Bree T's Reviews > Hunting Lila

Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson
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's review
May 01, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary, paranormal, romance, suspense, supernatural, thriller, young-adult
Read from July 16 to 17, 2012

Lila has been keeping two secrets for years now – the first is that she can move objects with her mind. Telekinesis. The second is that she’s been in love with Alex, her brother’s best friend, for years. When an attempted mugging exposes her telekinesis ability and frightens her into thinking that she could potentially harm a person, Lila packs her bags and flees from London to sunny LA and her big brother Jack. Since Lila’s mother was murdered 5 years before, Lila has been separated from Jack and his best friend Alex. Now she’s run to them for comfort and she wants to stay with them in LA. She doesn’t want to go back to London and an empty house, a dad that’s never there.

Lila doesn’t exactly get the warm offers to stay permanently from Jack that she was expecting. Both Marines, Jack and Alex work for a mysterious offshoot known as ‘The Unit’. Lila soon discovers that Jack and Alex are both involved in hunting down the man (or men) that killed her mother and that these people also have mysterious abilities, such as Lila herself does. The Unit is hunting down anyone who has them, believing them to be less than human – all of a sudden Lila realises she could be a hot commodity. The group The Unit is hunting want her for her abilities and also as leverage to get back someone they care about, taken by The Unit. And if her brother’s employers find out about her, she could find herself in a lab being studied…and worse.

So Hunting Lila has been on my TBR list for a long time but the release of the sequel next month bumped it up to the top. I’d heard good things from a lot of my twitter friends and everyone was urging me to read it so I wasn’t surprised when I was sucked right in to this story from the very beginning. Lila is young and for the last few years she’s been unspeakably lonely. After the murder of her mother she was ripped away from her home, taken half a world away by her father who basically disappeared off to work, leaving her with a housekeeper. Her brother Jack stayed in the States, moving in with his friend Alex, the object of Lila’s strong but unrequited affections. Her ability to move things with her mind has been her secret but one day when she is almost mugged she’s frightened enough to almost harm her attackers with a knife, inadvertently. She flees to Jack and Alex on the West Coast of America and finds herself caught up in a mystery. Jack is incredibly overprotective, Alex too and it takes some snooping around for Lila to realise that they fear she will be taken by the group Jack and Alex are tracking and used as leverage to make an exchange.

I think Alderson captured Lila’s frame of mind quite well – she’s fled her unhappy life, she’s hiding a pretty big secret (well two actually, if you count her love for Alex) and she’s desperate to reconnect with her brother only to find that he’s not quite as happy about her staying permanently as she’d like. Lila is easy to sympathise with, easy to like. I think her awkwardness around Alex is also well done, she wants to appear older and sophisticated to him so that he doesn’t just think of her as Jack’s little sister but usually she ends up doing something clumsy. Even though she’s barely seen Alex in the last five years, she thinks of him every day and has come to California to see him every bit as much as she’s come to see her brother.

This book gets better and better the further you read in to it and the gang of ‘criminals’ that The Unit are tracking are a real high point. Time has been taken to really give them their own personality, flesh them out both as a group and also individually. I found myself interested in their story – interested in all their stories, including the real story behind The Unit and what they do. I’m glad I read this book now and not last year when it was first released because after some of the bombshells dropped towards the end, the wait would have killed me for the second book! Hunting Lila is a paranormal, but not in the way in which you might think – it’s something fresh and new in this genre for me. It’s also jam packed full of action – fast cars, glaring alarms, gunshots, middle of the night escapes. The first person point of view means that the romance lacks a little bit of depth because we only really get Lila’s desperate crush, her feelings shining through loud and clear but we don’t really have a clear pinpoint on Alex’s feelings. There are a few hints but they can also be explained away as protective or even older-brother style behaviour. I’d have liked a little more sizzling chemistry between the two of them but the rest of the story was so interesting that I could overlook that!

Cannot wait to read Losing Lila.

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Reading Progress

07/16/2012 page 113

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