by Chris Colfer
Plot Summary: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.
Review:This book is made up of Carson Phillips' journal entries, some newspaper articles and a literary journal to tell the story. Carson's darkly sarcastic voice is very entertaining and so funny, as he tries his hardest to make something of his life despite what sounds like the worst high school in existence. Teenage angst and prejudice and cruelty is very much in evidence, but Carson's lighting wit tears through the superficial layers of the characters and reveals a lot of heart in even the most unlikable characters. Although Carson is the hero of the story, he has his flaws as well, and although it does seem justified compared to the flaws of his fellow classmates, it grounds the story by making it feel like a realistic study in character.
The story is mostly character-driven, because it is about Carson's underhanded efforts to get into Northwestern University, and how he uncovers the secrets of some of his popular fellow students, and Carson is the one who really carries the story. Don't expect alot of plot or even many twists and turns (except for the secrets the students are hiding). The only thing I had trouble with was the ending, which seemed so unexpected and I found it hard to understand why it had to end that way. But I know this is a personal preference, and it really doesn't change how very enjoyable I found the whole of the story.