Date Finished: 4 January 2013
Series: Lila, #1
Read the Goodreads description here
Hunting Lila was one of those books that I’d see every time I walked into a bookstore, or looked at my recommendations on Good reads or Kindle. However, up until yesterday, I’d never done anything more than skim-read the blurb and then forget about it until I saw it again. It seemed like the type of book that should only be read when one is bored or doesn’t have anything better to read, which is the reason why I decided to finally buy it on Kindle while away with my family somewhere in the middle of nowhere.
Thank goodness I did buy it, because it turned out to be the only thing keeping me alive for the one night we stayed at a lodge, which shall remain unnamed, just in case I get sued, or something ridiculous.
Basically, I’ve just finished the third book in the Lux series, so all other books that I come across seem incredibly dull and lifeless in comparison. So, deciding that it’s better to read something boring than sit like a zombie staring out the window for endless hours, I bought Hunting Lila on my Kindle. Now, understand that we really were in the middle of nowhere, so I had to practically climb onto the roof of the cottage we were staying in just to get enough reception to start downloading the book, and then sit up there for half an hour or so to wait for the download to finish. Needless to say, by the time I started the book, I was in a foul mood and most people at the lodge were avoiding me.
Well, as soon as I started reading it, all my other problems seemed to disappear; it was just the book, my bed, and me. That was up until a bat flew into my face. Yeah, that was not fun, and made me forget about the book completely. Imagine, if you can, two teenage girls (I was sharing an attic bedroom with my sister) plus a bat in a confined space of about 5 square meters. That might not have been too much of a problem; sure there was a lot of screaming and someone ended up throwing a shoe at the bat, killing it almost immediately. We might have been fine and gone straight to sleep, except that it was not the only bat in our room.
Now, if you know me personally, you will be well aware of the fact that I can’t cope with anything that flies. I can cope with birds and butterflies, but that’s about it. And if you pair that with my pathological fear of rodents, insects and reptiles, you get a teenage girl hyperventilating in a fetal position. So you can just imagine me when we discovered the FIRST bat. After we discovered the second one, I was so freaked out that I was shaking. In my head, the only thing worse than a bat is a lizard. Or possibly a lizard as big as my foot.
But anyway, back to the book. As you can imagine, I wouldn’t touch that room with a ten-foot pole, so we were moved to the Honeymoon Suite on the other side of the lodge. My sister fell asleep almost immediately, but every time I closed my eyes, I just saw giant bats and vampires (welcome to my brain…). The only reason I actually got two hours of sleep was because I was more worried about Lila and Alex and her special ability more than my own issues.
Sarah Alderson is an exceptional writer. I could not simply read one page, once I’d started, I could not stop. I got so lost in the story that whenever I looked up from a page, I would have to remind myself that THIS was the real world and everything else was in the book.
I loved the way that the storyline was completely unique. I have never read another book similar to this one. I mean, obviously the whole romantic aspect of the book is a bit clichéd and has been used before, but the “important” part of the storyline isn’t some rip-off of Twilight, as most books are these days.
I also loved the way there was an unexpected twist in the middle of the book, where suddenly you realize the good guys are the bad guys and the bad guys are actually the good guys (I know, it’s confusing) because you aren’t completely sure who to trust just in case the bad guys are lying about being the good guys (and then stuff gets really complicated in my head, i.e.: “wait, so if the bad guys who are actually the good guys are lying about being good, then are the good guys who are actually the bad guys lying about being bad? And did the good guys who are actually the bad guys who might be good kill Lila’s mom or did the bad guys who are actually the good guys who might be bad do it? Wait, who are the good guys who are actually the bad guys and who are the bad guys who are actually the good guys?” and cue re-reading the last 20 pages…)
The characters were also really realistic, which is also super important to me. I like reading books and feeling a connection to the character, even when I don’t have much in common with them. This was how I felt with Lila. I mean, obviously I’m not telepathic and can’t move stuff with my mind (now it has been proven, after about two hours of staring at a pencil and willing it to move) but there are certain aspects of her personality that I can relate to. Like the way she feels that everybody is always treating her like a child, for example. The characters were also realistic in the way that they actually had emotions. When a character has emotions, he or she automatically becomes a 3D person in you mind instead of just a name on paper, which helps you to develop a relationship with the character, in a sense. After finishing the book, I felt as though I knew each and every character personally, and it took me quite a while to adjust to reality.
Read about the full "Bat Incident" here