Title: The Odds of Lightning
Author: Jocelyn Davies
Publication date: 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Number of pages: 384
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Fantasy
Goodreads summary: Extraordinary things happen when we least expect them.
Tiny, Lu, Will and Nathaniel used to be best friends. Then life-defining events the summer before high school tore them apart. Now, three years later, they hardly talk anymore. Nathaniel has become obsessed with winning the prestigious science scholarship that his genius older brother once won. Will has risen from anonymity to popular soccer star. Lu grew into a brash, impetuous actress. And shy, poetic Tiny has slowly been fading away.
But fate weaves their lives together again the night before the SATs, during a wild thunderstorm that threatens to shut down New York City. And lightning strikes.
Before they know what’s hit them, the four teens embark on an epic all-night adventure to follow their dreams, fall in and out of love, reconcile the past, and overcome the fears that have been driving them since that one lost summer. And by the time the sun rises, odds are they’ll discover that there’s a fine line between science and magic, and that the mysteries of love and friendship can’t be explained.
I saw this book when it first got published in Barnes and Noble and I really wanted to buy it because of the beautiful cover, but I read a few mixed reviews and decided not to waste the money. Now, several months later, I’m regretting I never bought it because this novel has phenomenal writing and deserves to rest on everyone’s shelves.
The story revolves around 4 teens, Tiny (aka Emma), Lu, Will and Nathaniel, who were close friends in middle school but faded away from each other as the social pressures of high school pushed them apart. The novel flips back and forth between “Then” and “Now”, drafting a background of when they were younger and fell apart versus how they got thrown together in the present day. “Now” is the night before the SATs, where the kids are all attending the same party when they get struck by lightning and get fantastical superpowers which coincide with their individual insecurities.
There is much sass in this book. I appreciated that, a lot. The writing is snappy and if you glaze over for a second you’ll miss another one liner. I wasn’t expecting there to be any superpowers involved, but when I reached that point in the book I got very excited. It threw me for a loop, but in the best of ways. It made the story of 4 teens stuck in NYC even better, with more layers of drama and flavoring that I truly enjoyed. The Odds of Lightning is the perfect balance of fantastical, satirical, and contemporary.