Tuesday, September 27, 2011

[Review] Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson

Title: Hunting Lila {goodreads}
Authors: Sarah Alderson
Publication (dd/mm/yy): 01/09/11
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
RRP: $16.99
Source: For review (thanks C at S&S!)
Age: 14+
Pages: 320
My Rating:

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. Or thereabouts.After a mugging on the streets of South London goes horribly wrong and 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. Trying to uncover the truth of why her mother was killed, and the real remit of The Unit, Lila becomes a pawn in a dangerous game. Struggling to keep her secrets 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...
My thoughts: 

A letter to my copy: "We laughed. We cried. We cringed and fought and pleaded and screamed. You and me, HUNTING LILA . . . I can say with assurance that I will not forget the time we've spent together. Don't worry though, we'll be together again soon - I'll be sure to revisit when I get the time to!"

What a remarkable debut HUNTING LILA is! Not only was it action-packed so that you couldn't help but get lost in its pages; it was wrought with emotions so raw and true that I really did fall in love. If Alderson can churn out this kind of stuff as a debut author, I can't wait to see how her later releases will compare.


In HUNTING LILA, we have Lila - our protagonist - caught in a mugging. Just as things get serious when a knife is involved, with only her mind, Lila points the knife right back at the mugger. Embarrassed at the development of her powers and afraid of what these abilities have led her to (almost) doing, she promptly runs away from her home to live with her brother Jack and his best friend Alex - both whom she hasn't seen since for ever. Not since three years ago when their mum was murdered and Jack, and Alex, moved away. With only a text message the night before, notifying the big news to her brother, she flies all the way from London to LA.

Jack, who is fiercely protective of his sister, demands she go back home; it's not safe here in Oceanside. Right. And south London isn't dangerous and she DIDN'T almost stab a guy in the eye when she was almost mugged. Not that she'd admit that to him because then she'd have a whole lot more to explain, as well as the fact that he'd hunt the guy down and kill him. And he could, considering his - and Alex's - training at The Unit.

But there's something strange about The Unit. What do they do exactly? Why are there hired scientists at the base, and why is it in calm, safe Oceanside in the first place?


Lila was a good, funny, strong-willed, stubborn but sensitive main character who I could easily understand. She has her flaws - she's impulsive and doesn't think things through, but her courageousness and the passion by which she sees things through are really something. I loved her dry wit more than anything, and also her clumsiness.

The adventure and action is just amazing. Every other reviewer/reader who has anything to say about this book will agree with me on that. The fast-paced-ness is one of the best qualities about this book.

What I do want to mention in good detail is the budding relationship between Lila and Alex. This is such a gorgeous pairing. It feels pretty paranormal, but what sets this pair apart from the rest is that it started from way back. Alex is Lila’s childhood crush, and even after time and space, those feelings never truly went away. Being more than a few years older than her however, he’s never thought of her as anything other than Jack’s baby sister.

If you had a look at my copy of Hunting Lila you’d see ripped up newspaper bits and sticky notes. I couldn’t get to the post-its on my bedside table quick enough. Lots of quote-worthy lines in this book! Not only is the story and cast a knockout, but the writing is pretty good for a YA paranormal. Nothing really too clunky, though the style may take a second to adjust to.

From cover to cover, Hunting Lila failed to disappoint me. Deliciously paranormal, I couldn’t get enough of this!


First lines

"Only when the tip of the knife started to shave against the white of his eye like scalpel about to pierce a boil, did I realise that I was the one holding it.
Or rather, controlling it.


* cheapest Australian e-store price



All links from Booko, because I'm too lazy to search each individual store anymore.

I have received this review copy in return for an honest review.

Challenge: 2011 YA Debut Author Challenge

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