When Lightning Strikes by Meg Cabot (1-800-Where-R-You #1) Book Review

When Lightning Strikes

Book Review by Debbie Winkler

when lightning strikes


Series: 1-800-Where-R-You #1
Author: Meg Cabot
Publisher: Simon Pulse (January 2007)
ISBN: 1416927050, EAN: 9781416927051
Page Count: 272 pages
Format: paperback

Target Age Group: young adults
My Rating: 5/5 stars, Absolutely Hilarious – Don’t Miss It!


It was all Ruth’s fault. If Ruth hadn’t started crying when Jeff Day told her that they would have to bury her in a piano case, then Jessica “Jess” Mastriani would never have punched Jeff in the mouth. Then she wouldn’t have been sent to Mr. Goodhart’s office, where she had to endure another lecture on temper management, and she wouldn’t have been assigned another week of detention. Still, detention wasn’t that bad that day because she got to sit next to Rob Wilkins, a hottie who always ended up in the back row (alphabetical order) and she never would have known that he had a totally cherried out Indian motorcycle that she was just dying to ride. It was a sign of her affection for Ruth that she turned down a ride on Rob’s motorcycle to walk home with her so that she wouldn’t be alone. All Ruth could talk about was how he was a grit and that townies just didn’t go out with grits. As if Jess even cared when Rob was so hot! Jess couldn’t believe that Ruth was harping about Jess liking Rob when she left her perfectly functional car at home to try and lose weight by walking to school to pick up Jess – with a big storm on the way! The thunderstorm was on them before they knew it and so Jess & Ruth took refuge under the metal bleachers on the football field – where Jess was struck by lightning.

The next morning, Jess woke up knowing the location of two kids whose pictures were on the back of the milk carton. Not just the location, but the exact address. Jess called the number on the back of the carton, gave them the info and quickly hung up. Before Jess knew it, there were reporters camped out around her house, a military base who wanted to study her, FBI agents following her every step and one of the kids that she found had good reason to want to be lost. So when Jess had to escape from the military compound, get Sean back to his mother (who was in jail), convince Rob to date her even though she was only 16 (he was 18), and then somehow convince everyone that she didn’t have this magical power she knew that it was all definitely Ruth’s fault…


This was an absolutely hilarious book. Jess is such an great character, very tough and never afraid to say exactly what she is thinking. I was laughing out loud through the whole book. The other characters are great, too, and you wonder if there are any normal people in Southern Indiana. Jess has a pretty cool power, but it doesn’t help protect her from anything or anyone so she has to stick up for herself. The storyline was great and kept you guessing as to what Jess was going to do. If you have enjoyed any of Meg Cabot/Jenny Carroll’s other books, you will love this one – a must read!


This book deals with mental powers, teen angst, unrequited crushes and growing up a little different.  Recommended for ages 12 and up.

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Filed under Fantasy Books, Humorous Books, Young Adult Books

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