Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson is about seventeen year old Lila who is suddenly taken to London by her father after her mother’s murder, separating her from her brother Jack and his best friend Alex – the guy she’s loved all her life (though she’s the only one who knows this). Shortly after her mother’s death Lila discovers that she has telekinetic abilities. For four years she carries this secret until a mugging exposes her to others. Lila leaves London behind and runs to California, into the arms of her best friends and protectors; Alex and Jack.
Happy to be with the people she loves best, Lila tries to simply forget what happened in London and enjoy the time she has with them. Jack and Alex have both joined the marine corps, and work for a secret organisation called The Unit – though Lila has never discovered what it is they do; only that they hope to track down her mother’s killer. Lila doubts her decision to come to California when she starts suspecting that Jack doesn’t want her there; but when she realises that Jack and Alex never leave her alone and that men from their unit are always watching their house, Lila starts suspecting that Jack and Alex fear for her safety.
Lila then learns that Jack and Alex are trying to capture a band of very dangerous criminals, who have now discovered that Jack has a sister. They hope to kidnap Lila in order to have collateral with which to bargain with The Unit. Content to be in Alex’s company, Lila doesn’t worry about the situation overmuch, but Lila soon discovers that there are others like her; people with special abilities – and that Jack and Alex’ job is to hunt them down, and “contain” them. The only people she trusts to keep her safe, are actually the very people whose job it is to capture her. Lila then discovers that her mother’s murderer is also a like her, only he’s the most powerful of their kind – and it is he and his cronies who want Lila.
Can Lila trust Jack and Alex with her secret? If they were to find out, would they still love her? Can she trust them to protect her when they have been trained to despise and dispose of her kind?
Hunting Lila is the most gripping read I’ve had in a really long time. The story is very well plotted and written, the characters are wonderfully developed and the intrigue of it all won’t allow you to put the book down until you’ve finished it.
Especially Lila’s fears about being considered a freak and her feelings towards Alex are wonderfully written – you as reader feel what Lila feels. Anytime an author can awaken such deep emotion within you, you’ve got a winner in your hands.
Hunting Lila and its sequel, Losing Lila, came highly recommended by my best friend, Erika – so automatically I bought both at the same time. What a relief. When I finished Hunting Lila I immediately picked up Losing Lila. This story is so gripping I couldn’t wait to read more.
I enjoyed this book every bit as much as The Hunger Games trilogy and the Twilight saga. One of my favourite books I've read all year.
Title: Hunting Lila
Author: Sarah Alderson
Number of pages: 320
Publisher: Simon & Schuster