BLOG TOUR! Struck by Jennifer Bosworth: Guest Post + GIVEAWAY!

Posted May 9, 2012 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 28 Comments

Hello Everybody!
Today is my stop on the
STRUCK by Jenn Bosworth Blog Tour!
I am SO excited!

I have something awesome for you today!

I read and shared my thoughts on STRUCK way back at the end of January 2012 and, you guys, I loved it so much. Really, I had such a great time reading this book. I loved the story. I loved the world-building. And, yes, I loved the crazy cult too. Here’s an excerpt from my review about the author’s use of “religion” in her book: 
“…I was not bothered by the use of religious themes/cults in this book at all. I thought it was written well without being preachy or judgmental, and I never felt convicted in my faith while reading…” ME! I said this on January 31, 2012
(You can read my thoughts on STRUCK Here)

STRUCK Author Jenn Bosworth has stopped by the blog today to discuss writing about a certain touchy subject in her book!


The “R” Word:
Adventures in Writing about Touchy Subjects

I have recently hit a nerve with readers.

My debut novel, Struck, takes place in earthquake ravaged Los Angeles, where my protagonist, a seventeen-year-old lightning addict, faces off against two rival doomsday cults in a battle of apocalyptic proportions.
One of my cults is controlled by a blind televangelist/prophet named, well, Prophet. Rance Ridley Prophet, to be exact. He is the leader of the Church of Light, and claims that God is about to send an apocalyptic storm to destroy the wicked world. Only his followers will be saved.

Prophet’s followers follow him as though they are the blind ones. They do whatever Prophet tells them to do, which includes blanketing the city and preaching the word of Rance Ridley to whoever will listen. And, to my protagonist’s surprise, hordes of people DO listen. This is Los Angeles, after all, a city that has a reputation for thriving on shallowness, greed, and a certain amount of debauchery. It is not known for its piety, unless you count yoga or wine drinking as religion.

But the earthquake, which was predicted by Prophet, has left the people of Los Angeles shattered and afraid. And when people are afraid, they often listen to whoever offers to protect them. To save them.

This scenario might strike you as completely fantastical. Or it might strike you as too plausible for comfort. Or it might leave you with the impression that I’m taking a jab at religious folks, and if you are religious, it might make you want to punch me in the face.

Please don’t do that. I like my face. I want to keep it intact.

I want to emphasize that Struck does not address religion. It addresses religious fanaticism. But you will recognize certain features that I borrowed from existing religions: revivals, dressing in all white, having apostles, the laying on of hands, so on and so forth. The Church of Light in Struck is a Frankenstein monster of familiar religions, but raised to the power of ten. My fictional “religion” has much more in common with cults like the Peoples Temple of Jonestown massacre fame and the Branch Dividians of the Waco debacle than it does with any traditional religion.

I went into the creation of this book knowing full well that you can’t write about the dark side of the Big R(eligion) without hitting a few nerves. Before Struck was even released, I began to receive flack for my decision to tackle the theme of religious fanaticism, and how it can validate or excuse certain harmful behaviors.

So, you might wonder, why did I choose to write about a subject that I knew from the start was going to be the equivalent of kicking the hornet’s nest?

Well . . . someone has to. And it might as well be me. It’s a relevant subject, and there is no better place to explore topical matters than in YA literature. I want to get at young people when they’re still forming their beliefs and deciding what their unique perspective on the world will be. And, more than anything, I want to speak to those who like to question the world around them. Who refuse to follow blindly, and choose instead to think for themselves and decide what’s right for them.

But more than anything, I want to write to a teenage me. Struck is the book I wish I’d read as a teenager, because I needed it. And I know there are teens out there who need this book, just like I did.

I’d rather risk leaving some readers angry in order to reach the ones who’ll be inspired to think about this issue. If there is a subliminal message in the pages of Struck, it is this: Don’t let fear rule your life, and don’t let anyone else do your thinking for you.

That’s not such a bad message . . . right?


Thank you, Jenn!
It’s an absolutely pleasure to have you here today!
You are welcome here anytime. I mean it.

Thanks to the generosity of 
Jenn Bosworth and Macmillan Publishing,
I am able to offer a copy of STRUCK to ONE LUCKY WINNER!
PLUS: It comes with a cool LIGHTNING TATTOO!
(US/Canada Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Make sure to stop by the other stops on the
STRUCK by Jennifer Bosworth Blog Tour!
I made it easy for you & listed the blogs below!
(Hint: There may be other giveaway opportunities.)

Monday 5/7                       Wastepaper Prose
Tuesday 5/8                       Book Hounds YA
Wednesday 5/9                  Into the Hall of Books
Thursday 5/10                    From A to Z
Friday 5/11                        Moonlight Book Reviews
Saturday 5/12                     Short and Sweet Reviews
Sunday 5/13                       Christina Reads YA

Monday 5/14                     Good Books and Good Wine

Tuesday 5/15                     Books With Bite
Wednesday 5/16                Bewitched Bookworms
Thursday 5/17                    Anna Reads
Friday 5/18                        Diary of a Book Addict
Saturday 5/19                    From the TBR Pile

Jennifer Bosworth lives in Los Angeles, California, where lightning hardly ever strikes, but when it does she takes cover. She is the writer half of a writer/director team with her husband, Ryan Bosworth. Learn more about her at


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


28 responses to “BLOG TOUR! Struck by Jennifer Bosworth: Guest Post + GIVEAWAY!

  1. I applaud you for addressing the subject of religious fanatacism. Not only do you have the right to do it, you need to if only to bring about some needed discussion about it! Makes me want to read the book even more. Thanks for this post, Jenn, and for having the courage to write the book!

  2. Being from the bible belt, it's easy to understand religious fanaticism. I really like books that address things like this. I keep hearing such great things about this one! I'm excited to read it.

  3. I think you should write about anything that you want to write about. Maybe you will open some people's eyes and mind on the subject of religion. I can't wait to read Struck now. I want to read it even more now also.

  4. Christina K.

    I don't think religion should be off limits at all, and I know it often is. It can be alienating or preachy but in a post-apocalyptic novel like Struck religion will be a focal point, to make sense of what happened and as a way of filling the power vacuum. And there will be rival cults – I think it's only realistic, regardless of the types of religions represented.

    It sounds like such an awesome book!

    Thanks so much:)

  5. Thanks for the post Jenn.
    Unfortunately religion can be a touchy topic among those whose belief in any specific creed filters everything they see and do. It's a shame that such people miss out on so many of the joys of being a fully functioning human being but, ironically, it's of their own free will.

  6. I think that Religious Fanaticism is a very real issue in the world. The funny thing is that if you put it into a fantasy world, nobody would have noticed. But, because you chose the real world, it makes some people uncomfortable. Especially since it borrows from so many religious ideas. Honestly though, what cult doesn't? Anyway, I applaud you for writing this book, Jenn. I look forward to reading it (after I unbury myself from all the books I have in my TBR list!).

  7. I fully intend to read your book. I have the ARC in my TBR pile. I am really excited to see how you tackle the Big R in your book especially since I'm sure we will share similar opinions. Big high fives for kicking the hornet's nest…you're right, it has to be done & I applaud your courage!

  8. Alyssa Susanna

    Cults, fanatics, worlds, I'm excited!!! This is such a strong and controversial-sounding book, but I can't wait to read it! Struck has been on my list forever, I know it won't disappoint. Congrats on the book release, and thanks for the wonderful book tour!

    Alyssa Susanna

  9. Hi Jennifer,
    I am really intrigued by Struck, especially since it deals with religious fanaticism and I am a very religious person, especially for a teenager because most teenagers have very loose beliefs and are not religious. It will be interesting to read aboutthe effects of religious fanaticism, especially since it is so very critized here in the U.S. Thanks for writing this guest post!

  10. I'm really excited to read this, partly because of your take on religion and cults. Plus I love to see my home town destroyed. 😉 I also want to see that movie The Sound of My Voice, which also has a sci-fi twist on cults.

  11. Thanks for the great guest post. I think talking about issues that are often avoided is very important in teen literature, because sheltering kids from things in the world only leads to ignorance in their adult life. More people need to be less concerned about offending each other and more concerned with having educational and informative discussions on topical issues.

  12. Your messages is so right one, in my opinion. I mean, people totally believed Harold Camping (I think is right)last year when he advertised all over the country about the end of the world on May 25. It is quite unfortunate that his latest prediction was not to be. Too bad that the world is still standing here. I find it such a mysterious concept of why people still continue to follow him, even though he got the date wrong for the trillionth time. It would save them much grief and money to not even start guessing.

  13. Being from the south, I am in the bible belt. I love the story line of your book and really look forward to reading it. I have heard good things about it. Thanks for stopping in at The Hall of Books and for the opportunity to win Struck!

  14. I enjoy her message. I think that's valid point, something substantial to say in her novel. Fear does some insane things to peeps everywhere, and that can be a positive to hear, that letting others make decisions for you out of fear isn't the way to go. I can see how she would get a lot of crap for tackling this topic too. Hmmm… I can't wait to explore my own feelings on the book. 🙂

  15. Great post!! I'm really glad you'd rather deal with angering some people. It's all about sticking to your guns. Know what you believe in!

  16. P.S You may have remove me from the giveaway – I didn't see the US/Canada thing until I got to the bottom and tweeted and it was on there – you neglected to write it on this post.

  17. "And, more than anything, I want to speak to those who like to question the world around them. Who refuse to follow blindly, and choose instead to think for themselves and decide what’s right for them."

    LOVE that you aren't afraid to tackle the big issues. You should be able to do that, it's called your opinion and you should be able to express it freely and without reservation.

    Oh, and I think the name Rance Ridley is awesome! It's so smarmy sounding, perfect for a shyster self prophet or a porn star (It's got that whole Dirk Diggler vibe to it:))

  18. Not a bad message at all… I've been hearing about the religious side but I didn't realize until reading this post that the book focused on the extreme side of it. I'm always interested in reading or hearing about people that blindly follow their faith and it's something that I really don't understand the motive behind sometime. I am even more excited to read this now 🙂 Thanks for the guest post and giveaway!


  19. I got to read an ARC copy (hope to own a copy soon!) and have to say, i think how STRUCK handled the religion aspect wonderfully! I don't think it favored or offended one side or another; and it did really well presenting itself as a topic for discussion and dissection. It's wonderful that Jennifer faced this head on, and I think it paid off!

  20. Hi Jenn and Asheley! Thanks for this fantasbulous post, girls! I REALLY loved reading your guest post, Jenn! The premise of your book (especially the whole Prophet thing and people blindly following him, causing harm and destroying everything in their path) sounds very familiar to me. In a really good way. Perhaps it's because I grew up reading Stephen King (huge fan!), or maybe I'm a sucker for darker undertones in the story – like you said it might be totally fantastical to some, but to me.. all too plausible and therefore really scary! I love a good scare, though, and Struck also sounds like an action-packed and thrilling read – I am so very excited to read it!!! Thank you so much for the chance to win it! Fingers crossed!

    Great post Asheley!! 😀 <3

  21. I haven't read Struck yet, but I'm excited to read about the religious stuff in the book. I remember when The Golden Compass movie was coming out, I received so many emails telling me not to see it because Pullman kills God. I had actually read the trilogy and I loved it. Sure, the beliefs weren't my own, but it made me think of my own and it helped strengthen my own beliefs because I questioned what I really believed. I love books that make me think about that stuff. Too many people follow blindly and need to think for themselves. Good for you for taking this topic on!

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