Author: Sarah Alderson
Release date: 4th August 2011 UK
Genre: Paranormal thriller
Target audience: 12+ / Adult crossover
UK Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Summary from Amazon:
17-year-old Lila has two secrets she's prepared to take to the grave. The first is that she can move things just by looking at them. The second is that she's been in love with her brother's best friend, Alex, since forever. Or thereabouts. After a mugging on the streets of South London goes horribly wrong and exposes her unique ability, Lila decides to run to the only people she can trust - her brother and Alex. They live in Southern California where they work for a secret organisation called The Unit, and Lila discovers that the two of them are hunting down the men who murdered her mother five years before. And that they've found them. Trying to uncover the truth of why her mother was killed, and the real remit of The Unit, Lila becomes a pawn in a dangerous game. Struggling to keep her secrets in a world where nothing and no one is quite as they seem, Lila quickly realises that she is not alone - there are others out there just like her - people with special powers -and her mother's killer is one of them...
Hunting Lila is a fantastic, thrilling paranormal debut from Sarah Alderson.
Lila Loveday is seventeen years old and living with her dad in London. The story opens in the middle of Lila being mugged. She turns the knife on her attackers and sends them packing. Lila has a secret. She can move objects with her mind. The incident leaves her shaken and terrified as she used her ability in public. So she steals her father’s credit card and takes the first flight out of Heathrow. Her destination is her brother’s - Jack - home in Southern California.
The other secret that Lila has been keeping is that she has been in love with her brother’s best friend Alex since she was nine years old.
Hunting Lila felt like a very British read. It was beautifully descriptive and not overly exaggerated. Sarah Alderson has taken the paranormal genre and made it classy! The opening scene is almost filmic in its description of the knife and I was immediately caught up in the drama of the story.
Lila is a funny, impulsive and self-deprecating character. It is impossible not to like her. She knows she is rather desperate when it comes to her obsession with Alex. He is five years older and imprinted on her memory as her knight in shining armour. The fact that she thinks her lusting after him is pathetic made me like her even more. As the reader you know that she won’t cease to exist if he doesn’t notice her, but you care about her enough to want him to notice her as a young woman. Alderson strikes the perfect balance of characterisation.
She also adds the ingredients of men in uniform with gorgeous muscles. I don’t think I need to say anymore but there is definitely something swoon worthy about Alex and Jack. Could it be their desire for revenge? Their internalised code of honour? Or their choice of transportation? I am not a shallow girl but I can appreciate the extensively toned physique and the tortured soul of a chivalrous guy. Perhaps you’re thinking that this novel is undoing years of feminism. You are wrong. Alderson can get away with such a heady portrayal of the guys because Lila is an independent thinker and an all action girl.
The plot of this story is well-paced and I really didn’t want to go to sleep because I was so gripped. I loved the fact that the setting for the story isn’t a school or a summer camp. It feels more mature. Alex and Jack both have their own apartments. They are in their early twenties. This book is every part a cross over title. It may even be a bit inspirational. Who wouldn’t want a super power? I know I do.
Do you ever have the desire to jump around when you finish a book? And squeal: Whoop! Whoop! That’s how I was at the end of Hunting Lila. It was just such a joy to read. It was a sassy and swoon-worthy read. A must have for fans of the paranormal!
Thank you to Simon and Schuster for sending the book to review.
Read for the British Book Challenge 2011