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Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips…

Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal (edition 2012)

by Chris Colfer (Author)

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4231156,167 (3.34)2
"Carson Phillips is at the bottom of the food chain in a high school filled with people he hates, stuck living with his depressed single mother in a small-minded town at the corner of nothing and nowhere. He has just one goal: escape to Northwestern University and a career as a hard-hitting journalist. His guidance counselor tells him that he needs to bolster his application by creating a literary magazine. Which means he needs submissions. From other students. Carson resorts to the only thing he can think of: blackmail."--Jacket flyleaf.… (more)
Title:Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal
Authors:Chris Colfer (Author)
Info:Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2012), Edition: 1, 272 pages
Collections:Your library

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Struck by Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal by Chris Colfer


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I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!

This looked like something I could listen to on a trip and maybe it wouldn't be too bad. I won't say it was outright bad, but it didn't add anything to the YA canon, I'll say.

I give credit to the ambitious Chris Colfer, a rising young star on the stage and screen, for adding "writer" to his list. But don't get to relying on it, Chris. But what the hell, what do I know?

A high school student, Carson Phillips feels like a fish out of water. A brilliant fish in a sea of stereotypes: high school jock, cheerleader, stoner, you get the idea. He rants about his position as editor of the school newspaper, where he is unable to get anyone on his so-called staff to write anything about anything, ever. Perhaps this says more about you than about them, Carson, but he never entertains that idea, nor, I suspect, does Colfer. He has dreams about getting into Northwestern University and becoming a hotshot investigative journalist. To that end, he has applied for early admission and impatiently digs through the mail every day.

Carson's mother is no help. She prefers to lie on the couch every day, bemoaning the fact that she got stuck in nowheresville when she, too, had had dreams. So it's up to Carson to make things happen. When his guidance counselor suggests that the college might want more than the usual editor,debate captain, high grades submission, that perhaps if he edited a literary magazine as well, Carson finds a way to do this. In spite of the fact that most of his fellow students dislike him. With some reason, I might add.

He finds dirt on his classmates and uses it. Is it enough? I won't reveal the end, as it is a little unexpected.

Versions of this story have been done to death, but usually with greater humanity and warmth. I can't imagine liking Carson because he simply has nothing good to say about just about anyone. He begrudgingly becomes fond of Mallory, who for some reason has stuck by him in spite of her lack of interest in what he does and his lack of interest in what she does. She seems a kind sort, earnest and no threat.

I didn't find Colfer's reading particularly good either. He is an actor so I expected better. I suspect that in this case the film was better than the book, because 1) the book was derived from the screenplay and 2) actors add another dimension to words on a page.

All that said it is probably a perfectly suitable YA story for a teen. ( )
1 vote slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
sometimes, you re-read your old favourites and they're just as good as they were the first time. other times, they... aren't. case in point: this was 5 stars when I first read it.

okay, so I get that Carson being an asshole who turns slightly more decent is the point of the book, and I admit he has SOME complexity. but mostly he's an obnoxious straight white guy who thinks he's better than everyone and being "brilliant" equals being mean to everyone he meets. he implies being asexual is something negative, he makes jokes about transvestites and the Holocaust, and he's just generally That Guy who everyone wishes would shut up, but he still thinks he's smarter and better than everyone else.

yes, he also does good things. he makes some good points about the problems in education. he gives some good advice and says some inspirational things- although the straight guy telling the two closeted gay guys with homophobic parents in a small town that they should just be themselves and "we are all a minority" is... eh.

there are some things I liked, like the progression of the story for grandma and all the submissions in the magazine that show people as actual complex people that Carson refuses to see them as, but most of the book was just... not fun to read. (Nicholas's poem is the best tbh.)

I also don't understand the point of the ending to be honest, and since that's the thing the story culminates in, I guess the whole book was lost on me. I love the quote the mother gives to the newspaper, but otherwise it felt pointless. ( )
  runtimeregan | Jun 12, 2019 |
I really enjoyed reading this book. The main character, Carson, is the perfect amount of snarky and provides a real insight into someone who grows up with many issues in their personal and social life, but through all of it still strives for more in life.

I thought it was good to write the book in a journal/diary style. It provided a better insight into the main character and allowed for more character development. The reader is able to get inside the mind of Carson Phillips and what he is thinking and going through in his senior year of high school. By using a journal style of writing, there is more leeway for the reader to connect to the character and witness his progression throughout the book with the way that his words and conversation changes throughout the story.

I enjoyed the story and the sarcasm. My favorite part is the sarcasm and the snarky comments made by Carson, but also the way that he end up realizing that his tormentors and the people in his high school are more than their stereotyped images and that they are actual people with actual problems and learns that the way they act and who they are is reflected through their own personal lives.

The story was capturing and interesting from start to finish. I was drawn in from the very first sentence and kept until the very end. ( )
  RosalieRomeo | May 6, 2016 |
strong make lead
witty and fast paced writing style
sinister plot filled with humor
characters of high school, and life, portrayed realistically

Didn't like:
predictable ending ( )
  untitled841 | Aug 20, 2015 |
Esto no tiene nada que ver con los romances melodrámaticos y exagerados de Glee ni con la personalidad esterotipada y DIVA de Kurt Hummell.

Habiendo aclarado ese punto .... QUE LINDA SORPRESA fue esta historia . Sacando el modo de escribir normal para el género de novelas adolescentes (bien simple ; no es Faulkner pero por suerte tampoco terrible como la voz insoportable y llorona que narra The Perks of being a Wallflower) , es una historia bien original sobre un pibe de diecisiete años cuya mayor aspiración en la vida es ser un editor periodístico en el diario THE NEWYORKER (creo que así se llamaba) . Al fin , AL FIN! , una historia sobre jóvenes que no trata sobre romances ni adolescentes con problemas de autoestima.

¿Todavía no los convencí de lo DISTINTO que es este YOUNG ADULT?

Leanme , Carson Phillips tiene una personalidad bien formada , tiene amibición y tiene confianza en sí mismo .

Carson Phillips es abusado verbalmente por sus compañeros pero no se deja pisotear ,es más , apenas se lamenta ; él está acostumbrado y es su fuerza , sus ansias de triunfar lo que le mantienen la vista fija en el camino hacia la realización de sus deseos .

Si , tiene una madre depresiva y un padre que no ve hace cinco años pero aún así le da para adelante sin desviarse del rumbo , haciendo lo que puede con lo que tiene .

Lástima , digo yo , que Carson Phillips está muerto desde el inicio .-

De ahí el título de la historia y esa la único razón por la cual le bajo un punto .

Tanto el libro como el film son muy , muy entretenidos . Tengo que admitir que cuando empecé a ver la película no esperaba demasiado (o sea , un famoso que escibre un guión o una novela siempre deja muuuucho que desear) pero después de terminarla y terminar el libro , me quedé sorprendida y muy satisfecha .

Definitivamente , Chris Colfer es mucho más que la cara bonita y la voz pasable que vemos en la tele . Esperemos que siga sorprendiendo que hasta ahora viene muy bien . ( )
  LaMala | Jun 7, 2015 |
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To Melissa Scholow, Mikendra McKoy, Jenny Herrick, and Maureen Bagdasarian, without whom I would have never survived my own high school experience.

And to every president or captain of a writers' club, drama club, speech and debate team, Destination ImagiNation team, every editor of a high school newspaper or literary magazine, and anyone overachieving in their own right and underappreciated for it...this book is for you!
First words
Dear Journal,
One more school year with these shitheads and I'll be free.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"Carson Phillips is at the bottom of the food chain in a high school filled with people he hates, stuck living with his depressed single mother in a small-minded town at the corner of nothing and nowhere. He has just one goal: escape to Northwestern University and a career as a hard-hitting journalist. His guidance counselor tells him that he needs to bolster his application by creating a literary magazine. Which means he needs submissions. From other students. Carson resorts to the only thing he can think of: blackmail."--Jacket flyleaf.

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