Meg Cabot, the renowned author of the international hit series "The Princess Diaries", offers yet another witty and fast-paced story in her installment of 1-800-Where-R-U. Under the pseudonym
Jenny Carroll, the versatile author published the first book of the series in
2001, ‘When Lightning Strikes’ targets the imagination of teens/young adults,
and everyone young-at-hearts out there.
The story takes us to a fictional town in Indiana, where Jessica Mastriani, the lead
character and the full time story-teller of the novel, resides with her parents
and two brothers. 16-year old Jess is anything but normal, according to her
guidance counselor, she’s got some serious anger-management issues, which is
why she is in constant trouble like engaging in fist fights with people that
are generally larger than her. Needless to say then, she regularly spends her
time in detention. A detention very well spent as she gets acquainted with Rob
Wilkins, a hottie and a Grit. Jess explains that in Southern
Indiana there are two classifications, if someone lives in the
suburbs or country they’re called Grits, and when they live in town just like
Jess, they’re a Townie. Discrimination Jess cares not, because Rob, Grit or not,
is a hunky, and in detention as well, what could she possibly wish for?
But then fate had set things in motion when one day on her
way home, Jess got struck by lightning. When she woke up the next day she already
knew the exact location of the missing person she saw at the back of her milk
carton the night before.
Psychic ability to find missing people in carton boxes
would’ve meant cool heroic deeds for Jess, but then she would find out that the
same ability would lead her life into endless encounters with the media.
Encounters that would soon become a traumatic experience for her brother Douglas, which would set him off, because her brother's got some serious issues as well. You think that
ends there? No! Jess attracted the attention of the US government, and she’s on her way
to being used as compass to find terrorists and enemies of the state, and as
much as she hates working for the government, in order to keep her brother from
harm and him harming other people, she agreed to be kept in its facility. And
yes, you guessed right, that doesn’t end there. Because one of the missing teenagers
she found, Sean Patrick O' Hanahan, would soon make her realize that some
people are better off missing than found. As Jess seeks to correct the mistakes
she’d done, with the help of Rob Wilkins and his cherried-out Harley, she would
get on an adventure never in her life she thought she’d get into.
What I love about this book is that given the fact the lead
character is a young lady who can be quite stubborn and seriously reckless; she
has this straightforward view on things that I find fairly irresistible. She
tells the story as she sees it and with her own witty remarks to top, the
narration would keep you awake until the end of the book. You’d want more of
the scenes, especially when Rob is involved, if! you’re a girl that is.
Rob is the exact opposite of Jess. Where she is reckless, he
is level-headed and composed. The book implies that he is the kind of man that
acts tough on the outside but really takes the effort and goes to length to
help Jess which is of course, very endearing, right girls? Also, the way Jess
describes Rob, you really would imagine a smoldering hot guy such as Ian
Somerhalder (my opinion).
Like any of Meg Cabot’s stories, you’ll find yourself blown with
the story, like you were there, seeing the same things as Jess, blowing the same
things as well.
When I finished reading, sleep I can’t because I kept
on thinking what will happen in the succeeding books. However, I couldn’t
quite fathom how Jess got the psychic ability by just being struck with
lightning, there is no sufficient evidence to support such a claim. Honestly
though, I didn’t care whether it is viable or not. I couldn’t get enough of
Jess and her messy life and I guess that proves the prowess of the writer, to
make her readers leave logic and explore the teenage, creative parts of their
minds. Be warned though, because one of the side effects this book? It makes
you realize that no one in this world deserves to be bullied, and just like
Jess you have to stand for your right and those of the one's you care about,
even if that means kicking some ass.