Friday, November 12, 2010

Review by Shellie: The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors ~ by Michele Young Stone



One of my favorite books this year - it’s a sweet, funny, and heartbreaking novel with a metaphorical link to lightening.

Shellie’s Blurb:   Set in the 1980s in the Midwest and the Southern Eastern Coast of the US,  this is a coming of age story of sorts with multiple characters experiencing their respective lives and their connection to lightning and its similarities to life.

Buckley Pintak the main male character is a good boy even if his life is far from perfect. Separately and interwoven with Buckley’s story we learn about Becka Burke, an artistic girl with flaming red hair, who at the age of eight is struck by lightening. She survives and it affects her in mildly paranormal ways. Interwoven in between their life experiences are tips about lightening, which as they become adults are key a key aspect for the story; it can strike at any time, particularly when one least expects it.

Thoughts:    This is Michele Young Stone’s debut novel. She is an author with an easy to read style which had me sauntering along relating with the characters and then, when least expecting it, being “hit” by an event which knocked me off balance and left me in shock. So much so that I ended up with my heart in my throat and on the verge of tears.  It’s a sweet and wonderful book, with a very creative and metaphorical theme of  lightening strikes running in strands through its pages. I completely loved this book and the book’s theme, and would say its one of my favorites this year at 4.5 stars.

  • Hardcover: 384 pages 100331_youngstone_michele
  • Publisher: Shaye Areheart Books (April 13, 2010)
  • Purchasing links from Amazon for the US/UK/Canada.

Bio:   Michele Young Stone earned her MFA in fiction writing from Virginia Commonwealth University. Once, many years ago, she was struck by lightning in her driveway. She survived. Visit her at her blog, website.

Top Ten Things You Might Not Know About Lightning ~ by Michele Young-Stone*

1. 90% of lightning strike victims survive. Treat the apparently dead first.

2. Most people struck in the head die, but in 2009 an Oregon teenager was struck in the head, and the lightning exited his foot, melting his sneaker. Today, he’s fine. Is he lucky? You bet!

3. Anxiety, insomnia, headaches and memory loss are common side effects reported by lightning strike survivors. (Believe me, I know.)

4. Men are struck by lightning four times more often than women. Some attribute it to stubbornness, but chances are that men are engaged in more outdoor activities.

5. Ball lightning was once thought a hoax, but these balls of fiery light travel through windows and traverse roads, lasting longer than ground-to-cloud strikes. My neighbor had one enter through her dining room window and move through her living room as she sat, awestruck and tingling.

6. If you’d like to get struck by lightning, visit a golf course in the state of Florida on a sticky afternoon.

7. If you’d prefer not to get struck by lightning, visit the northwestern United States where lightning is less prevalent.

8. Scientists claim that those struck by lightning are not at greater risk to be struck again, which begs the question: why does it keep happening to the same people?

9. If you feel the hair on your arms stand up and a pin-prickling sensation along your skin, seek immediate shelter. You’re surrounded by expanding electricity.

10. Your odds of being struck by lightning are, according to some statistics, as high as 1 in 3,000—much better than winning the lottery.

*Survivor, and author of The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors

For more publisher’s information on The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors please see our preview for the book.

This book will be included in the New Authors Challenge, and Feel My Sorrow.

Thanks for reading!


logankstewart said...

I saw this book a while ago and thought it sounded fascinating. Thanks for the review.

Unknown said...

Logan -
Yes I have had this on my reading pile for awhile.

Its an easy read - and I loved the metaphor. I will really be curious to see if you enjoy it as much as I did.

Missy B. said...

I just knew this was going to be a good read. Great review Shellie...I can't wait to read it.

Unknown said...

Missy -
Yes this is your favorite type... coming of age, with elements of heartbreak. :)

The author did such a lovely job with the blending of the lightening strike theme.

I think you will enjoy it. I hope as much as I did.

dystopian said...

this looks like a fabulous book, i can't wait to read it.

it reminds me of a peter greenaway documentary called "act of god". it's a brilliant, surreal, funny yet heartening series of accounts from people who have been struck by lightening. so worth seeing.

Unknown said...

Cotton -
Thanks - that film sounds wonderful. I will go see if the library has it right now....

Fyi -This book is not religious, it may even have a negation of faith in bits.

It does however support the fact that we do not really know much about lightning.

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