The Odds of Lightning by Jocelyn Davies
A Book Review by Arthi Sivendra, West Orange Public Library Teen Book Reviewer
Three years ago, Tiny, Luella, Will, and Nathaniel were the best of friends for as long as they could remember. However, after one fateful summer, this all changed, high school began and they all went their separate ways.
Believing she is unremarkable and unimportant, shy Tiny has dove deeper into her shell. Luella and her large personality have taken to the stage of the school theater. After reinventing himself, Will is almost unrecognizable as the popular co-captain of the soccer team. And Nathaniel has kept complete focus on his studies, trying hard to live up to the near impossible standards his brother has already set.
Now, the night before the SATs, they cross paths once again at a party during one of the worst storms the city has ever seen. Though they are reluctant to dig up the memories of that one all but forgotten summer, fate sends them on an all-night adventure through the streets of New York City teaching them that sometimes you need to look to the past to make way for the future.
Jocelyn Davies vividly writes fully developed characters whose flaws make them relatable to teen readers. The text switches from the present to the past to reveal aspects of the story and characters as the main plot progresses, this keeps the readers interested while still preserving key events until they are relevant to the plot to have them make a bigger impact. In addition to the past and present text, each chapter is narrated from the perspective of one of the four protagonists. This allows the readers to understand the characters on a deeper level in order to empathize with them and become invested in their journey. Davies intertwines magic and science to create a wonderful reading experience. I would highly recommend The Odds of Lightning by Jocelyn Davies for teens who enjoy well written, magical stories about the strength of friendship.