Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson

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. Or thereabouts.

After a mugging on the streets of South London goes horribly wrong and 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. Trying to uncover the truth of why her mother was killed, and the real remit of The Unit, Lila becomes a pawn in a dangerous game. Struggling to keep her secrets 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...

Hunting Lila was a little bit like watching a teen movie: a fun blend of romance and soft-thriller-action. I'm labeling it as a popcorn munchie type movie[book]: a little bit swoony, smiley, action-y and definitely addictive. It even features some twist-y turn-y plot revelations in the end, adding some unpredictability and a bit of oomph to the climax.

I actually pretty much read this all in one go. It completely suited my mood at the time. I read a fair few adult thrillers and while Hunting Lila had that thriller aspect, it felt more like a mash-up of YA contemporary romance with soft-sci-fi aspects. It felt kind of like a guilty pleasure* as it was rather light and flirty to read.

In terms of plot my crude analysis is: the first 50% focuses a lot on Lila crushing on (22 year old, brother's best friend) Alex. It was smiley and full of all kinds of YA swoon. The second 50% was where the action kicked in and things veered to the "X-men" side of things.

I really liked the older YA vibe, the military base setting, and the British narration. And, I really liked Alex ;) (okay, it was a swoon-fest)

The verdict: Expect something light, flirty and fun ~ don't take yourself too seriously with this one. Good fun, good times. I am definitely reading #2 :) (which is the final book in the series, not planned to be a trilogy)

* also: the guilty pleasure label translates well for people who struggle with technicalities, any plot holes, plausibility. I devoured this and loved it, but I am cautious in recommending as I know a certain kind of reader may find themselves... irked by certain tropes, haha. Also, very focused on the swooning. Word of caution ;)

Hunting Lila is a UK debut. 
Have you read it? Are you interested?


  1. Sounds great! I do love a good swoonfest and I have no problem with a few plot holes, as long as I am having lots of fun!

    It sounds like the perfect read for the holiday season :)

  2. It's been a while since I had a good swoonfest, sounds like a good one to quench my fun flirty side. Thanks for the recomendation.

  3. Hunting Lila looks pretty good. And hmm, yes, I need some swoon right now, so I'll definitely be picking it up. Not so sure about the plot holes, but *shrugs* if Alex makes up for it, I'm not complaining :P

  4. Your review makes me wants to read it more!
    I'm putting it on my xmas wish list! ;)

  5. hmm... this teaches me to judge a book by its cover and title, because honestly, I was expecting something with a little more substance, but light and firty is good too. Good thing I don't mind swooning overload.

  6. Plot holes aside this sounds totally up my alley, love anything swoony and Xmen was my fave thing about Saturday mornings growing up. Plus I'm doubly (wink) interested if it's a duology, that way there's less waiting around for the conclusion!

  7. As I was reading your review, I was trying to decide whether I wanted to read this one or not. Then I got to the part where you said it wasn't a trilogy and I was SOLD. Great review!

  8. Loved this! I think I described it as 24 meets X-Men in my review! Couldn't get enough of the swoony romance. Swoon, swoon, swoon!!

  9. Great review, I'm glad you enjoyed this! I can't wait for Losing Lila (and of course, Fated). There's something I find so addictive about Sarah's writing.

    Hee, and Alex <3 Enough said.... ;)

  10. You're right on all counts as usual, Nomes. I wasn't in the right mood to read this and didn't give it the break it probably deserves. Half swooning, half X-Men is the perfect way to describe it.

    I'll probably still read the second one but it will come from the library. Thanks for the heads up that it is only planned as two books instead of more. That's refreshing.

  11. A swoonfest with action sounds right up my alley now.

    I like your review, Nomes :) Talks about all the elements that find my favour.

    Glad to hear you're writing.

  12. I love a lighter, fun read sometimes. One that doesn't take itself quite so seriously and you can just read to enjoy reading instead of trying to analyze any deeper meanings:) I do love a good swoon fest, so I'm thinking this is one I need to be reading! Alex, here I come:)

  13. X-Men? Action? Swoon? Girl, count me IN.

  14. OK, so, I'm reading Fated at the moment (LOVE the start! want more more more!)

    I'd heard of Hunting Lila, but I didn't know much about it... I seriously thought it was contemp based on the cover alone... and popcorn fiction! YESSSS! Sometimes this is just exactly what you need. Awesomes.


Thanks for the commenty love :)