Author: Meg Cabot (Jenny Carroll)
Release date: 3rd March 2011
Target audience: 12+
UK Publisher: Simon Pulse
Summary from Amazon:
When Lightning Strikes When lightning strikes there can only be trouble - as Jessica Mastriani finds out when she is caught in a thunderstorm. But this trouble with a capital T - this trouble is serious. Because somehow, on that long walk home, Jess acquired a new talent. She can find missing people - dead or alive...Code Name Cassandra Since developing her psychic powers, Jess has discovered that not everyone wants to be found. And, right now, Jess is one of them. Because some very important people want to speak to her about her newfound powers - people who know just how a good power can be used for evil - and the wrong decision will lead Jess into deadly danger...
Vanished is a new bind up of the first two books in a paranormal series by Meg Cabot.
Jess Mastriani is a sixteen year old girl with issues. It just so happens that her issues are somewhat more complicated than most teens. When Lightning Strikes sees Jessica’s rather geeky existence take a turn for the paranormal when, you guessed it, she gets struck by lightning on her way home. Suddenly Jess has the strangest ability she can find missing people. She goes to bed the night of the lightning strike a fairly average teenager and she wakes up the next day knowing where two missing children are found.
Jess is such a great sassy tomboy. She doesn’t hold any prisoners where her tongue or fists are concerned. She stands up for the people she cares about which is the reason she is in detention pretty much indefinitely. At the beginning of the novel Jess is rather naive. She does guard her secret ability closely but she doesn’t think through the ramifications of her actions. Unless of course, those thought involve Rob Wilkins who is her comrade in the eternal damnation of detention and the object of her affection.
But life and love do not run smoothly for the heroine of When Lightning Strikes. It’s not long before the FBI know about Jessica’s little gift and want to use it for the good of the country. One more thing you should know about Jess is that she is a Townie. Rob is a Grit. You don’t cross the boundary unless you want your friends and your family to lock you up until you’re collecting your pension. Cue lots of high stakes drama!
Code Name Cassandra sees Jess getting to be much savvier where her ability is concerned. She goes to a Music Summer Camp to be a counsellor with Ruth. Seven weeks of crazy kids is everything that Jess is looking forward to but when she gets there things go anything but to plan.
Both novels in this bind up were brilliantly witty and engaging. I devoured the book and lost myself in Jessica’s drama. I adored Rob, who wouldn’t? Leather jacket? Check. Motorcycle? Check. Rebellious and possibly criminal streak? Check. What a guy! Meg Cabot has this really amazing ability to write quite bizarre stories in a really believable way so that the ending completely matters to you. I love it quite frankly. I need more from Jessica Mastriani. Vanished is not your deep brooding paranormal torment. It is fun, sassy and totally feel good. Whoop!
Thanks to Simon Pulse for sending the book to review.