The novel is too long. There are too many lightening damaged people in it, maybe that was MY problem with it. In the beginning of the book it all worked. The last third was nonsense to fill up a prescribed length necessary to submit it. I chose to read this on my computer with the Adobe Digital Editions program. Didn't care for the format. I own a Kindle but was interested in the "newer" way of doing things. I still love my Kindle. But I didn't really like the book.
Suri F. (Durham, NC)
On What Planet Do Others Live?
I am aware that some people love this book. i can't imagine why. I managed to finish the book only because I agreed to review it. The author may have some talent, but she has a lot of work to do.
The plot is complex, to the point of being contrived. Everything else about it is shallow. Characters are sketched without depth. There is little sense of place. Rather than offering descriptions or evoking the feel of a place or person or time, the author simply names a landmark, or a personality or a storm.
I suppose if Nancy Drew is your idea of a good book, have at it.
Additionally, I am deeply offended by the author's glancing references to the Terezin concentration camp, which feels more like a marketing ploy than a plot element.
Theresa R. (SIERRA MADRE, CA)
This book captures you from the very beginning and does not let go until you finish. I enjoyed the author's writing style - she moved the story along nicely and moved the characters very real and unforgettable. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a good, quick read and it would be a great book club book as there is much to discuss.
Peg M. (Durham, NC)
Mother Nature in charge
The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors is a strange book, with odd characters, all damaged in some way and in the end, all connected.
The story ebbs and flows as does the ocean tide, sometimes overwrought with emotion but always compelling the reader along. As a reader, you want to know if and how the lightning-strike survivors and their families survive. The descriptions of Becca’s artwork were exquisitely detailed, enough so that as I turned each page, I expected to see the actual painting. The use of the text for an actual handbook was an excellent method to keep the reader grounded (no pun intended) in reality. A good fast read. But if you’re reading this story outside – keep your eyes out for any lightning!
Barbara F. (Santa Rosa, CA)
The Handbook for Survivors of Lightning Strike Survivors is a well written, sympathetic but not sentimental, book about the coming of age of two distinctly different people. Lighting strikes, both real and metaphorical, provide the structure of the book. Lighting strikes can happen to anyone at anytime and it is not only the direct victim who suffers the consequences. It all adds up to a compelling read. This book will be a great Book Club selection with so many points of view to explore.