Sunday, May 11, 2014

Struck by Lightning

Author: Chris Colfer
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Year published: 2012
Pages: 258

Carson Phillips was a teenager with big dream but lived in a small town. His ultimate goal was to leave Clover once he graduate high school and to be a journalist published in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the Boston Globe. He must go to Northwestern for college.  However, no one seemed to understand Carson's dream and his way of thinking. His drunken mother and all the people at school thought that he was too much. He thought too much and he spoke too much. No one would be able to handle Carson.

The Writer's Club: A place students can express their thoughts and creativity through the power of words. But ask anyone else and they'll tell you it's worse than detention and we apparently "SUCH COCK."

Carson was the president of the Clover High Writer's Club and run Clover High Chronicles.. alone. No one in his club seemed interested enough to write an article for the magazine except Malery, who constantly unaware that she only rewrites stories from the already published and famous stories. One day, the school counselor, Ms. Sharpton, suggest Carson to  make a literary magazine to boost his application to Northwestern. But how can Carson start one when it's obvious no one is care enough to submit anything to him?

Carson finds a light when he coincidentally caught Nicholas Forbes, the high school's rich kid, and Scott Thomas, the president of Drama Club, made out in the bathroom. Carson then found the idea on forcing students to submit his literary magazine: by blackmailing.


I am very sorry for Carson after reading this story. I mean, OMG, his life sucks! At the beginning, Carson's character was not what I'd normally like to be had by a main character. He was so self-absorbed and continuously saw himself as the victim of his surroundings. He always put defense mode and saw other people as his enemy: I win or you win. But reading more of his story, I found out what had made him that way. What happened to Carson surely made him frustrated and, sadly, it also happens in real life.

Carson's attitude is the result of his ignorant mother, selfish father, and also the failure of school in understanding its student's interests and talents. Sure it's easier to have obedient and smart kids so that you don't have to waste your energy to deal with them. But actually, what children need is an opportunity to develop their interests and talents and that's what adults (and schools) are for. Carson is an example of how a smart and full of dream teenagers must fight so hard to reach his dream and finding adults surrounding him as obstacles. 

The other students at Clover High who became his blackmailing objects are also teens who struggle with their inner fight. But not like Carson, they chose to keep it to themselves and pretend that everything is okay. They were not brave enough to stand up and express their feelings like Carson, which made Carson's life worse because they blame Carson for his bravery to pursue his dream.

I think this book has a good message to its readers, no matter what age you are. It helps you realize that there are people like Carson around you who need an ear to listen and a heart to understand. The only thing that I really hope can be change is the ending. Well.. I have to say that it didn't give justice to Carson. Poor him..

By the way, this book has also been filmed, with Chris Colfer playing Carson (of course). The movie seems interesting and I believe the story will be the same (based on the trailer):

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