When Lightening Strikes, 1-800-Where-R-You Book 1

I have been listening to people rave about Meg Cabot's 1-800-Where-R-You series for years. Yes, years. But I could never, ever find the books in my library. See, most of the covers are like the one in this post and say "Meg Cabot" on them. But a couple of weeks ago I clued in (sometimes I am slow) and realized that while recent editions say that, the original copies were published under one of her pen names - Jenny Carroll. So I plugged Jenny Carroll into the catalogue and voila! Coincidentally that cover over there that says "Meg Cabot" on it is the one that I checked out from the library that I had to request by searching for "Jenny Carroll". (It does show up under Meg Cabot it turns out but there are over 100 entries for her and I swear I looked through them all.)

Having read the first book in one sitting, and then downloaded the second book in the series onto my Sony Reader the next day, I can say that these books *are* good and I absolutely understand why people keep asking her to write more of them.

Jessica (Jess) Mastriani is your typical 16 year old teenager. That is if your typical 16 year old teenage was spending ever day in detention until the end of time because they keep getting into fights with football players (he called her best friend fat). And if typical teenagers wore dresses that matched their mother's on special occasions because their father promised to buy them a motorcycle when they turn 18.

Personally Jess thought that things were going pretty well, all things considered. At least they were until the day that she got struck by lightning. Actually, that wasn't so bad. It's not like she was really hurt. But when she woke up the next morning she knew where to find two kids that had gone missing. She called 1-800-Where-R-You and told them. Then it happened again the next day. So she called back. Then the next day. And the next day. Until the Feds show up. Life goes topsy-turvy and Jess is left wondering if she has a gift or a curse.

If any of this sounds familiar and a bit like a tv show, it is. The television show 1-800-Missing, or in some places just Missing, (Caterina Scorsone, Vivica A Fox & Mark Consuelos) was based on the series. If you've seen it Jess is way more assertive in the book than in the series. The federal agents in the book are well...let's just say you really are not rooting for them.

Yes there are parts of it that are over the top. After all, this is Meg Cabot we're talking about right? But this one was over top in a way that I didn't care about (as opposed to Airhead which I just could not finish).

I really, really liked Jess. A lot. She's just one of those characters you can't help but root for even if by times you have no sweet clue why she's doing something.

I definitely recommend it if you are looking for a fun diverting read, with emphasis on the fun.