It’s been a stupidly long time since I last wrote about a book on Shaunyland and it’s actually been a while since I last sat down and truly enjoyed a book; I’ve been too busy to dedicate time to it every evening like I used to. To remedy this, I’m gonna try and review a book on Shaunyland every week or so to get me reading as much as I used to and to keep those inspired creative juices flowing. To kick it off while I start my first book in this marathon, I thought I’d talk to you about one of my favourite books of all time and the book’s film adaptation: Chris Colfer’s Struck by Lightning.
I kind of forgot this book and film existed until I went looking for a book to talk about today, I won’t lie to you. I obviously bought this book because Glee’s Chris Colfer is its author and I actually pre-ordered it for when it was first released. It’s funny in how it works: I really thought it would feel like a book written by a celebrity, but it’s so refreshing to see a book written by a celebrity that can actually write. I felt like I was reading a book by any other author of a teen novel and it was a pretty dandy feeling. The film is really well written as well (the screenplay is also written by Chris Colfer). Obviously they are both near identical because they’re both written by the exact same person, so it was cool to see the vision I had of the story in my head being replicated on the screen with almost word-for-word similarities as well as being performed by a stellar cast including Rebel Wilson and Allison Janney.
The story of Struck by Lightning is a cliche with a really unique twist. The story follows Carson Phillips (Colfer in the film) as he fights his way up from the bottom of the food chain as an aspiring journalist. The nice part about his lack of popularity is that it’s not because he’s disliked for being a loser, on the contrary no one really cares or knows much about him. He’s a confident character with a great sense of what he wants and what he cares about and is as much of a developed and normal teenager as the other more popular students around him, but it’s just that no one really pays attention to him. Carson soon realises that he needs to start a school magazine in order to get himself enough credit to get into the college of his choice and to escape the mundane town he lives in and after only one volunteer shows up (Malerie, who is played by Rebel Wilson), he takes matters into his own hands. To make the paper more popular around the school, Carson and Malerie blackmail people into helping him create and promote the magazine. Reluctantly, a lot of people agree and the story continues from there with a massive plot twist at the very end. It’s witty, intelligent and enjoyable to watch and I constantly find myself reaching for the DVD on a Sunday afternoon when I’m in that “I’m a bit tired and need some inspiration” kind of mood.
The book makes me feel a pretty similar way to the film and if anything, I find the book even more touching. It’s written from Carson’s personal perspective and the idea is that it’s his journal where he documents what’s been happening at school each day. It’s interesting to see the difference between watching the story simply happen with some narration over the top which is what the film provides, to then refer back to the book and see the story exclusively from Carson’s personal perspective.
If you’re looking for a book or a film that’s filled with heart, strong-willed characters, humour and great wit then Struck by Lightning is what you’ve been looking for. I’d highly recommend this to anyone because of how much I enjoy re-reading or re-watching the story – a solid A grade from me.