Struck By Lightning: The Carson Philips Journal by Chris Colfer
Expected Publication: 20th November 2012 by Atom
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Struck by Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal follows the story of outcast high school senior Carson Phillips who blackmails the most popular students 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.
My thanks go to Atom for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.
Okay, I'll openly admit it, I was very wary of reading this book, simply because it was written by someone from Glee and I really don't like Glee. However, I wanted a quick read so I picked this one up and gave it a go. I'll be honest and say that I'm glad I gave this book a chance - though it was pretty much what I expected, I wasn't disappointed.
Struck By Lightning is the journal of Carson Phillips, a high school senior who is determined to get into Northwestern and become a top editor. Carson is also a bit of an outcast at his school, meaning it's difficult for him to get any support in writing a literary magazine which is essential for his university application. As no one will willingly help him, Carson turns to blackmail in order to get other members of the school to write for his magazine.
Carson is a character who feels very real. Though he wasn't particularly nice at the start, 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. I don't know whether I liked or loathed Carson, my opinion upon him changed a lot throughout, though I am very glad that he did seem to grow as a person as he realised some of his naiveté in regards to other people. 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 in the story were complete clichés, but it actually didn't matter one bit - in fact, 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. I think that Colfer did a good job of interweaving these storylines in, not allowing them to completely bog down the book, but to add a some integrity to the book. I was quite impressed with how Colfer made the story seem realistic, inserting all sorts of elements from teenage life.
Overall, this was a fun enough book and for anyone who wants a fun, quick read, this is for you - it's amusing, authentic and easy to read. If you're a fan of Chris Colfer, I'm pretty sure this would make the book even better!