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When Lighting Strikes
Meg Cabot
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When Lighting Strikes (1-800-Where-R-You #1)

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  13,963 Ratings  ·  456 Reviews
FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. While walking home from school, Jessica Mastriani and her best friend get caught in an Indiana thunderstorm and Jessica gets hit by lightning, which causes her to develop an amazing talent for locating missing childr
Library Binding, 262 pages
Published August 28th 2008 by Fitzgerald Books (first published February 27th 2001)
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Hanna I've only read the first book so far, but readers of Hunger Games and Divergent should have no problem with it! My best friend read the books in…moreI've only read the first book so far, but readers of Hunger Games and Divergent should have no problem with it! My best friend read the books in primary school I think.(less)
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May 24, 2007 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
Meg Cabot is one of my favorite authors, and I continue to be surprised by how well she does in such a variety of genres. This is the first in her 1-800-WHERE-R-YOU series of young adult paranormals. The tone is pretty similar to that of most of Cabot's other books, and her blog - you get the definite feeling that she writes the way she speaks. When Lightning Strikes tells the story of a teen girl who is hit by lightning and acquires the ability to look at a picture of a person before bed and wa ...more
Howdy YAL
Nov 07, 2014 Howdy YAL rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To see full binge click here.

Oh, Jess. How I forgot you were the Cabot character with violent tendencies.

Well, Suze throws a mean punch too but it’s sort of a necessity. You on the other hand…your rage is sort of funny but at the same time scary.

Not in a bad way though.

Jess is perfectly engaging. Though I did get annoyed with her world at times. There are some jokes and remarks made in this book that are eyebrow raising at best. I seriously, wanted to throw a punch at Rob Wilkins for calling Rut
Apr 11, 2015 Irishgirl1247 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fantasy, fya
I love this series. I loved it when I discovered it in my high school library (yes they do have good things mixed in there with the boring required reading!) and 10 years later I still love it.

Jess is your (relatively) average sophomore girl. Relatively, because she tends to talk with her fists.

This leads her to spending a lot of time in detention, with the kids from the other side of the tracks, known here as the "Grits". There she meets Rob Wilkins, our hot guy of the series. He rides
Haley Mathiot
Jul 30, 2009 Haley Mathiot rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hate Meg Cabot. she is a terrible writer. she doesn't write sentinces, she writes fragments and then puts more fragments at the end to clear up what was perfectly clear in the first place. she leaves out things that are important. she doesn't describe stuff. her prose stinks. how on EARTH she became a best selling and popular author, i have no idea.


i read the first book of her series here, "When Lightning Strikes," and seriously had to read the others. i still haven't read the last book,
Feb 03, 2016 Delitealex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, paranormal

I liked Jess and seeing how see got herself out of trouble. I enjoyed the humor and shenanigans with the government. I can't wait to continue on with the series to find out how Jess continues to handle her power.
Mar 16, 2014 Alyssa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alyssa by: Mina_rrat
This book was given/lent to me by Mia. We exchanged books.

I thought it was interesting to read. Very different from how books are normally written. It was like reading a diary, which is almost true. Jessica is writing down her statement and this is what the book consists off. She explains everything rather detailed and thoroughly.

While reading this story I kept thinking about Mia. The main character is very down to earth. Funny but honest. Her sense of humor is much like Mia her sense of humor,
Suzana Thompson
Feb 20, 2016 Suzana Thompson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I'm so excited that Meg Cabot has a new Mediator book out! The Lightning Girl series is still my favorite though. Maybe it's because the love interest in this one has a bit of the bad boy thing going on. Most likely it's because this book is a weird wish fulfillment fantasy for me. My fascination with lightning is obsessive enough for me to want to get as close to it as I can, and my family is always yelling at me to get back inside during a storm. So a book about a girl gaining psychic powers a ...more
Mar 28, 2016 Bookbuyer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 11, 2010 Dromeda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Jessica Mastriani is a detention-lifer: not because she's a "Bad Kid", but because she isn't afraid to punch-out anyone who talks smack about her brother, her best friend, or herself. While walking home from detention with her best friend Ruth, Jessica is struck by lightning and here's where our story really begins. Thanks to that lightning strike, Jess can now locate missing persons. However, Jess learns the hard way that not everyone wants to be found and that others want her 'gift' for less a ...more
Jul 26, 2011 Wendy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
16 year old Jess Mastriani has problems: She has a crush on guy that no one close to her approves of, her brother is schizophrenic, her mother makes her wear matching dresses, and her best friend is now constantly insisting in a lot of exercise just because of one "fat" comment made towards her; oh, and on top of that, she gets hit by lightening and now every morning she wakes up knowing where missing children are located.

Jess is not your typical girl, she has a very unique personality and I do
Katie - The Literary Files
I bought the bind ups of the 1-800-Where-Are-You series a while back but never got around to starting them until this past week. Boy, let me tell you I totally regret not starting them early! Once again Meg Cabot amazes me with her great understanding of the teenage mind. If I remember correctly, I picked up Safe House (book three) years ago, but was really young when I read it. Not only did I read it out of order, but I never finished it. I'm so glad I picked up book one because this series wil ...more
Jessica's life is tough. Her older brother is schizo, so she frequently goes into fistfights with people who play jokes on him, even when they're twice as big as her. That's why she always spends her after school time in detention.
Jessica's life changes completely when a lightning strikes her and she gets a supernatural power to find missing people. She just dreams about them at night, and when she wakes up in the morning she knows exactly where they are.
Jessica calls 1-800-Where-R-U and gives t
Jan 30, 2010 Nan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As anyone that's been following my reviews for some time knows, I'm a fan of Meg Cabot.

I like her tough girl heroines. They're smart, sassy (and whiny), and sometimes physically violent. Jess, the protagonist of this series, has a lot in common with Suze of the Mediator series. While Suze has grown up with her gift of talking to ghosts, Jess has her gift thrust upon her by a lightening strike. When she wakes up the next morning, she knows the location of two kids that she had seen on a milk cart
Aug 02, 2012 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, Meg. Just when I thought I couldn't love anyone more than Suze Simon from the "Mediator" series, you hand me this. I love this book. Love it, love it, love it.

Why, you ask?

Let me tell you.

Firstly, our protagonist. Jess is fantastic and not just because we share a name. She kicks ass and takes names and is fierce. She also has a wit to her that I really enjoy and just isn't your run-of-the-mill lead lady. Instead of lying low and freaking out about everyone's opinion of her, Jess gets into pu
Jun 04, 2009 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 12thgrade
I stumbled on Meg Cabot's 1-800-Where-R-You series in the library and it really caught my interest. I have always been fascinated by mistery and fantasy books.

Th main protagonist in this book is Jess Mastriani. She is a misunderstood teen who has anger issues, according to her guidance counselor. When Jess was walking home from her daily detention, she was struck by lightning. But, she survive- she seems fine and feels fine. After the incident her life is changed forever when she wakes up the
Mar 25, 2014 Josh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The thing I appreciate the most here, especially as I've read more and more books in the genre, is that the author doesn't mess around with delaying movement in the story. Every time I read a book or see a tv series with a character who spends most of the time procrastinating or trying to figure out some vague vision they've had, I think of this series. The ability is simple: character goes to sleep, character wakes up knowing exactly how to find someone whose picture she looked at that day befo ...more
2.5 to 3 stars. Cabot originally wrote this as Jenny Carroll, and with good reason - it's an edgier read with more grit than her Princess Diaries and Mediator series. Her heroine, Jess, cusses, spends a lot of time in detention, and just generally likes life a little close to the edge. Jess isn't a bad girl, but she has a few bad habits. The books are obviously geared toward teens who find the Princess books a little young and want their fiction a little spicier than the Mediator books.

I've rea
Sandi Turla
Writing as Jenny Carrol, Meg Cabot tells us about Jess and her psychic abilities and the problems she has managing her new powers and trying to get Rob to notice her. YA chick lit with a supernatural twist, with quirky characters that are likable and funny.
A book that'll keep you on the edge of your seat till you finish reading it.
Sarah Crawford
Feb 03, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first in another series of books by Jenny Carroll who has also written the extremely good Mediator series.

In this book, Jessica is walking home from school when a storm hits and she is struck by lightning. That results in her having the ability to psychically home in on missing children that she sees on the backs of milk cartons. She begins to phone in names to a special number and, one by one, the children are discovered.

Things quickly go wrong, though, when one child she "rescues"
Oct 26, 2015 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, I've loved Meg Cabot ever since was a "tween" and recently found this series that I never read by her. So, of course, bought this book and finished it in the same day. Let me just say that I ate it up like I would've when I was 12, but I also saw some things wrong, well not wrong per say but my view point on certain things have changed now.
Comments like "You hit hard - for a girl." that were directed at the MC and she'd be proud/happy to hear that. She liked when guys would cat-call her a
May 20, 2015 Crumb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would say it was casual and lighthearted fare that was entertaining enough, especially given that I didn't expect anything deeper. I've never read anything by Cabot before (and I am well out of the target audience) but it was still a fun read, although not as thrilling or intriguing as I thought it might be, given the initial synopsis.

In terms of the characters, I didn't really find any offensive. Sometimes you have that character that just rubs you the wrong way, and that wasn't the case here
Apr 06, 2015 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first time I picked up this book I only read a couple of pages and it didn't really captivate me. However, today I read the whole thing. One might say after having just finished Paolini's "Inheritance" anything would have caught my attention (please spare yourself that read) and others would say I just didn't give it a chance the first time. I think, both suggestions are true.

Now, I'm a fan of Meg Cabot; particularly her "American Girl" books. I don't mind her writing style because it still
I have loved Meg Cabot since I was in high school and I first read The Princess Diaries. So with my love of The Princess Diaries I decided to give another shorter lived series by Meg Cabot a try, and on a personal level I have really liked it.

Cross posted at

This first book reminds me of the writing style of The Princess Diaries, Jess Mastriani is writing the story of what had happened to her. The events of what had caused her to be able to find missing child
Joanna Andrick
Dec 01, 2015 Joanna Andrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jessica Mastriani is your average sohpomor girl- with anger management issues. Other than that, she is pretty normal. Well, she was. Until lightning struck. On a surprise walk home, a storm rolls in. So Jess and her friend Ruth decide to hide under the school's metal bleachers. And, it happens- lightning strikes. So sure, whatever, she got struck by lightning. The next morning however, she knows where a missing child is, and she has no idea who the kid is, either. The thing is, this doesn't hap ...more
Alysabeth Hatcher
Mar 09, 2016 Alysabeth Hatcher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
This book is so great! In this book while hiding herself from her parents Jess gets caught in a storm. Hiding under the bleachers she is soon struck by lightining.
The following morning she wakes up and knows where the location of two lost kids are. She calls 1-800-WHERE-R-YOU and they find the kids. Soon she finds herself in the custody of the FBI working for the US Government to find the missing children of the country.

Jess Mastriani has never been what you'd call a typical Midwestern teenager
Vicki ~ no time to read
I really loved this series maybe even more than the Mediator, which i know is strange because just about EVERYONE loved the Mediator series..... Anyway, i think its great that When Lightning Strikes and Code Name Cassandra (the sequel) are being rereleased as Vanished even if the new title is a bit misleading. The 1-800 books where great but not that many people know about them and i think the new title and cover will appeal to the YA audience a lot now.
Kate McCartney
Okay, maybe Cabot is really bad at writing teenage girls. I could not find anything likeable or enjoyable about her main character (similar to how i felt about her Mediator girl). the story is enjoyable and has real potential. Her main character is quick to over react and I am tired of Cabots grrrls with anger issues. While I respect a girl who can throw a mean punch and isn't afraid to take on a guy three times her size, I also really want to care what happens to her.
Veronica The Geek
Apr 12, 2016 Veronica The Geek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a Meg Cabot book so I can guarantee you three things -
1. Hot guys
2. Humour
3. Protagonist who is a badass girl with an unpredictable judgement.

I guess I just found myself an another favorite series!
Jessica was never a typical high school girl. She occasionally picks fights with guys three times her size on the subject of her mentally unstable older brother and thus, always on detention. One evening, a thunderstorm visited her town and Jess got struck by lightning. From that moment everyth
Heidi Hart
I put this series in my massive TBR queue a long, long time ago, when Sarah Wendell mentioned it on a DBSA podcast. I finally got around to starting the books on Sunday night, as my vacation was in its final hours. Today, Tuesday morning, I have finished books one and two and started book three, so I'll give Meg Cabot props for grabbing my attention.

Protagonist Jess is a high school sophomore who just wants a normal life, but she isn't normal: she has an anger management problem that keeps landi
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A Million More Pages: YA BR - When Lightning Strikes (1-800-Where-R-You #1) - Nov 20 2 9 Oct 25, 2015 07:39PM  
Jess and Ruth 10 47 Feb 03, 2013 06:25PM  
Meg Cabot Fan Club: When Lightning Strikes - (1-800 Where-R-U #1) 4 16 Dec 24, 2011 05:01PM  
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Librarian note: AKA Jenny Carroll (1-800-Where-R-You series), AKA Patricia Cabot (historical romance novels).

Meg Cabot was born on February 1, 1967, during the Chinese astrological year of the Fire Horse, a notoriously unlucky sign. Fortunately she grew up in Bloomington, Indiana, where few people were aware of the stigma of being a fire horse -- at least until Meg became a teenager, when she flun
More about Meg Cabot...

Other Books in the Series

1-800-Where-R-You (5 books)
  • Code Name Cassandra (1-800-Where-R-You, #2)
  • Safe House (1-800-Where-R-You, #3)
  • Sanctuary (1-800-Where-R-You, #4)
  • Missing You (1-800-Where-R-You, #5)

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“You'll blow up a helicopter, but you won't go out with me? What is wrong with you?” 156 likes
“I don't think he could ever be a serial killer. He's way too shy. That Ted Bundy guy, he was pretty outgoing , from what I heard. -Jess about Doug p. 107” 40 likes
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