Sunday, 8 July 2012

Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson

Title: Hunting Lila
Author: Sarah Alderson
Series: Lila #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Target Audience: YA
Genre: Paranormal
Length: 318 pages

Story: 17-year-old Lila has two secrets she’s prepared to take to the grave. The first is that she can move things just by looking at them. The second is that she’s been in love with her brother’s best friend, Alex, since forever.

After a mugging exposes her unique ability, Lila decides to run to the only people she can trust—her brother and Alex. They live in Southern California where they work for a secret organisation called The Unit, and Lila discovers that the two of them are hunting down the men who murdered her mother five years before. And that they’ve found them.

In a world where nothing and no one is quite as they seem, Lila quickly realises that she is not alone—there are others out there just like her—people with special powers—and her mother’s killer is one of them…

Thoughts and impressions: The last few books I’d read prior to this one (my reviews do not appear on my blog in chronological order), I’ve found myself bemoaning the state of the romance. It turns out that Hunting Lila was just the book I needed! Despite the fixation on Alex being well on the obsessive side, it’s balanced out by how completely natural this obsession feels. Lila has loved this boy her whole life, of course she’s going to fixate on him. He has a heft presence in the book as well so the reader also has the chance to get to know him and come to understand the foundation of Lila’s love for him.

I really appreciated how insecure Lila felt about everything with him, especially the potential of what he most probably had got up to with other girls – something she’d rather not contemplate but thoughts that she can’t escape. At one point she says that it’s like playing Russian roulette with a full barrel – I couldn’t agree more! I love that imagery! It’s a feel that I could very easily associate with, one that I’ve felt myself.

Alex quickly took on epic proportions and became grossly misrepresented as he was alternately placed on a pedestal of perfection then had his every action obsessed over and picked apart. I realise that he was too much on the perfect side but we see him through Lila’s eyes only so I’m willing to let that slide. He gave me the warm and fuzzies for a few days after I finished a book, so definitely something I’m willing to forive!! It’s been a fair while since I took that sort of feeling from a book, so bravo miss Alderson.

Though the romance is really the main focus of the story, the plot really revolves around Lila’s telepathic abilities and where these place her with regards to the special ops team that Jack (Lila’s brother) and Alex are members of. Admittedly it was fairly easy to unravel the secrets here but this was such a character-driven novel that this didn’t matter to me in the least. It was all about how other characters reacted upon learning of Lila’s abilities and how this affected their preconceived notions.

The other characters with special abilities also made for quirky characters that really added to the dynamics of the novel. I’m not sure how it’d work with the telepath, though as she didn’t seem to be able to shut out Lila’s thoughts. I’m not sure whether this was because she’d been told to listen in or because she genuinely couldn’t tune her out. It seems to me the constant stream of another person’s thoughts would quickly start to have adverse effects and eventually result in insanity. Oh well.

It did take a while before event seemed to start to get anywhere at all but this was because there was a fair amount of ground work being put in place. It had me hooked from start to finish despite the slower first half. Now I just want more!

Style: I really enjoyed Lila’s voice. She appealed to me a lot – I could see a lot of the memory of the person I was as a teen reflected in her. I soon found myself very reluctant to put the book down, preferring to read rather than sleep on a Sunday night.

Final verdict: It turns out that this was just the book I needed to get me back in a more balanced reading state of mind. I loved it! On the one hand I wish I’d read it sooner, but on the other I’m glad I waited until now as the sequel is out soon! 5 stars

Extra notes: Some bad language is present. Sex is not.


  1. Oh I want this book! really I keep hearing amazing things about it. So I'm glad you enjoyed it as well. thanks for the review!

  2. Tweeted this one. Everyone can use a little of this. :-)

  3. A friend of mine read this and she totally loved it too! I have to make time and see what the fuss is about


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