Review: Struck by Lightning by Chris Colfer


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


Carson Philips is a big fish in a small minded pond and wants out as soon as possible.  He’s got big ideas and big dreams and there is little that’ll stop him reaching those big heights.  This is his journal into the mind of a maybe genius, maybe smug know-it-all.  Carson needs to prove that he’s Northwestern material and impress the admission’s panel with his talents and he’s decided to do that by creating a writing journal at his high school.  It’s a big challenge but that’s nothing compared to Carson’s family life and day to day existence.

I may as well point out the elephant in the reading room straight away by saying that this book is written by Chris Colfer of Glee fame and it is now a big time motion picture staring Chris as well.  DO NOT LET THIS PUT YOU OFF.  This not Glee the movie with Chris Colfer taking that main role.  This book is amazingly funny and darker than anything the Glee team could come up with.  Carson’s mum is a drunk and pill popping lay about, his dad ran off, no one likes him at school but all he wants is out of the little town and off into the world to be a writer.

Struck by Lightning took me by surprise at just how funny it was and how much I completely fell in love with the character of Carson.  He’s a bit of a smarty pants and doesn’t care about showing off his superior nature to all around him.  He was just a brilliant MC and what I loved was how single minded he was and almost stumbled on a caring side he has underneath it all.  In a ‘who knew I cared’ kind of way which added to the humour!  The tenderness our his relationship with his grandma and even his mum to an extent is what lightens the story and doesn’t make Carson seem like an jerk.

Witty, smart, realistic and a book I just whizzed through because it was a fab read.

Published by Atom Books and is available here and bookshops now

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