Published: 5th August 2011 by Simon & Schuster
Format: Paperback, 318 pages
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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 …
I’ve read a few less than stellar reviews of Hunting Lila so I was prepared to be disappointed, but perhaps because I wasn’t expecting anything I enjoyed it immensely. For me this book is a thrilling adventure as Lila struggles to understand her powers and find acceptance among the two people she loves the most in the world.
I seem to be in the minority in that I liked Lila’s character – her irrationality and hopelessness in the face of her feelings for Alex seem realistic to me. Things are further complicated by the fact that Alex is her brother’s best friend, and is likely to see her as a sister. I also liked Lila’s sass and stubborn nature and although she sometimes behaves stupidly around Alex, I kind of found it endearing instead of annoying. On the other hand, I found her brother Jack to be pretty unstable, and sometimes I wanted Lila to get away from him because I thought he was dangerous.
The plot of this book is amazing – never letting up as things get more exhilarating with every page and Lila suddenly finds herself pursued by the same people who killed her mother. The exciting adventures are offset by the romance that develops between Alex and Lila, and although this aspect of the story never took over the urgency of Lila’s situation, it is very sweet to read.
While I did not appreciate all the secrets Alex and Jack kept from Lila regarding the mysterious Unit that they both work for, I completely understood Lila’s curiosity. Much like the proverbial cat, knowing that they are hiding the details of their jobs from her only makes Lila want to know even more, which I found amusing until it all went wrong. I really didn’t like Lila’s father for the same reasons – he seems hell-bent on keeping secrets from his daughter in a misguided attempt to keep her safe, but abandons her for days on end in London.
Hunting Lila is a great start to what is shaping up to be an awesome series – the way this book ends makes me very glad I have Losing Lila in hand! A perfect book for anyone looking for a quick, thrilling read, I would recommend this book especially to those who enjoy X-Men and Heroes.