Have you ever wanted so desperately to be different? I definitely have. In elementary school, I made everyone call me Anika for like a month because I wanted more than anything to be Anakin Skywalker’s twin sister (I’m talking signing-my-timestable-quiz-Anika serious). In The Odds of Lightin by Jocelyn Davies, four former best friends wish desperately to be different at exactly the wrong moment, and something incredible happens. To get you started, here are some of the reasons I loved it:
The characters learn the hard way to be careful what you wish for when natural (maybe supernatural) forces intervene. I won’t give away more details, but the way each character changes is fascinating.
2. Split Narrative
The story flashes back between one night—the night before the SATs—and the past 3 years of high school that built up to it. As pieces click together of why the friends are the way they are, the tension mounts, like the ozone scent before a lightning strike.
I’m a HUGE fan of disaster movies, and the backdrop of this story is a massive superstorm. Transportation closing, crazies running around, people stocking up—sign me the heck up for (watching or reading) that!
As a relatively recent transplant to New York, I love reading books set in the city and matching up places to experiences. Even if you haven’t been to NYC though, many of the scenes they go will seem familiar—Central Park, the subway, Fifth Avenue. And the dynamism of the building storm mixed with the emptying city is the perfect backdrop for the story. It’s no secret that The Odds of Lightning is the PERFECT book for Riveted’s Summer of New York City!
5. Fresh Take on a Trope
With this Breakfast-Club-esque character make-up, this story could be really flat (and believe me I’ve read some cardboard-cut out versions). But though each of the four has distinct traits that set them apart from each other, they’re built out enough to make them three-dimensional. They’re struggles and reactions feel real and relatable.