Title: Struck by Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal
Author: Chris Colfer
Release Date: November 20, 2012
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.
I first decided to read this book when i saw the trailer for the movie. I didn’t even know the movie was based on a book! Needless to say, I was super excited about it. The author, who’s an actor in Glee (awesome show, btw), seemed like a really funny guy so I figured I would like it.
I was not wrong about the book being funny. It really was. I was laughing on the train like a crazy woman, while people were giving me dirty looks. The main character,Carson Phillips, was hilarious. I actually really liked him. He was honest, confident in himself, and eager to make his dreams come true. Of course, he didn’t really go about it the right way, but whatever. I still liked him. He was definitely the highlight of the book, not the plot.
I liked Carson’s comments and opinions, he sounded very much like an overachieving teenager. We all knew those people in high school. It was nice to be able to get inside his head and experience what was going on in his life through his journal entries. The entries worked very well, I think. Carson was sharing his life with only me (or whoever’s reading) and it felt like he was just a friend, writing me letters about his day.
Despite me liking Carson, I had so many other issues with the book. The other characters all seemed “dummed down” and they sounded unrealistic. Some of the things they said and did made them sound like elementary school students. I didn’t buy it. Besides the unrealistic cast of characters, another issue was that these people were basically strangers to me. I didn’t really know anything about them, other than the superficial stuff. Though Carson didn’t know much about them either, being all anti-social and all, but I wish he would have discussed them a little more.
During some parts of the book, I was questioning whether this book was written to be a movie… I mean, some parts just seemed like scenes in a movie or tv show, more than that of a book. I’m not sure how to explain it and I don’t have the direct quotes now, but I was just iffy about that.
Overall, the book wasn’t my favorite. There was a lot that could have been fixed, mainly issues with the characters. They needed to have been given broader personalities, since they fell flat for me. I wish I had liked it more, since I had such high hopes. I did watch the movie and I felt that it was slightly better than the book.