In MISSING YOU, several years have passed since the end of SANCTUARY. Jess is now 19, has helped fight a war and has returned without her "Lightning GIn MISSING YOU, several years have passed since the end of SANCTUARY. Jess is now 19, has helped fight a war and has returned without her "Lightning Girl" powers and with a case of PTSD. She is living in New York with Ruth, Ruth's twin brother Skip, and Jess's brother Mike and spending her days miserable at Julliard. She and her maybe-boyfriend Rob are long broken-up so, when he shows up at her door wanting help locating his missing half-sister, Jess doesn't quite know what to do.
Meg Cabot had a huge task filling in the gaps while still moving the story toward a solid conclusion in a relative short amount of pages. I think, having read the entire series one after another, the jump in time was more jarring than it would've been to someone reading the books as they were initially published. The 'A' plot of the book is definitely the relationship (or lack-of) between Rob and Jess with the 'B' plot of Rob's missing sister tossed in there as an excuse to throw Jess and Rob together. While I definitely enjoyed the story and the closure it provided there were a few things that niggled at me throughout. First off, the whole 'everybody ends up in New York' thing felt contrived. Secondly, Rob may've achieved *too much* over the course of just a few years. I never felt throughout the series that Rob needed to throw money around in order to be good enough for Jess--he was good enough already. Also, I question the logic of breaking into homes to steal evidence as it would surely be inadmissible in court.
I did think the references to the Lifetime TV series based on the books were cute. Cabot did the same in the Princess Diaries books referencing the movies Disney made. I did enjoy how things were settled between Rob and Jess even if it did seem a bit quick (had there been more books in the series, I'm sure it would've been a more natural progression of events).
All in all, it was a good ending to the series that wrapped up the larger loose ends.
A note about the Kindle edition: A-OK. Didn't see a single formatting issue. ...more
In SANCTUARY, Jessica Mastriani takes on a white supremacy group who has already killed her new neighbor's teenaged son. When the local authorities faIn SANCTUARY, Jessica Mastriani takes on a white supremacy group who has already killed her new neighbor's teenaged son. When the local authorities fail to rescue a young Jewish boy who has been kidnapped, Jess and her maybe-boyfriend Rob infiltrate the group to stage a rescue of their own. Can they rescue young Seth or will they all end up as bodies in a cornfield?
This was the first time in the series that I really wondered how Jess (and Rob) were going to pull things off without ending up dead. I said in my review of SAFE HOUSE that I wished for more Rob and Cabot definitely delivered in this book. But Cabot (talking about FBI big guy Cyrus Krantz) referred to the X-Men villain Magneto as *Dr.* Magneto--my screams of horror have only just died down. It was an interesting book that I flew through.
A Note on the Kindle edition: Probably the cleanest Kindle edition of the series. Two or three words throughout the entire book converted incorrectly and are hardly worth mentioning. ...more
Jessica Mastriani returns from her summer vacation to discover one of her classmates has been murdered. If that wasn't bad enough, many of Jess's clasJessica Mastriani returns from her summer vacation to discover one of her classmates has been murdered. If that wasn't bad enough, many of Jess's classmates resent her for not being in town to save the girl with her 'Gift'. Then another girl from Jess's school goes missing and it's up to Jess to find her before she ends up dead, too.
This book was the strongest of the series so far. There was a real sense of urgency and I appreciated that the authority figures weren't so much depicted as 'Keystone Kops'. A little more character growth out of Jess would've been nice (wearing skirts to school instead of jeans doesn't really count). I wish Cabot would've peppered in more about Rob and his history in this book and the one prior. He's an awesome character but is more or less relegated to the guy who happens to show up just when Jess needs him.
A Note About the Kindle Edition: the only real issue I saw with the Kindle edition was extra space between paragraphs (like reading an article or story online). It's a minor distraction that doesn't take away from the story. ...more
Jessica Mastriani has two choices: spend her summer working the steam table at one of her family's restaurants or work as a Counselor at an O3.5 STARS
Jessica Mastriani has two choices: spend her summer working the steam table at one of her family's restaurants or work as a Counselor at an Orchestra Camp for gifted children. Jess chooses the camp. But her fantasy of girly gossip and French braiding sessions is shattered when she is reassigned to a cabin full of rowdy boys--one of whom is the camp bully. And, as icing to the cake, an anxious father appears at her camp desperate for Jess to use her 'gift' to locate his kidnapped five-year-old daughter, Keely. If that wasn't enough to spoil Jess's summer, one of her campers goes missing and she may've broken off more than she could chew when one of Keely's abductors decides he wants revenge.
CODENAME CASSANDRA was an enjoyable book and another quick, fun read. However, I had two issues with the story (and series in general so far). First issue: all authority figures are portrayed as incompetent, bumbling fools; especially the pair of FBI agents assigned to follow Jess. If this is supposed to be a running joke, it's a tired, stereotypical one. Second issue: Jess's black-and-white view that all missing children either want to be found or they don't--no room for middle ground. This is a knee-jerk reaction to the fact a young boy she found with her powers was actually in hiding from an abusive parent. Now Jess seems to be operating under the assumption that all custodial parents are scumbags with power and money and judge in their pocket until proven otherwise. She won't locate a missing child unless she knows for certain that child *wants* to be found. However, she isn't taking into account instances of children being abducted in infancy who may have little or no memory of their real parents. Should Jess refuse to find that child because they cling to their kidnappers who are the only parents they've known? What about children who have been manipulated or brainwashed into believing they were abducted for their 'own good'. Or children who have been threatened with bodily harm (or harm to their families) if they reveal their true identity? I hope this black-and-white view is challenged somewhere later in the series.
A note about the Kindle edition: there are far, far fewer conversion errors than in the first book of the series. The errors that are there could've been caught and corrected if the publishers would just send backlist conversions to a proofreader. ...more
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 brotJessica 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 altruistic reasons.
It is well known that Jenny Carroll is a nom de plume for Meg Cabot. I found WHEN LIGHTNING STRIKES on par with Cabot's other young adult novels. Jess is sassy and holds her own with the much bigger guys in detention. Her crush is a biker boy from the wrong side of the tracks who doesn't hesitate to help Jess when she needs it most. I plan on reading the rest of the series.
A note about the Kindle edition: throughout the book, the letter 'F' is occasionally dropped from words. Freshmen = reshmen, off = o, etc. It happens more often in the beginning chapters than in later. The first few instances I found jarring, but I got used to it in the end. And it doesn't happen so often that I'd suggest avoiding the Kindle edition.
However, a person shouldn't *have* to get used to such errors, not when they'd be easily caught if the publishers would just send ebook conversions to a proofreader for at least a single pass; something they should get in the habit of when converting their backlist titles into ebook formats. ...more