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The Odds of Lightning


The Odds of Lightning

THE ODDS OF LIGHTNING by Jocelyn Davies follows the story of four ex-best friends the night before the SATs. Lu, Nathaniel, Tiny and Will used to be friends before high school. But the night before high school started, everything changed and the friends went separate directions. Fast forward three years. Will is a soccer star, one of the most popular guys in school. Lu is a theater kid and an outspoken feminist. Tiny is a quiet poet, who often goes unnoticed. Nathaniel studies hard, hoping to get the same scholarship his brother did.

The night before the SATs, there’s a huge storm. People start panicking, claiming it’s the end of the world. The four teens, now almost strangers, end up at the same party. And when the lights go out, they end up together and embark on a crazy journey across the city, trying to figure themselves out again. Nathaniel, Tiny, Lu and Will focus on what happened between them that night three years ago, realizing the true magic of their friendship.

"Davies did a great job writing about friendships and feelings....Overall, the message of THE ODDS OF LIGHTNING really resonated with me....beautifully written...."

First off, I love Davies’ writing style. The book shifts perspectives between the characters, and switches between the past and present, which was an element that I loved. The shifts are denoted by the chapter headings, which was appreciated. The word choice was engaging, and didn’t sound too formal. The characters definitely had their flaws, and weren’t perfect, which was the whole point of the story. The characters were relatable and their problems sounded like problems real high school students would have. The characters do use some foul language, but it doesn’t detract from the power of the book. Davies writes lines throughout the book that really resonated with me, quotes that really express the characters and their humanity. One of my favorites is “‘Fireflies don’t think about glowing in the dark. They do it because they were meant to be seen.’” Overall, I think the writing style added to the depth of the book.

I didn’t think the story was going to include fantasy elements when I started reading it, so I was a little surprised. But overall I think it added to the excitement of the book, especially since I love fantasy. I think Davies does realistic fantasy well, since it didn’t take up the whole book and the characters developed outside of just the magical concepts.

This book does a great job portraying friendships and showing how individuals change over time and in different ways. The characters all reacted to a situation differently and that is why they split up, but as a reader I could see why the characters were once friends. Davies did a great job  writing about friendships and feelings, and even though I haven’t gone through the traumatic events Tiny, Will, Nathaniel and Lu did, I could relate to their friendships and how that defined who they were individually.

Overall, the message of THE ODDS OF LIGHTNING really resonated with me, and the idea that your friends are important and that they can help you overcome challenges if only you let them. I think the story was beautifully written, and I would suggest it to anyone looking for an exciting book about the adventures a group of teenagers can get up to when left together for the night.

Reviewed by Becky N., Teen Board Member on October 17, 2017

The Odds of Lightning
by Jocelyn Davies

  • Publication Date: August 29, 2017
  • Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Magic, Young Adult 14+
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • ISBN-10: 1481440543
  • ISBN-13: 9781481440547