Book Review: Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson

Synopsis: When Lila is mugged and nearly loses control over her telekinetic ability, she runs to the only people she has ever been able to count on: her brother, Jack, and his best friend, Alex –whom she has had a crush on for years.  Lila soon discovers the guys are trying to keep a secret from her, that they are searching for her mother’s murderer with the help of their black-op military unit. She also learns that the murderer and his crew have special mind powers just like she does, and they now want Lila…

Cover: The artwork on the front of this novel looks rather like a photograph of a girl running out the door. It is rather attention grabbing because the majority of the cover is in shadowy shades, while the open doorway and the girl are in more clear, bright tones. The back of the jacket is rather interesting, as it appears that there are two different versions of copy. This not only adds visual interest, but are both indicative of different elements of the storyline. Also, if you look closely enough, it appears as though there is faded print of other words layered beneath the synopsis.

Writing Style: The novel was written in a way that made the main characters sound much older than they were supposed to be. They were depicted as a seventeen-year-old female and two males in their early twenties, but sounded like a trio in their late twenties to mid-thirties.  While other young adult novels can get away with youth having more mature personalities, they are usually the ones that fall into the genre of fantasy and sci-fi than just fiction.

Location: The novel starts out in South London, but soon moves to California. The majority of the story takes place in Oceanside, a military town, but then starts road-tripping across the state.

Plot: The plot is one that may not be probable, but it is one that could be possible. It persuades the reader to consider the potential of what could be, rather than strictly what is. Mental abilities such as telekinesis and telepathy have been in question for years, and this story depicts one situation of what could happen should some people be able to use a portion of their brain that others don’t, can do things that others cannot using only their minds.

Point of View: The story is written entirely in first person, from the perspective of Lila Loveday. Using this device puts the reader on even footing with Lila, always wondering what is happening just out of her sight, and builds anticipation within the reader more than would be possible in a third-person perspective.

Character: Lila is incredibly mature for her age and, while this adult-attitude could be explained away, it makes the character a little harder for the reader to connect to. Nevertheless, Lila has an incredibly fascinating personality, likely due to her family having been torn apart when she was a child and the necessity of learning control to prevent her telekinetic abilities from harming someone.

Character Development: Even though Lila is the main character, she does not change in personality; the only thing that shows growth is her telekinetic abilities. It is the characters closest to Lila, Jack and Alex, who learn more about themselves as the novel progresses.

Romance: The relationship between Lila and Alex might be the tried-and-true “little sister in love with the brother’s best friend”, but it is portrayed in a way that is interesting when you consider the dangerous situation the pair is thrown into. It is also entirely believable that Lila would have been in love with Alex since childhood, as he is the one person who was always there whenever she needed him when growing up.

Unfulfilled Promise: While the main threat in this book was resolved, it also created a new enemy, a new worry, and a new goal that was not tied-up by the end of the story. I can only presume this means there will be a second book to come, and that is the only thing that will make the reader go from disgruntled to anticipatory when they close the cover.

Note to Reader: When Lila finds a government document that profiles the enemy, mark the page for future reference. Otherwise it gets a little confusing trying to remember who has what psychic power.

Quote: Up until this moment this psychic weird moving things without actually touching them ability had been a secret.

The Verdict: When it comes right to it, I absolutely adored this book. It has a universal quality that allows readers from teen to adult of both genders to enjoy the story –though females of high school and college age will like it the most. I would suggest to the reader not to start this novel unless an entire day is set aside, because you simply won’t want to stop reading. I found it impossible to put the book down! 

Be sure to check out my Interview with Sarah Alderson!

 Previous Reviews: WildefirePersonal DemonsHalf-BloodAngelina’s Secret

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Author: JaimeKristal

JaimeKristal is a freelance editor and writer. She started her book review blog "Tales of a Booklover" for the enjoyment of sharing her love of reading.

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