Be Ready for the Lightning by Grace O’Connell

Be Ready for the Lightning

Be Ready for the Lightning by Grace O’Connell

 Published: 2017



Be Ready for the Lightning by Grace O’Connell is a work of fiction.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Second, I must confess that this is not my normal genre, so although my rating may not be high, I know the majority of people will eat this one up.  The three stars that I give this book is solely for the prose.  O’Connell is a really good writer.

I did, however, have a problem with the actual plot.  It told the story of Veda, a young woman from Vancouver, who is held hostage on a bus in New York, and whose bravery saves the day.  It alternates between Veda’s life before and after the event.  It is a tale of friendship, love, family and bravery.  It is also a story of mental health issues, violence, lies and deceit.  Unfortunately, as good as this plot sounds, I felt it missed the mark.  There was no excitement, no suspense.  I actually liked the character of her brother Conrad more than Veda.  He had substance, and I could have read a book about him!  This book became a very long read, because I kept waiting for something to happen.

Again, I really enjoyed the writing.  It was crisp, clean, and her characters were quite deep (if a bit boring).  Her imagery was wonderful.  That and the fact that the author is Canadian, earned Grace O’Connell the 3 stars.  

Now, I know there will be a lot of others who find this book thrilling, so please, give it a chance.  These are only my opinions, and they really only matter to me!


Read: May 2017


Favorite Quotes from Be Ready for the Lightning:

I have a theory,” said Conrad, his own loaded fork hovering in the air, the artificial icing a bright white buzz. “That people either want to be free or be safe. And pretty much everything they do boils down to that wanting.”

“I wasn’t afraid of what might happen to me. I was afraid of what I might do. Of what I might do wrong. Not afraid of being hurt, but of hurting.”

“It struck the top of the building, and no one got hurt, because they built that tower so tall to catch the lightning. To keep everyone safe. It made me feel safe.”


About the Author: Grace O’Connell is a Canadian writer.  Her work has appeared in various publications and anthologies.   She has taught creative writing at George Brown College and the University of Toronto.


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