Monday, July 22, 2013

Review: Struck by Lighting

Stuck by Lighting: The Carson Phillips Journal by Chris Colfer
Publication Date: November 20, 2012
Genre: YA Contemporary
Pages; 258


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.
I borrowed this book from the library because I wasn't sure about it. I was wrong. I really liked other than a few small things and one major thing.
The plot is nothing special. I liked it. It was an easy, quick read. It had a kind of charm that I just loved. I only had a few small problems with it. And there was only one that really took away from the book. And that was the ending.
Now I won't spoil anything, so don't worry about that. To me, the end didn't fit. It seemed like an easy out. It wasn't a happy ending, but it doesn't have to be to be good. I just think that if what happened didn't happen, it would've helped the book and would've made it more believable. Maybe other people liked it, but I didn't. To me, it almost made me give it an lower rating.
The main character, Carson Phillips, is kind of likable. He hates almost everything and complains a lot. But when he is not and he looks at the world around him, he is really likable. The other characters weren't really important. It was mostly just him. I think some characters should have, and deserved to be, explored further. Remy, Nicholas, and Malerie especially.
It's not a masterpiece. But it was entertaining and, like I said, had a certain charm. I only had a few small problems, only one that really took away from the book. So, in the end, I do recommend it, and as long as you keep expectations reasonable you will like it. 


  1. It was good to see a young person reading (and reviewing) Colfer's "Struck By Lightning"; in my opinion, it has a lot of valid points and is worthwhile reading, as you said.

    That being said, I have to disagree about the ending. While it makes me very sad, it also shows that Carson was so determined to achieve his goal (even after everything, including his mother's betrayal) that it took a force of nature to stop him. He'd overcome his total despair after the rejection and was going to move on. He even (finally) found a measure of happiness in that decision. It left me feeling that he WOULD have succeeded... Which is why I felt a great deal of resonance from his mother's statement at the end.

    Personally, I didn't consider Carson likeable at all, but as he started looking at (and listening to) others' problems and thoughts, he became more likeable. I laughed my fanny off in the early parts of the book...particularly where the process to get the car started was given.

    Everyone has different opinions and that's good. If everyone felt the same about any work of literature, or art or any creative piece, then the world would be very boring. So please don't take this in a negative way (it's not meant that way).

    I really like that you read a lot and review the books (which might, in turn, encourage other readers). However, it would have more impact if you yourself were more developed in your writing skills.

  2. Uh, yikes. Writing skills? I saw nothing wrong with your analysis/opinion (granted, I haven't read the book)

    But anyway- thanks for the honest review. I hate it when people yuppy up every book as the greatest read in an effort to always be so positive. I want reality. And you delivered.

    It makes me like your blog even more.

    You keep giving your opinion. There was nothing wrong with it.

  3. @Katie Cross- Two things. One: I know I have to work on my writing skills. If there is anything specific you think I need to work on, please let me know.
    And Two: I will always do my best to give my honest opinion. I don't see the point of hyping anything up if it doesn't deserve it.

  4. @Anonymous-
    Like I said to Katie Cross, I understand I need to work on my writing skills. If you have anything specific that you think I need to work, please let me know.
    I found when Carson forgot his problems and looked at the world around, that was when he was likable.
    I get what you are saying with the ending, but I still don't really like it. I never got the feeling that he would succeed. I saw that there was a chance of him succeeding but I also felt like there was the chance of failure. And I think that it would have been better and more believable if what happened didn't happen.
    And no, I'm not taking any of it in a negative way.

  5. @Anonymous, @Katie Cross. I updated it. So, hopefully it works, looks a lot better.