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Book review: 'Struck' is fact-paced and controversial

Editor's note: Four debut young adult authors, along with Marissa Meyer, the author of “Cinder,” will be in Salt Lake City on June 11 and Provo on June 12 as part of the Fierce Reads tour. The writers include Anna Banks, author of “Of Poseidon”; Leigh Bardugo, author of “Shadow and Bone”; Jennifer Bosworth, who penned “Struck”; and Emmy Laybourne, with “Monument 14.”

"STRUCK," by Jennifer Bosworth, Farrar Strauss Firoux Books for Young Readers, $17.99, 373 pages (f) (ages 16 and up)

“Struck” by Jennifer Bosworth is a fast-paced book about the end of the world. Though the plot line is entertaining, the book has controversial religious themes that are odd and out of place.

The story takes place one month after a major earthquake hits Los Angeles. Seventeen-year-old Mia Price tries to help her family return to their normal routines, despite the death and despair that surrounds them. This proves to be incredibly difficult because of her mother’s frail mental health, the lack of food and water and the increased criminal activity in her neighborhood.

To make matters worse, two opposing religious cults have discovered Mia’s unique ability to survive lightning strikes. They feel she has an electric energy that is invaluable to their cause. They see her as an essential figure in their doomsday prophesies.

Mia is torn between the two cults and would rather have nothing to do with them. But when one of the cults claims her brother, she feels like she has to declare an allegiance with one of them.

Promising to protect her from both of the cults, a young man named Jeremy starts to follow Mia around. Can he save her? Will their love survive another disaster? Can Mia stop future death and destruction?

“Struck” has all the elements of a good young adult fiction book. It has a love story, an unlikely heroine and characters with unique powers. Nonetheless, the religious fanaticism exercised by two opposing cults overpowers the book and dilutes the storyline.

Readers should be advised that the religious storyline has the potential to offend those who belong to certain faiths. Readers belonging to organized religion might feel uncomfortable as they read about apocalyptic visions, cult initiations and false prophets.

“Struck” is definitely a book that stands out. Despite its awkward religious references, Bosworth should be applauded for tackling such heavy and complex themes.

Readers can choose to dissect and analyze certain aspects of the book or they can simply read it in one sitting. Whatever readers decide, they will be struck by the riveting characters who try to save the world.

If you go ...

What: Fierce Reads tour with five young adult authors

When: Monday, June 11, 7 p.m.

Where: Salt Lake City Library Main Auditorium, 210 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City


Note: Signing line tickets will be handed out at the door.

Also ...

When: Tuesday, June 12, 7 p.m.

Where: Provo City Library Ballroom, 550 N. University Ave., Provo


Note: Free event tickets available at the adult services desk.

Shelby Scoffield is a graduate of Brigham Young University and a graduate student at California State University, Stanislaus.