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When Lightning Strikes

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Jess Mastriani has never been what you'd call a typical Midwestern teenager—her extracurricular activities, instead of cheerleading or 4-H, include fist-fights with the football team and month-long stints in detention. A part of Jess would like to be the prom queen her mother has always envisioned her being, but another part is secretly counting the days until she's saved Jess Mastriani has never been what you'd call a typical Midwestern teenager—her extracurricular activities, instead of cheerleading or 4-H, include fist-fights with the football team and month-long stints in detention. A part of Jess would like to be the prom queen her mother has always envisioned her being, but another part is secretly counting the days until she's saved up enough money to buy her own Harley. Then something happens that guarantees Jess will be one of the in-crowd...at least until her newfound talent ends up getting her dead.


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Jess Mastriani has never been what you'd call a typical Midwestern teenager—her extracurricular activities, instead of cheerleading or 4-H, include fist-fights with the football team and month-long stints in detention. A part of Jess would like to be the prom queen her mother has always envisioned her being, but another part is secretly counting the days until she's saved Jess Mastriani has never been what you'd call a typical Midwestern teenager—her extracurricular activities, instead of cheerleading or 4-H, include fist-fights with the football team and month-long stints in detention. A part of Jess would like to be the prom queen her mother has always envisioned her being, but another part is secretly counting the days until she's saved up enough money to buy her own Harley. Then something happens that guarantees Jess will be one of the in-crowd...at least until her newfound talent ends up getting her dead.

30 review for When Lightning Strikes

  1. 5 out of 5

    jenny✨

    So I just reread this book for the first time in YEARS (the last time was probably when i was in fifth grade, and I've just graduated college)— —and I still devoured it. My biggest worry when I reread books yung Jenny adored is that I've somehow blown them out of proportion in my head. Or that my tastes have changed so much, I just won't feel the same anymore—but that really wasn't the case here (or with Elise Broach's twisty, heartwarming children's mystery, Shakespeare's Secret, which remains on So I just reread this book for the first time in YEARS (the last time was probably when i was in fifth grade, and I've just graduated college)— —and I still devoured it. My biggest worry when I reread books yung Jenny adored is that I've somehow blown them out of proportion in my head. Or that my tastes have changed so much, I just won't feel the same anymore—but that really wasn't the case here (or with Elise Broach's twisty, heartwarming children's mystery, Shakespeare's Secret, which remains one of my favourite books of all time). I guess it's time to start trusting my younger self a bit more! In this first book of the 1-800-WHERE-R-U series, Jenny Carroll aka Meg Cabot is in her PRIME, y'all. It's YA in the mid-2000s, all terribly fragmented, snarky prose—no frills, all sass. Just like our MC Jess Mastriani, come to think of it. "Color me surprised," I said. "You don't know anyone whose name isn't followed by an A in a little circle and the words AOL dot com." Jess is a flute-playing, punch-throwing sophomore in Indiana whose dream is to someday own a "cherried-out" motorcycle and be able to call herself Mrs. Rob Wilkins (Rob being the smokin' senior who lives on the wrong side of the tracks, hangs out in biker bars, and sits with Jess in the detention she always gets for defending her loved ones). Her brother Douglas has schizophrenia and her best friend Ruth Abramowitz is fat and Jewish (unfortunately, neither identity is depicted particularly well; idk if this is a symptom of 2007 or Cabot's writing). After being struck by lightning one afternoon, Jess develops the ability to locate missing people, mostly children on the backs of milk cartons. What follows is a series of events in which she moves to a government military base to undergo research; breaks out to rescue a 12yo boy she mistakenly returned to his abusive father; jumps into a fake volcano at the mall for melodrama's sake (waste their time, girl!); breaks out of the facility AGAIN (this time on the back of a motorcycle); and also defends her third chair in the orchestra's flute section against Karen Sue Hanky. Essentially, she makes all these absurd shenanigans—which for the most part have to do with sticking up for someone else—look second nature. It's all so trash but so good. TW: mention of suicide, fatphobia, insensitive language about mental illness

  2. 5 out of 5

    Haley Mathiot

    I hate Meg Cabot. she is a terrible writer. she doesn't write sentinces, she writes fragments and then puts more fragments at the end to clear up what was perfectly clear in the first place. she leaves out things that are important. she doesn't describe stuff. her prose stinks. how on EARTH she became a best selling and popular author, i have no idea. but. i read the first book of her series here, "When Lightning Strikes," and seriously had to read the others. i still haven't read the last book, I hate Meg Cabot. she is a terrible writer. she doesn't write sentinces, she writes fragments and then puts more fragments at the end to clear up what was perfectly clear in the first place. she leaves out things that are important. she doesn't describe stuff. her prose stinks. how on EARTH she became a best selling and popular author, i have no idea. but. i read the first book of her series here, "When Lightning Strikes," and seriously had to read the others. i still haven't read the last book, my library doesn't have it in right now, but this book got me hooked to a story that was written by (excuse me) a sucky writer. it was wild, weird, crazy, funny, and had some very creative twists in it. great story. now if only she could learn to write. sentinces, i mean. (<-- example of what she does. i swear i don't write like that normally.)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Vidhya

    I’ve read this before and this was only a re-read :) A light breezy read for anyone who doesn’t want anything intense.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nasty Lady MJ

    2020 Coronavirus Reread: This series probably has aged the worst out of all the Cabot YA series. I still like it but God does Jess grate on me at times. Also, Cabot tropes are full of display here. Just something I noticed Jess has a geeky brother named Michael who her best friend has a crush on where have I seen this before...but it's different I swear. Anyway, a very quick reread. I managed to finish it within a couple of hours. To see full binge click here. Oh, Jess. How I forgot you were the C 2020 Coronavirus Reread: This series probably has aged the worst out of all the Cabot YA series. I still like it but God does Jess grate on me at times. Also, Cabot tropes are full of display here. Just something I noticed Jess has a geeky brother named Michael who her best friend has a crush on where have I seen this before...but it's different I swear. Anyway, a very quick reread. I managed to finish it within a couple of hours. To see full binge click here. Oh, Jess. How I forgot you were the Cabot character with violent tendencies. Well, Suze throws a mean punch too but it’s sort of a necessity. You on the other hand…your rage is sort of funny but at the same time scary. Not in a bad way though. Jess is perfectly engaging. Though I did get annoyed with her world at times. There are some jokes and remarks made in this book that are eyebrow raising at best. I seriously, wanted to throw a punch at Rob Wilkins for calling Ruth fat. No. No. No. Rob Wilkins, you just don’t do that. It doesn’t make you desirable. At least Jess tells him this too. Though it’s obvious she wants to make out with him. Another thing that really sticks out after all this time is how much the world has and hasn’t changed since this series was originally published (the early 200’s, pre 911 days). Jess’s super power is a little obsolete now with social media and Google Locate doing a lot of the work she did for her. But she still would be utilized (I guess). The other thing that bothered me about this series was you had to suspend your belief (a lot). I’m sorry but the way the whole Crane Military Base thing was handled was ridiculous. I can’t go into to many details because of spoilers, but just know I was completely shaking my head thinking Cabot had never seen an episode of UFO Hunters because if she did she know if you were remotely close to a top secret military base you’d be surrounded and your mission to find the aliens would be aborted. Whatever. It’s still a fun book. But yeah, I see it’s warts now and the years have not exactly been good to it. Or terrible for that matter. I think The Princess Diaries probably got the worst of it with the pop culture references.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ana Lelis

    It was a very good surprise. I really like Meg Cabot's books but it's always romance/chick lits and that's her first paranormal book I read and I loved it a lot. It has everything that I think a book needs to be good and I can't wait to read the other books from this series. If you want a fantasy book written in a simple and fun way I definitely recommen this book for you. It was a very good surprise. I really like Meg Cabot's books but it's always romance/chick lits and that's her first paranormal book I read and I loved it a lot. It has everything that I think a book needs to be good and I can't wait to read the other books from this series. If you want a fantasy book written in a simple and fun way I definitely recommen this book for you.

  6. 5 out of 5

    One chapter more

    This is my most read book on the shelf. I remember something about reading it 11 times in a course of 2 years. The way that I could quote it in my head even before the line was said. There was something about Jessica and Rob. Definitely going to put it on my list to re-read in the new year.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nadja

    A quick fast-paced paranormal story which is over the top but entertaining nonetheless. I liked Jessica and her attitude. I have the rest of the series on my shelves but I think I stop here and give them away.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Megan Mc

    I love this series. I loved it when I discovered it in my high school library (yes they do have good things mixed in there with the boring required reading!) and 10 years later I still love it. Story: Jess is your (relatively) average sophomore girl. Relatively, because she tends to talk with her fists. This leads her to spending a lot of time in detention, with the kids from the other side of the tracks, known here as the "Grits". There she meets Rob Wilkins, our hot guy of the series. He rides I love this series. I loved it when I discovered it in my high school library (yes they do have good things mixed in there with the boring required reading!) and 10 years later I still love it. Story: Jess is your (relatively) average sophomore girl. Relatively, because she tends to talk with her fists. This leads her to spending a lot of time in detention, with the kids from the other side of the tracks, known here as the "Grits". There she meets Rob Wilkins, our hot guy of the series. He rides a Indian motorcycle and is 18. This is a plus for Jess because even though she doesn't have her license, as Tom would say she: So things are going pretty well, sure she has detention for over a month, but Rob just asked if she needed a ride home. Unfortunately she is with her friend Ruth who is set on walking home and working off some calories and she can't leave her or invite her since bikes aren't made for 3! Jess and Ruth only make it to the sports fields before it starts to hail and are forced to hide under the bleachers where leaning against a pole Jess is... struck by lightening. Jess seems ok until she wakes up the next morning and knows where the missing kids on yesterday's milk carton are. Can you name this 90s jem? This book sets the stage for Jess dealing with her ability, mainly who to trust, (including the government), her moral responsiblitly and trying to live her life (including convincing Rob to be her boyfriend!) In true Meg Cabot form it's everything you want in a fun teen read: fun, comedy, drama, adventure, superpowers and a hot boy on a motorcycle. Because in the wise words of Lorelai Gilmore:

  9. 4 out of 5

    Delitealex

    3.5 I liked Jess and seeing how see got herself out of trouble. I enjoyed the humor and shenanigans with the government. I can't wait to continue on with the series to find out how Jess continues to handle her power. 3.5 I liked Jess and seeing how see got herself out of trouble. I enjoyed the humor and shenanigans with the government. I can't wait to continue on with the series to find out how Jess continues to handle her power.

  10. 5 out of 5

    K.M. Shea

    This is quite possibly my favorite Meg Cabot series EVER. Jess is a hysterical, tomboy heroine, whose a bit fast with her fists, but behind all her snark she has a heart of gold. The portrayal of a small town in the midwest is spot on, and the supporting cast--Jess's family and friends--are all vividly portrayed. While Jess has psychic powers, they tend to take a back seat to the mystery presented in each book. This is one of the few series I know where each book gets better and better, and each This is quite possibly my favorite Meg Cabot series EVER. Jess is a hysterical, tomboy heroine, whose a bit fast with her fists, but behind all her snark she has a heart of gold. The portrayal of a small town in the midwest is spot on, and the supporting cast--Jess's family and friends--are all vividly portrayed. While Jess has psychic powers, they tend to take a back seat to the mystery presented in each book. This is one of the few series I know where each book gets better and better, and each story will absolutely make you laugh out loud and get weird looks from strangers. They're lighthearted and fast paced. Love 'em!

  11. 4 out of 5

    B.

    I received this book in a subscription box. I looked at it and tossed it into my TBR pile. I thought that it didn't look interesting. That it looked childish, that it would be something that would quickly make its way out of the house once I got around to reading it. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised. It was witty, it was fun, and I've since bought all the other books in the series in order to finish it off. I'm quite looking forward to their arrival. I received this book in a subscription box. I looked at it and tossed it into my TBR pile. I thought that it didn't look interesting. That it looked childish, that it would be something that would quickly make its way out of the house once I got around to reading it. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised. It was witty, it was fun, and I've since bought all the other books in the series in order to finish it off. I'm quite looking forward to their arrival.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Anna 'Bookbuyer'

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Oooh. Operative. Very spy like. I enjoyed this book. It wasn't mind blowing but it was quite enjoyable. I liked Jess and some of the time Ruth. I enjoyed her relationship with her family and the hope of romance with Rob. I'm looking forward to the next book. Oooh. Operative. Very spy like. I enjoyed this book. It wasn't mind blowing but it was quite enjoyable. I liked Jess and some of the time Ruth. I enjoyed her relationship with her family and the hope of romance with Rob. I'm looking forward to the next book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Veronika

    First read: have no idea Reread: 2016

  14. 5 out of 5

    niri

    haven't read this since I was twelve and I cried at every page haven't read this since I was twelve and I cried at every page

  15. 4 out of 5

    Pablo Vazquez A Camargo

    8.0 stars is book I love it

  16. 4 out of 5

    Amee

    Easy to read, has a good flow (as do all Meg Cabot books I've read so far). Good story line, interesting side characters Easy to read, has a good flow (as do all Meg Cabot books I've read so far). Good story line, interesting side characters

  17. 4 out of 5

    Katie - The Literary Files

    I bought the bind ups of the 1-800-Where-Are-You series a while back but never got around to starting them until this past week. Boy, let me tell you I totally regret not starting them early! Once again Meg Cabot amazes me with her great understanding of the teenage mind. If I remember correctly, I picked up Safe House (book three) years ago, but was really young when I read it. Not only did I read it out of order, but I never finished it. I'm so glad I picked up book one because this series wil I bought the bind ups of the 1-800-Where-Are-You series a while back but never got around to starting them until this past week. Boy, let me tell you I totally regret not starting them early! Once again Meg Cabot amazes me with her great understanding of the teenage mind. If I remember correctly, I picked up Safe House (book three) years ago, but was really young when I read it. Not only did I read it out of order, but I never finished it. I'm so glad I picked up book one because this series will definitely be added to my favorites' list. So I've only read the first book in this series so far but I can already tell that Jess is my hero! I love that she is a total bad ass and isn't afraid to stick up for her friends despite her small size. She's witty, determined and protective of the ones she loves which are definite qualities I look up to. Jess also has 'street smarts' which I think a lot of characters in books lack. I feel like they are all super geniuses or just not smart in the slightest, so it was nice to see a pleasant change in what I've been reading. The supporting characters are just totally golden! Jess's best friend, Ruth, is really unique in the way that she contributes to the story line and how she always has her friend's best interest in mind. The leading male character, Rob, in When Lightning Strikes is a total studmuffin! Leather jacket, motorcycle and just dripping with confidence *drool*. Another guy in the book is Sean, who is definitely one of a kind! I don't want to give too much away, but I loved his snarky yet somehow caring personality and the relationship he had with Jess is really sweet. My favorite part of this book was definitely the idea of a teenage girl getting struck by lightening which leaves her with crazy powers. I mean how cool is it that Jess gets these crazy dreams that tell her where kidnapped children are being hidden?! I was so worried that I would find myself continually comparing this series to The Mediator which is also by Meg Cabot. It's one of my favorite reads so I was afraid that this book wouldn't live up to my high 'Suz and Jesse' standard, as usual I was wrong though! At first, I wasn't that big a fan of the ending. I thought that it came almost too quickly and that not enough plot was given for the story. After I thought about it for a little bit though, this book offers a great introduction to the characters and setting for a new series. So if there wasn't all those explanations I don't think I would have enjoyed it as much in the end. Maybe not the best ending, but necessary in order to get a great start to the series. No matter how much the paranormal section in the young adult genre grows, Meg Cabot always brings a fresh and adventurous story to the table. I've read a lot of young adult books, but When Lightening Strikes is such an original story line that I felt like I was being introduced to an awesome new genre. This book is filled with intense action scenes, first love and learning to accept yourself as who you are, even if that self is a little on the strange side!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Ehlers

    Originally posted on Paranormal Sisters: http://paranormalsisters.blogspot.com... I've been wanting this one for a while and I'm glad I got it when I saw it on the shelf in a Barnes and Noble store. Everything the concept says is my cup of tea. However, I felt the need to know more of her physic powers. Deeper into her second sight instead of the vagueness we get. I wanted to be in her dreams with her, instead of her just telling us what she's dreamt, you know what I mean? From within the first few Originally posted on Paranormal Sisters: http://paranormalsisters.blogspot.com... I've been wanting this one for a while and I'm glad I got it when I saw it on the shelf in a Barnes and Noble store. Everything the concept says is my cup of tea. However, I felt the need to know more of her physic powers. Deeper into her second sight instead of the vagueness we get. I wanted to be in her dreams with her, instead of her just telling us what she's dreamt, you know what I mean? From within the first few pages I fell in love with Jessica's personality. She's a girl who'll defend to no end if anyone hurts the ones she loves- even if it means punching the star tackle of the school's football team. She's got attitude, sass, and is a total led foot. Though at first, she came off a little strong but I got used to her. I think it was mostly cause we have two completely different personalities. She's out going and I'm as shy as they come. "But you know, I think speed limits are really just suggestions." Also, in the beginning there's a lot of I said's and Ruth said's. If there are only two people in a scene I think we the readers can comprehend when who's speaking what. Or it would have been nice to see other words then said, like- says, speak, spoke- things like that. But after a while it got better. The cast of second hand characters were great. Ruth, Jess's best friend, can be fun but also can seem a little snobby. Rob, the hot grit with a nice sweet ride plus a sweet, humorous personality. The brothers, the crazy home making dress mother, and a lot of others. My favorite, the twelve year old boy. Can't say much about him- that would be a spoiler- and I don't do those. I felt like the story for me turned out to be a surprise. I'm so used to the way YA Fantasies are now that the subtleness of this one was a nice change. Which is why it was a surprise. There are a few twist and some fun action, like Jess jumpy down into a fake volcano, that'll make this one a page turner. Plus, with a hot guy on a motorcycle- yum. Once you get to the last page you'll be smiling at the way it ends along with wanting to start reading the next in the series for it's humorous words. "Oh, yeah. I'd been touched by the finger of God, all right. The question was, which finger?" First time reading a Meg Cabot and I can't wait to read others of her's.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Christina (A Reader of Fictions)

    Oh man, this is a blast from the past. I read these back when I was in high school. In fact, I’m pretty sure when I first read these, they had Jenny Carroll on the cover. On a high from the Mediator, I found 1-800-Where-R-You, and initially I was disappointed with it. Rereading now over a decade later, I can see why. When Lightning Strikes is a bit of a hot mess but I mostly liked it because nostalgia is powerful. Jess ends up having to take shelter from hail under some metal bleachers, which lea Oh man, this is a blast from the past. I read these back when I was in high school. In fact, I’m pretty sure when I first read these, they had Jenny Carroll on the cover. On a high from the Mediator, I found 1-800-Where-R-You, and initially I was disappointed with it. Rereading now over a decade later, I can see why. When Lightning Strikes is a bit of a hot mess but I mostly liked it because nostalgia is powerful. Jess ends up having to take shelter from hail under some metal bleachers, which leads to her getting hit by lightning. It’s weird though because there’s a mark where the lightning entered but no exit point. Instead, apparently the lightning is hanging out inside her and has given her the ability to dream the location of missing people. When I was younger, I don’t think this premise was absurd to me as it now is. The attempt at explaining it is way more upsetting than if it was just like a power she had X-Men style. It’s also really fucking hilarious that pay phones are a crucial plot point in this series. Cabot’s books are the truest of all time capsules. The down side of the time capsule element of Cabot’s books is that they really do capture the language and attitudes of the time. There’s a lot of slut-shaming in here; Cabot’s recent novels in no way do this, but this is what the 2000s were like. People are also constantly fat-shaming Jess’ friend; while I do think Cabot had good intentions there, the rep is iffy at best. Same goes so far for her brother Douglas, back home from college after a suicide attempt caused by his schizophrenia. (Wow, I didn’t remember either character AT ALL.) The plot is completely off the wall. The government basically immediately finds Jess, which I actually like because she’s hilariously not stealth. She ends up being taken to this military base and asked to find traitors to the nation, which again is a pretty solid plot point. What is not, however, is that she calls her almost boyfriend Rob, who rides up with his motorcycle buddies and busts her out of the military base. And somehow they all get away with it. TROLOLOLOLOLOLOL. So yeah, I don’t know how this reread is going to go, but When Lightning Strikes was funny, sometimes by accident and sometimes on purpose.

  20. 5 out of 5

    jess bennett ⋆

    "I can't even tell you how good it felt to see him. It felt even better when he reached through the metal grate, wrapped his fingers around the front of my shirt, dragged me forward, and kissed me through the bars. "Sorry," he said, only not looking too sorry, if you know what I mean." Oh, Meg. Just when I thought I couldn't love anyone more than Suze Simon from the Mediator series, you hand me this. I love this book. Love it, love it, love it. Why, you ask? Let me tell you. Firstly, "I can't even tell you how good it felt to see him. It felt even better when he reached through the metal grate, wrapped his fingers around the front of my shirt, dragged me forward, and kissed me through the bars. "Sorry," he said, only not looking too sorry, if you know what I mean." Oh, Meg. Just when I thought I couldn't love anyone more than Suze Simon from the Mediator series, you hand me this. I love this book. Love it, love it, love it. Why, you ask? Let me tell you. Firstly, our protagonist. Jess is fantastic and not just because we share a name. She kicks ass and takes names and is fierce. She also has a wit to her that I really enjoy and just isn't your run-of-the-mill lead lady. Instead of lying low and freaking out about everyone's opinion of her, Jess gets into punch-ups, lands herself in detention and lusts after motorbike-wielding hottie, Rob. She's a rebel, but she also has a brain quite capable of thinking on its own and a strong moral stance, especially when defending her friends. She's a breath of fresh air to a category full of weak-minded damsels in distress, who find themselves completely codependent on their love interests. Secondly, the plot. I read When Lightning Strikes before the paranormal genre got popular, but even now it remains uncontested as one of the most unique story-lines I've read. While the premise itself (getting struck by lightning) isn't exactly awe-inspiring, it is new, but the true merit of the book is the way Meg handles it. As a result of her accident, Jess can find missing people simply by looking at their photograph's before sleeping. This, predictably, gets her into trouble. But how delicious that trouble is! I could wax lyrical about this book forever, but if you want to know more you're just going to have to read it. The entire Missing series is well-delivered (the last book less so but that's a whole other story, literally), full of strong characters, believable romance and an enthralling plot-line. → 5 stars.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Karen Keyte

    I’ve decided that it really doesn’t matter what Meg Cabot writes about, she’s such a talented author that I’m pretty much guaranteed to like any of her books. Meg Cabot novels have solid, fast-paced plots, wonderful characters with unique voices and great dialogue. Throw in Ms. Cabot’s patented humor and you’ve got a book like When Lightning Strikes - truly entertaining. Jessica Mastriani is a pretty typical high school sophomore. Well, typical with a few issues (anger management and a schizophre I’ve decided that it really doesn’t matter what Meg Cabot writes about, she’s such a talented author that I’m pretty much guaranteed to like any of her books. Meg Cabot novels have solid, fast-paced plots, wonderful characters with unique voices and great dialogue. Throw in Ms. Cabot’s patented humor and you’ve got a book like When Lightning Strikes - truly entertaining. Jessica Mastriani is a pretty typical high school sophomore. Well, typical with a few issues (anger management and a schizophrenic older brother among them) but still, she’s not all that different from all of the other kids in her Indiana town. That changes rather dramatically Jessica gets struck by lightning while walking home from school. She seems fine when she goes to bed that night, but when she wakes up the morning after, Jess realizes she knows where the missing kids on her family’s milk carton are right now. A few more cartons of milk and a few more anonymous tips that leads to their recovery and Jess’s secret is out of the bag. Suddenly everyone wants a piece of ‘the Lightning Girl,’ from the national news media to the U.S. Government. This unwanted attention isn’t the only problem Jess is dealing with. Rob Wilkins, the sexy senior from Jess’s detention (remember the anger management issues?) is looking her way and Jess thinks she might like to look back, even if Rob is from the bad part of town. Then, just when Jess is starting to feel good about her new found ability, she discovers that not everyone who’s reported missing is really lost - and some of them do not want to be found. I loved Jess: her snarky humor, her defense of her older brother - basically everything about her. The mystery in this book is clever and the added twist of Jess’s ability is unique, but what really makes this book is Jessica. A fast read and a fun one!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sapir

    Jessica's life is tough. Her older brother is schizo, so she frequently goes into fistfights with people who play jokes on him, even when they're twice as big as her. That's why she always spends her after school time in detention. Jessica's life changes completely when a lightning strikes her and she gets a supernatural power to find missing people. She just dreams about them at night, and when she wakes up in the morning she knows exactly where they are. Jessica calls 1-800-Where-R-U and gives t Jessica's life is tough. Her older brother is schizo, so she frequently goes into fistfights with people who play jokes on him, even when they're twice as big as her. That's why she always spends her after school time in detention. Jessica's life changes completely when a lightning strikes her and she gets a supernatural power to find missing people. She just dreams about them at night, and when she wakes up in the morning she knows exactly where they are. Jessica calls 1-800-Where-R-U and gives them the location of missing kids. Soon enough, people start to get interested in her special powers. With FBI agents forcing her to help them and reporters waiting outside her house, Jessica has to decide what to do with her powers. I liked some parts of the book, and some parts I didn't. I liked Jessica and I think she is a very likeable main character. She is very clever, and I admire her ability to think of ideas even under stress. She never gives up, and always finds a way to win even when it seems like she has already lost the battle. What I didn't like was the plot of the book. The plot was very unrealistic and I couldn't believe many parts of the story. I mean, a lightning strike gives supernatural powers? Seriously?! How did everybody in Jessica's world believe that? I think that if someone in our world would really be gifted with these powers, nobody would believe him, and especially not the FBI. They would rather think that he's the kidnapper himself. I think the author could try harder to build a more believable story. This book was readable, not much more than that. The story was interesting, but a little unbelievable. I don't recommend it much, because there are better books in this genre of supernatural and action. I am not sure if I will continue the series.

  23. 5 out of 5

    SilvanShadow

    Jessica Mastriani is a detention-lifer: not because she's a "Bad Kid", but because she isn't afraid to punch-out anyone who talks smack about her brother, her best friend, or herself. While walking home from detention with her best friend Ruth, Jessica is struck by lightning and here's where our story really begins. Thanks to that lightning strike, Jess can now locate missing persons. However, Jess learns the hard way that not everyone wants to be found and that others want her 'gift' for less a Jessica Mastriani is a detention-lifer: not because she's a "Bad Kid", but because she isn't afraid to punch-out anyone who talks smack about her brother, her best friend, or herself. While walking home from detention with her best friend Ruth, Jessica is struck by lightning and here's where our story really begins. Thanks to that lightning strike, Jess can now locate missing persons. However, Jess learns the hard way that not everyone wants to be found and that others want her 'gift' for less altruistic reasons. It is well known that Jenny Carroll is a nom de plume for Meg Cabot. I found WHEN LIGHTNING STRIKES on par with Cabot's other young adult novels. Jess is sassy and holds her own with the much bigger guys in detention. Her crush is a biker boy from the wrong side of the tracks who doesn't hesitate to help Jess when she needs it most. I plan on reading the rest of the series. A note about the Kindle edition: throughout the book, the letter 'F' is occasionally dropped from words. Freshmen = reshmen, off = o, etc. It happens more often in the beginning chapters than in later. The first few instances I found jarring, but I got used to it in the end. And it doesn't happen so often that I'd suggest avoiding the Kindle edition. However, a person shouldn't *have* to get used to such errors, not when they'd be easily caught if the publishers would just send ebook conversions to a proofreader for at least a single pass; something they should get in the habit of when converting their backlist titles into ebook formats.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa

    This book was given/lent to me by Mia. We exchanged books. I thought it was interesting to read. Very different from how books are normally written. It was like reading a diary, which is almost true. Jessica is writing down her statement and this is what the book consists off. She explains everything rather detailed and thoroughly. While reading this story I kept thinking about Mia. The main character is very down to earth. Funny but honest. Her sense of humor is much like Mia her sense of humor, This book was given/lent to me by Mia. We exchanged books. I thought it was interesting to read. Very different from how books are normally written. It was like reading a diary, which is almost true. Jessica is writing down her statement and this is what the book consists off. She explains everything rather detailed and thoroughly. While reading this story I kept thinking about Mia. The main character is very down to earth. Funny but honest. Her sense of humor is much like Mia her sense of humor, which explains why she likes the book so much. I couldn't see the problem in the book as a serious problem because of the funny way it's written. Sarcastically. (view spoiler)[ I was rather annoyed by Rob. I obviously like him, but he is being difficult about the age thing, since he is on probation. Very very annoying. Obviously he likes her (even if it's not so clear to her) and she obviously likes him a lot (which might not be obvious to him). Yet he is keeping them apart for a silly silly reason. (hide spoiler)] It scared me that the government/military got hold of Jess. It scared me that she might have to do things against her will and she didn't see that yet. A little disappointed in her brain but I still like her better than other heroines. I do not like Ruth. She is supposed to be very bright but to me she's just judgmental and annoying (sorry Jess). She doesn't give much to the story for me, she's only in the way. Especially when she starts saying this about Rob.. grrr.. Anyway, on to part 2.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kayli Hansen

    MEG CABOT The premise of this book was interesting, but I felt that it lacked a punch, and was also unrealistic. The basic storyline of a teenage girl who is struck by lightning, and then dreams about where missing children are has a ton of potential, but that potential was not reached. The main plotline follows her as she is struck by lightening, and then begins to call the hotline to report missing kids she is dreaming about. Eventually, the government finds out about it, and tries to use her t MEG CABOT The premise of this book was interesting, but I felt that it lacked a punch, and was also unrealistic. The basic storyline of a teenage girl who is struck by lightning, and then dreams about where missing children are has a ton of potential, but that potential was not reached. The main plotline follows her as she is struck by lightening, and then begins to call the hotline to report missing kids she is dreaming about. Eventually, the government finds out about it, and tries to use her to find criminals just as she realizes that her gift has also caused more harm than good to a child who didn't want to be found. One of the book's major issues was just how unrealistic and villainized almost every adult figure was. There were a couple of adults who almost fit perfect stereotypes (her dad and her school counselor) as 'good' adults who did what was right, but the others treated her unfairly and seemed unable to get past their own agendas and find any sympathy and understanding for Jesse as a person. The government involvement in the story was also extremely simplified and completely unrealistic, but as this is a YA novel, this is an issue that may not have much significance to its audience. The love story with the book was fairly well-written, although it also contained some unresolved issues (why did an eighteen-year old kid on probation change his stance to become okay with dating a sixteen-year old girl, and why were there no legal consequences?) that were never explained.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I stumbled on Meg Cabot's 1-800-Where-R-You series in the library and it really caught my interest. I have always been fascinated by mistery and fantasy books. Th main protagonist in this book is Jess Mastriani. She is a misunderstood teen who has anger issues, according to her guidance counselor. When Jess was walking home from her daily detention, she was struck by lightning. But, she survive- she seems fine and feels fine. After the incident her life is changed forever when she wakes up the I stumbled on Meg Cabot's 1-800-Where-R-You series in the library and it really caught my interest. I have always been fascinated by mistery and fantasy books. Th main protagonist in this book is Jess Mastriani. She is a misunderstood teen who has anger issues, according to her guidance counselor. When Jess was walking home from her daily detention, she was struck by lightning. But, she survive- she seems fine and feels fine. After the incident her life is changed forever when she wakes up the next morning. As she gets out of bed, she realizes that she knows where Olivia and Sean are. The strange thing is she doesn't even know who Olivia and Sean are, so she ignores her dream. Then, as Jess pours milk into her cereal she stares at the milk carton. The milk carton printet the faces of Sean and Olivia. She realizs that Sean and Olivia are missing children and Jess somehow knows where they are. When she lets the authorities know (through the toll-free hotline 1-800-Where-R-You). Later, she learns that not everyone who is missing wants to be found. And that you can’t stay anonymous when you are the only person with the answers everyone wants. I enjoyed this book and plan to read the rest of the series. Meg Cabot writes very well in the point of view of a typical teenage girl. The book is pretty easy to read. The book is written well in that it captures the reader's interest right away. It was hard for me to put down the book while I was reading it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nan

    As anyone that's been following my reviews for some time knows, I'm a fan of Meg Cabot. I like her tough girl heroines. They're smart, sassy (and whiny), and sometimes physically violent. Jess, the protagonist of this series, has a lot in common with Suze of the Mediator series. While Suze has grown up with her gift of talking to ghosts, Jess has her gift thrust upon her by a lightening strike. When she wakes up the next morning, she knows the location of two kids that she had seen on a milk cart As anyone that's been following my reviews for some time knows, I'm a fan of Meg Cabot. I like her tough girl heroines. They're smart, sassy (and whiny), and sometimes physically violent. Jess, the protagonist of this series, has a lot in common with Suze of the Mediator series. While Suze has grown up with her gift of talking to ghosts, Jess has her gift thrust upon her by a lightening strike. When she wakes up the next morning, she knows the location of two kids that she had seen on a milk carton the day before. Of course, when Jess tries to let people know where to find these kids, not everything goes as planned. One kid didn't want to be found--for a reason. And when the government learns of Jess' ability, they want her to find some very specific people for them . . . This is obviously a Meg Cabot novel. That's both a good thing and a bad thing. Jess has the typical Cabot clueless parents. They mean well, but they cannot connect with their children. Her sibs are slightly more original. There's the typical nerd that lusts after the girl on the street in a bikini. There's also Douglass, the college age brother who tried to kill himself some months ago. Concern over Douglass' well being is the entire focus of this family, even when Jess' abilities are outed to the world. I will read the rest of the series, because I want to see where Cabot will take these characters.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ivy

    16 year old Jess Mastriani has problems: She has a crush on guy that no one close to her approves of, her brother is schizophrenic, her mother makes her wear matching dresses, and her best friend is now constantly insisting in a lot of exercise just because of one "fat" comment made towards her; oh, and on top of that, she gets hit by lightening and now every morning she wakes up knowing where missing children are located. Jess is not your typical girl, she has a very unique personality and I do 16 year old Jess Mastriani has problems: She has a crush on guy that no one close to her approves of, her brother is schizophrenic, her mother makes her wear matching dresses, and her best friend is now constantly insisting in a lot of exercise just because of one "fat" comment made towards her; oh, and on top of that, she gets hit by lightening and now every morning she wakes up knowing where missing children are located. Jess is not your typical girl, she has a very unique personality and I don't feel like I'm reading about the same girl in a different story (many characters act alike in books), she's funny and tough, a tomboy type of gal. The tale itself is very interesting with much action, romance, and even comedic scenes. I enjoyed Jess's adventure and hope to read the second book. The only reason why I took away one star was because the story itself started a little to slow for me, it wasn't until probably the middle of the book when the action began to start taking place. Recommended to girls who want a little adventure and romance in their lives. If you liked this, you'll love: 1-800-WHERE-R-YOU Codename Cassandra By Meg Cabot, the mediator series by Meg Cabot

  29. 5 out of 5

    Koko Chen

    This was surprisingly a lot more enjoyable than I thought it would be. It made me laugh out loud at times: the main character is pretty hilarious and relatable. Honestly, she was really entertaining to read from. My favourite character had to be Sean though, honestly that boy made me laugh real hard and he was adorable (not in a conventional way lmao, but I thought he was cute, like a baby tiger with sharp teeth). My only real complaint is that many characters say some questionable things that a This was surprisingly a lot more enjoyable than I thought it would be. It made me laugh out loud at times: the main character is pretty hilarious and relatable. Honestly, she was really entertaining to read from. My favourite character had to be Sean though, honestly that boy made me laugh real hard and he was adorable (not in a conventional way lmao, but I thought he was cute, like a baby tiger with sharp teeth). My only real complaint is that many characters say some questionable things that are offensive sometimes (like Ruth, Mike, her mom), and although they do get called out for it most of the time, the author deals with it rather humorously, making it seem like less of a big deal. I don't think the author encourages those characters' behaviour, as the main character does challenge them about their closed-mindedness. However, I also sometimes got the feeling that the protagonist didn't really takes things seriously, even when the situation was pretty serious. Despite that, it was definitely a quick and enjoyable read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Josh Mathews

    The thing I appreciate the most here, especially as I've read more and more books in the genre, is that the author doesn't mess around with delaying movement in the story. Every time I read a book or see a tv series with a character who spends most of the time procrastinating or trying to figure out some vague vision they've had, I think of this series. The ability is simple: character goes to sleep, character wakes up knowing exactly how to find someone whose picture she looked at that day befo The thing I appreciate the most here, especially as I've read more and more books in the genre, is that the author doesn't mess around with delaying movement in the story. Every time I read a book or see a tv series with a character who spends most of the time procrastinating or trying to figure out some vague vision they've had, I think of this series. The ability is simple: character goes to sleep, character wakes up knowing exactly how to find someone whose picture she looked at that day before. Most of the plot comes from the fame that Jess gets as a result of her ability (an obvious point from a skeptic's point of view: a real psychic would get noticed), and the fact that some people don't want to be found or are difficult to save. It's sad that more authors (or maybe publishers?) aren't this brave. (Incidentally, that description of the book on this site is so wrong... Jess couldn't give a pig's fart about popularity from what I remember.)

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