Thursday, 4 August 2011

Book Review: Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson.

Product details:
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books.
Release date: August 4th 2011
Paperback, 320 pages.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Ages: YA
Source: Received from publisher for review.

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...

A fast paced electrifying debut, Sarah Alderson’s Hunting Lila sizzles right from the very first page with non-stop action and a seriously hot romance that will take your breath away. I couldn’t get enough of this one, and I guarantee that if you love gripping page-turners with feisty heroines and seriously hot guys, then you will adore this book!

Lila Loveday has two huge secrets. One is a special ability that enables her to move objects with her mind, and the other is the fact that she’s been in love with her brother Jack's best friend, Alex,  since what seems like forever. Now Lila’s two secrets are about to collide in a series of events that will change her life forever. When a mugging exposes Lila’s ability, she panics and goes on the run from London to California where Jack and Alex have been working for a special undercover organization called The Unit. It soon emerges that  these two are hiding some pretty big secrets about their work, including the fact that they are on the hunt for the people who murdered Lila’s mother five years previously. And maybe they have just found them. But what Lila soon realizes during her time in California is that nothing is as it seems, and one wrong move could bring her whole world crashing down.

This book had me hooked from page one. Sarah Alderson has a wonderfully engaging writing style which immediately immersed me in the lives of her characters, while the book reads like a fast-paced action movie that is part X-Men, Part ‘24’ and a whole lot of fun. Of course, with all good action packed plots, there has to be an action hero, and here’s where I introduce you to Alex. Just you wait until you meet this guy. You will fall. Hard. It’s easy to see why Lila, who has known and loved Alex all her life, turns to mush whenever he’s near. As a guy in his twenties, he’s older and more worldly than her, and then there’s the fact that he’s her brothers best friend. Awkward! Lila tries her best to hold it together whenever he’s around, but you’ll have to read the book to see how that works out for her. I warmed to Lila immediately. Wonderfully self-deprecating, she is totally aware that her crush on Alex is pretty much out of control, but she can’t help herself, and I am totally right there with her! Alex is totally hot, caring and considerate, dreamy and delicious; I could go on…I promise you are all going to love the romance in this book. It’s slow-burning, it’s smouldering and downright as sexy as YA can possibly be. You will swoon, I guarantee.

Let me say this though, the romance doesn’t detract from the action here. Hunting Lila is brimming with plot twists, conspiracies, big shocks and the whole shebang! The characterization is also very strong here. Along with Lila, Alex and Jack, the book contains a wonderful cast of secondary characters with some very interesting personalities and some very special abilities to boot. I can’t wait to find out more about Demos, Suki and the whole gang!

Hunting Lila is a wonderfully accomplished debut with major crossover appeal. Sarah Alderson has a great natural writing talent, and is definitely a writer to watch. While I was reading this book I felt like it belonged on the big screen and so I was super excited when I heard that the movie rights for Hunting Lila are currently being discussed. In addition to this, there’s a sequel to Hunting Lila in the works, but before that Alderson has another book called Fated releasing in January 2012. It’s all happening for this talented new author right now, and it’s so very well deserved. Hunting Lila is a stunning debut. Go read it!


  1. I loved Hunting Lila too! And of course, Alex. The romance was very great. I can't wait to read the next book! Great review :D

  2. oh yay. Nice to hear you enjoyed it! The premise and the cover sounds and looks really promising, so I can't wait to get my hands on this one too.

  3. Ahhhhh this sounds so good! I love a smokin romance, especially one loaded with tension which I imagine this one certainly is given the circumstances. So glad that the romance and the action are blended well to so that neither dominates and both are intrinsic to the story. Awesome review Leanna, can't wait to read this one!

  4. Alex sounds incredible. I must pick up a copy of this one. When does it come out in the US? I can't wait to read this one, especially since you loved it...I'm sure I will too. Great review, Leanna!

  5. Please tell me this one is coming to the US? If not I have to find a way to get it!

  6. oooh, you make the romance sound so good!! i'll have to add it to my list!

  7. I loved this book! I definitely swooned over Alex, he was amazing :). Glad you liked it, I seriously can't wait for the next book! Or for Fated (I've sort of become Sarah's stalker :P).

  8. Why are there so many books made into movies? Seriously? I need to hurry up and read them all before they hit the big screen. Yay, that this book is good! Great review.

  9. Thanks for the comments, guys - I guarantee you will all enjoy the romance in this one!

    Christina & Savy - I haven't heard anything about a US release for this one, so I'm not sure about that, but I do know that its being released in Canada later this year, or you could get it on The Book Depo with free international shipping! :)

  10. I really can't wait to start this it sounds amazing. even more excited now I've read your review of it, thanks for sharing!!

    The Cait Files

  11. Very nice blog. New follower. Good solid review. Never even heard of this book. Come visit me over at Livre De Amour-Books of Love Blog.

  12. Oh I am so excited for this! I was hoping my pre-order would arrive today but sadly it didn't. I really want to these amazing characters. Love your review :)

  13. I just bought this I'll be stalking the postie until it comes! Can't wait to meet Alex...awesome review :D

  14. @ Vicki - Oh, you will love Alex!

    To those who asked about a US release - I asked Sarah and there is no US release set as yet, but the book will be out in Australia & Canada in the next couple months! :)

  15. I've ordered this one from The Book Depo and seriously can't wait for it to arrive - it sounds action-packed, with a swoon-worthy romance and amazing characters - can't go wrong there!! :D

    P.S. I love the name "Suki" ... so pretty ... :)

  16. yet another brilliant review for this book, but it definitely deserves it!! :D

  17. Like other commentators I'm so glad this one is available through Book Depo. I've been interested in it since you featured the cover and synopsis on your blog awhile back ago. It sounds great! I love action-packed stories! Great review :)

  18. Also, it's half price on Book Depo right now, which is nice! :)

  19. i love this review leanna.

    i cant wait to meet all these characters and am thinking i will love it just like you did :)

  20. This book was amazing! I love Lila, she's so hilarious. Can't wait for more!

  21. I totally loved this book too! I am sooo excited for the next one; I think it's going to be called 'Catching Suki'... :)

    1. The next one is Losing Lila. :)

      Catching Suki is a short story. I think you can get it for free on Facebook!


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