A paranormal cat and mouse with great potential.
Genre: Y/A, Paranormal, Romance
No. of pages: 318
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 organization 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 realizes 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…
‘Hunting Lila’ is a fun adventure with a group of individuals possessing psy(chic) abilities pitted against a military group – and Lila is caught in-between. Certainly a great premise, and a very enjoyable novel, but it fell a little flat for me.
It’s hard to place why it felt unremarkable – quite possibly it was a little too busy – with so much going on in plot and sub-plot, where character development became secondary.
There was also an element of instalove between Lila and Alex – I found that kind of infuriating. But he was a nice piece of eye candy to read about.
The story had an air of the superficial as well – everyone was gorgeous, everyone was a hero – whether they had special abilities or military training and gadgets, a lot of the ordinary and the relatable just wasn’t there.
Plus, half of the cast intrinsic to the story line were introduced in the second act.
Now that the yucky stuff is done and dusted, let me share what I appreciated about ‘Hunting Lila:’
I loved the different types of psychic abilities – telepaths, astral projectors, a psychokenosist, telekinetics, sifters, all reminding me of the graphic novel (and subsequent film adaptation) ‘Push.’ This had a very strong X-Men Origins vibe.
Lila, our protagonist is very relatable in the beginning and I felt all of her choices during the actions scenes made complete sense. It was the decisions pertaining to her love interest that had my hackles up. Lila is cute, spunky, somewhat naive and has the potential to be a great character and force of nature. She does tend to flounder a bit and I’m excited to see where Sarah Alderson takes Lila in this trilogy.
Jack, Lila’s brother added a fun dynamic into the romance between her and Alex, as well to the bait-and-switch scenario.
But I think ultimately, the military aspect felt unrealistic, as did the change of heart Lila comes to – I hungered for more angst and tribulation for her predicament.
The twist at the end was a great surprise amongst a sea of predictability. This would fall more into my ‘guilty pleasure’ category, and something I’m on the fence about recommending to others. While I enjoyed ‘Hunting Lila,’ and there is certainly a lot to revel in, it didn’t have that spark.
I have a hunch what is going to happen in the second book for this series, and I will pick it up as I am still interested to see where this story will go. Let’s hope that it is even better than ‘Hunting Lila’ and redeems the author in my eyes. Bring on ‘Losing Lila!’
Overall feeling: A bit of a love/hate relationship for me.
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2 thoughts on “Book Review – Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson”
Sounds like it’s worth a read– just not immediately. It sounds like it suffers from the typical YA cliches (instalove, superficiality), but it comes with the territory of the genre, I suppose!
Yes the cliches sometimes make it hard to enjoy a novel if the narrative style isn’t up to scratch. I’m getting a bit more discerning with my TBR now. I’ll post a review of the second book soon (planning to read it in the next month). It is rated higher than the first on Goodreads, so should be exciting. Look forward to reading more of you reviews too 😉