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The Odds of Lightning

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  1,012 ratings  ·  148 reviews
A bolt of lightning inspires an incredible journey in this charming, magical realism adventure that takes four teens on an all-night journey through the streets of New York City.

Extraordinary things happen when we least expect them.

Tiny, Lu, Will and Nathaniel used to be best friends. Then life-defining events the summer before high school tore them apart. Now, three years
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published September 20th 2016 by Simon Pulse
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Tracy Dishman All 4 were struck by lightning. So I believe its each their own individual bolt.
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Average rating 3.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,012 ratings  ·  148 reviews

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♛ may

I wanted to chuck this book long before it was finished because honestly, if a contemporary is gonna be almost 400 pages, you gotta make it 400 ENTERTAINING pages.


The Odds of Lightning takes the reader on a journey through the lives of four characters. The summer before highschool brought upon a rift in the group, each character leading their life in a different direction than the rest. But when they all get hit by lightning at a party, and begin to experience rapid changes both physically and
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing


content warning: language, crude jokes, sexual content (nothing explicit, but farther than I’m a-okay with), DEEP EMOTIONALLY SCARRING FEELS.
Hannah M.
Dec 09, 2016 rated it liked it
I had to put this book off for a while, because I suddenly lost interest. At first, it was really great. But then, things changed, and I had very mixed feelings. On one hand, the plot twist was interesting. On the other hand, it made things much too cheesy, and I picked up this book for something a bit different. But I did like the ending quite well, so overall, this book was rather good.
Sep 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Genuinely enjoyed this one. It's sweet and easy to connect to, and one twist was so well done I was actually surprised. And I enjoyed the blend of realistic fiction with a touch of fantasy/magic realism.

Though I'm not sure the author knows how SATs really work. Haha.
Jan 01, 2017 rated it liked it
That ending kind of messed me up!!
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Odds of Lightning is about four children (Tiny, Lu, Will, and Nathaniel) who used to be best friends. Later, after specific events before high school, the kids' valuable friendship is ripped apart. Three years later, the group rarely talks. Determinedly, Nathaniel focuses on obtaining a renowned science scholarship. Will has transformed from a class clown to a high school soccer star. Lu has grown into a great actress. Tiny, a shy and poetic girl, is slowly becoming "invisible."

The night b
Carlie Sorosiak
Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There was magic everywhere in this city. You just had to know where to look.

I absolutely devoured The Odds of Lightning. It has everything I want in a YA contemporary: love, friendship, loss, superhero-y adventure, redemption. I found myself gravitating towards each of the four main characters in unique ways; their voices are so distinct, and - especially on a craft level - that's super admirable. If I had to pick a favorite character, I'd say Nathaniel, because I love, love, love all of his ban
Like many people I thought that the description made this sound good. However, it was quite disappointing. My biggest issue was that the superpowers weren't really a part of the story. It focused more on the other stuff. I don't know about anybody else but I felt there wasn't any real connection with these guys. It left me wondering how they were friends in the first place. The last thing about this was the ending. I felt it was one of those WTF endings and I hate those. ...more
Isabel S.
Nov 28, 2016 rated it did not like it
The premise of the story caught my eye, so I thought that I would give it a shot.
Unfortunately, I think that the author botched what might have been a good idea. It was very disappointing, especially the ending where it fell entirely flat.
Nov 15, 2016 rated it did not like it
Oh my god, this was such a dumb book. Two stars for atmosphere and a really fun first fifty pages. The supernatural twist though - so. bad.
Jacob Mattmiller
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
The Odds of Lightning by Jocelyn Davies is about four people who used to be best friends going on a journey to save their lives. Tiny, Lu, Will and Nathaniel have finals tomorrow so Will throws a party. Tiny, Lu and Nathaniel manage to all run into each other at the party on the roof of Wills house where they all get struck by lightning. The lightning gives them what they all want and feel. Tiny starts to turn invisible because that's how she always felt when they all hung out. Lu starts to lose ...more
Stephanie Chia
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This isn't a story about superheroes, even though that's how we felt sometimes. It's not about extraordinary creatures. It's just about us, and the extraordinary things that happened to us when we were least expecting them.

This book was electric. It was charge, and it was energy, and it was magic and wonder all at the same time and I absolutely loved it.

Meet our 4 protagonists: Tiny, Lu, Nathaniel and Will. They once were friends, but not anymore. And on one special, magical night before the SA
Oct 15, 2016 rated it liked it
The Odds of Lightning is about what happens when your greatest wishes and worst fears come true. It's kind of an It's A Wonderful Life-esque kind of thing, except without all the heartwarming family-friendly warm squishies. Because some of the language (like the gratutious f-bombs) is definitely NOT family friendly. Not that I'm judging or anything. I've been known to drop an f-bomb or two. Especially when hitting my funny bone or stubbing my toe or stepping in fresh cat vomit while traversing a ...more
Caro reads and weeps 🥑💗✨
DNF: boring, slow, and not good at all
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 16, 2018 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeanny Linh
This was so cute and goofy and nerdy, I loved it! Science plays an important role here and the majority of the main characters are nerds--whether they admit it or not. And they're also intelligent, and they talk about nerdy things with no shame whatsoever. Loved it loved it loved it.

It sometimes didn't seem believable, though. I mean, Tiny was disappearing and appearing every minute and no stranger freaked out? The only one showing good sense was Cleo(view spoiler)
Ashley Urquhart
Sep 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Tiny, Lu, Nathaniel, and Will all used to be friends--they called themselves the "Science Club"--but everything changed for them the summer before they started high school. Now, they barely even speak or acknowledge each other .Tiny and Lu say that they're "best friends" but they don't really act like it. Will calls Nathaniel whenever he needs someone to study with and no one else is around. The night before the SATs they all happen to be at the same party celebrating the "Stormpocalypse". They ...more
Jun 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Super quick read and easy to get through, but it was cringy at pretty much all times. Cute, but I don’t think I would recommend it.
Darby Cupid
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this. Teenagers well written. Dialogue hard to follow at times as it swaps between characters quickly. Still worth a read. Good modern YA.
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It was one of the best books i read in a while
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it

The Odds of Lightning was an AMAZING book.

I loved the friendship between the characters.
The way the setting was laid out was fabulous.
The relationships were adorable.

I didn't really like the ending. I thought that it kinda ruined everything that was built up.
There is a little bit of profanity in this book, as well as a scene where two of the characters get a bit close. If you are younger, or if you like the books you are reading to be censored, I would not recommend it.

Dec 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Great start disappointing ending
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book was about four longtime friends that separated at the start of high school but were brought back together by one unlucky, or lucky, night. On the night before the SAT's, Lu, Will, Nathaniel, and Tiny are all brought back together for one wild night that includes being struck by lightning, superpowers, and even a body swap. They learn things about each other that they never knew, reconcile their friendship, and experience a night they'll never forget.
I only rate this book a two out of
Alexa Herondale-Cullen
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
THIS BOOK WAS FRICKEN AMAZING!!!!!!! I could not put it down!!!
Oof, the odds were not in my favor for "The Odds of Lightning." An almost 400 page sprawl that promised a story of four friends who drifted apart during high school suddenly brought together again when they are all struck by lightning and have to band together to mitigate the strange supernatural effects they receive from it. Superpowers! Reconciliation! Magical realism! Except...not really?

"Tiny, Lu, Will and Nathaniel used to be best friends" two pairs middle schoolers who constantly say they
Nov 20, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book wasn't terrible, but it wasn't amazing either. I feel like this book had a lot of potential, but many things weren't explored at all. The books with the whole "let's what to find out what the secret is" are getting old. ...more
Oct 14, 2016 rated it liked it
This was...ok. Interesting premise, but all of the characters fell flat for me, alas.
Dec 17, 2016 rated it liked it

I actually wrote a whole long in depth review about this but then goodreads deleted it so yeah I'm not doing that again. Basically it was good but it kinda fell short for me
Aug 13, 2020 rated it liked it
This book was a mess
That's not to say it's bad or was not enjoyable to read
All I'm saying is this book was a mess.
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Jocelyn Davies is a children’s book editor in New York City, where she was born and raised. She studied English and theater at Bates College in Maine. A New Yorker at heart, she currently lives in Brooklyn. She is also the author of the A Beautiful Dark series, and has never been struck by lightning—at least not literally. Visit Jocelyn online at and follow her on Twitter @Jocely ...more

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