Rating: 5/5 star
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…(Description from Goodreads)
~ * ~ * ~
I’m trying to find a way to make this review focus on more than just how epically awesome Lila and Alex are. I have a feeling it’s not going to work, because my current train of thought looks a little like this: “Oh.My.God.Freaking.Epic.Book.And.ALEX!OH.MY.GOD!” I’ll try to expand on that a bit more. ‘Hunting Lila’ was an amazing book, with addictive characters and such a well developed plot that you’re left with an aching need to find out what happens next.
From the very first page, Sarah Alderson had me hooked. It’s hard not to be interested when your main character is holding a knife to someone’s eye using only her mind. That’s right, Lila Loveday, seemingly normal teenager living in London, has a skill: the super cool power of telekinesis. Only, not so super cool for Lila, she freaks out; which is understandable since she suddenly realises the unknown power she has turns out to be not as harmless as she was trying to convince herself it was. Instead of breaking down and losing herself in despair; Lila does the only thing she can think of to make her feel normal again; she takes the first plane she can to California to see her brother, Jack and his best friend Alex; only to be thrown into a whirlwind of action and life-changing situations. It’s pretty epic.
I loved Lila. She was an easy character to connect with; you quickly identify with her thoughts and emotions. There’s no guessing with Lila. What you see is what you get and I loved that about her. You’re never unsure about who she is, she’s just Lila. I admire her mental strength. Despite letting her emotions get the better of her occasionally, at such a young age, Lila learns to hold herself in and to keep doing so for many years. We see that strength being carried into physical issues throughout the book. But it’s not just her mental control that makes you love Lila, bur her everyday teenage thoughts that make her seem so normal. Her attempts at being cool around Alex, while inside she’s dying with the need to touch him, are so full of emotion; you wind up believing you are Lila and wanting to hold onto Alex too.
Early in the book we are made aware of the dislike and tension between Jack and Alex’s workplace (The Unit); and the people they’re after – who we later find out have a lot more going for them than just their “criminal” status. The action brought about by the Unit’s hunt for bad-guys is unbelievable. I love action in books, almost as much as a good romance; and having that little – or big – spark that gets your heart pumping and leaves you wondering if there’s a gunman around the corner, or a high-speed chase in the future, makes me smile. ‘Hunting Lila’ does not disappoint with its action, especially towards the end of the novel. I’m dying to find out what will happen next with the Unit, we’re not finished with them yet. If Unit’s involved, there’s going to be trouble.
There is almost no way to completely explain the awesomeness that is Alex. You’re swooning over him before he’s even made it onto the page. You get the chance to compare the sweet and tender way he’s looked out for Lila as a child with the dedication he puts into protecting her as an adult and neither beats the other for top Alex-Is-Awesome position. Both the past and the present help to create this epic package that is Alex and you can’t help but love him. He would do just about anything to make sure Lila is safe and happy. I adore him.
‘Hunting Lila’ is a book full of secrets and mysteries. Lila’s secret powers and how they change her world, the Unit’s secret mission, the mystery of Lila’s mother’s death. You can’t turn the page without facing another question. So much happens towards the end. You think you have everything worked out, but you’re wrong. Who should Lila trust? What is still not being told to her? How do you find a way to survive in a world that has turned the way you think upside-down? There are a lot of questions left unanswered at the end of the book. I’m waiting impatiently for book 2, hoping they’ll be resolved.
An amazing, action-packed book that left me on the edge of my seat the whole way through. I can’t wait to see what Lila and Alex get up to next.
(Originally posted on Goodreads)