How has your weekend been? I have spent most of mine writing as I am doing Camp NaNoWriMo this month (you can click here to add me/see my progress) so it’s been pretty chilled, other than Friday when the world cup was on and England won…so mad…but moving swiftly on to review an incredible book that I read at the end of last week that has instantly won a place in my heart and on my all-time favourite’s list.
Title: Struck (Struck #1)
Author: Joss Stirling
Genre: Young Adult, Spy, Mystery, Romance
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 2014
Summary: Behind the ivy-clad walls of an exclusive boarding school, lurks a sinister web of corruption, scandal, and conspiracy. American student Raven Stone has noticed something is horribly wrong. First, there were the unexplained disappearances. Then there were the teachers’ lies. And now the death threats …Also entangled in the disturbing turn of events is the enigmatic Kieran Storm – a fellow student with a killer intellect and a body to die for. He’s heading for trouble and taking her with him. Raven can feel herself falling in love, but can she trust a boy she knows almost nothing about?
I picked this up because I thought it sounded familiar to another one of my all time faves, the Lynburn Legacy by Sarah Rees Brennan and boy was I wrong. I mean, they were similar in the respect that they had incredible well-written and strong characters, hilarious jokes/one-liners and made me fall in love after the first page…but plot-wise they weren’t similar. I adored the plot. I adored everything about the book but the plot was a highlight. Maybe because I love spy/mystery books and I haven’t read one in AGES so it was good to get back to one. Also, the way the plot was written was nice because you got multiple POV’s so you could get the full plot even when the characters didn’t (I love me some dramatic irony) So yeah, overall incredible plot. Constantly gripped. I read it in one sitting of 4 hours because I literally couldn’t put it down. If I had to describe it…it would be like if the writing and humour of the Lynburn Legacy had a child with the plot of the Gallager Girls series by Ally Carter and that child became a genius. As much as I love this I don’t know whether I will continue the series because it’s from another one of the guys POV’s and doesn’t relate to Kerian or Raven’s story so…maybe eventually but not in the foreseeable future.
Writing Style: Like I have already kind of touched on, I really enjoyed the writing style. This is the first book of Joss Stirling that I have read and I can’t wait to get into the next because I love the way she writes. The way she uses fairly elaborate descriptions and also mixes in humour and all while having a pretty realistic view (as realistic as a spy can get) of a teen’s actions and speech etc was all great and added to the intensity of the action scenes and just my overall enjoyment of everything.
Characters/Relationships: I loved Keiran. He was my favourite character in the book by far. I think he’s probably in the running for one of my favourite male leads ver because he was flawed or not flawed but different to a traditional male protagonist. Kerian is one of the smartest child minds ever and when put in situations he is unused to or uncomfortable with he throws a bit of a hissy fit/meltdown because he can’t compute what’s going on and I loved that Stirling wrote him to be vulnerable despite his outwardly cold appearance and serious profession. It just meant he had a side to him that I fell for instantly and then his humour…or I suppose the things he does that are indeliberately humourous are incredible.
I also really like Raven. She was a really strong female with strong morals and unwavering in her beliefs but still willing to adapt in order to help people if that makes any sense…it doesn’t but if you read it you will know what I mean. She didn’t let the bullying get her down, it made her want to fight and I admire that. On a side note…it took me way too long to work out why there was a RAVEN on the cover…
Another side note…I still can’t work out why it’s called Struck.
But anyway, back to their relationship…<3.
There are no other words really. It’s supportive and loving and yes…there are a few lies thrown in but they are necessary and unwanted and it all works out for the best thank heavens or I would have literally used the book as a fire-lighter. Okay, not really but you get me. Romance is key to the success of a book for me anyway XD.
I loved Joe also, his relationship with both Keiran and Raven was so cute and supportive and the ending killed me to see him like that – I won’t say any more cause spoilers but I was crying during the prom bit.
I liked Siobhan and Johnny and I kind of wished you got more of them in the book. I also thought Raven’s grandad was so cute!!
And the villain’s were so great. Power-hungry and monstrous and then there were the bullies…evil but by the end I kind of pitied them…only a little, like a grain of sand worth of pity in the Sahara of hate.
So, that’s it for today’s review…this goes without saying but I am saying it anyway – YOU NEED TO READ THIS IF YOU LIKE SPY/YA/ROMANCE. 5/5 stars – the incredible greatness that still gets me mad/heartbroken/excited/terrified just thinking about it. This has jumped straight into my all-time faves, could not recommend it enough. I hope your weekend’s great. See you tomorrow 🙂