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Extended Audio Sample The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors: A Novel Audiobook, by Michele Young-Stone Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (773 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michele Young-Stone Narrator: Coleen Marlo Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2010 ISBN: 9781400187294
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Crackling with atmosphere and eccentric characters, The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors explores the magic of nature and the power of redemption in a novel as beautiful and unpredictable as lightning itself.

Becca

On a sunny day in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, eight-year-old Becca Burke was struck by lightning. No one believed her—not her philandering father or her drunk, love-sick mother—not even when her watch kept losing time and a spooky halo of light appeared overhead in photographs. Becca was struck again when she was sixteen. She survived, but over time she would learn that outsmarting lightning was the least of her concerns.

Buckley

In rural Arkansas, Buckley R. Pitank’s world seemed plagued by disaster. Ashamed but protective of his obese mother, fearful of his scathing grandmother, and always running from bullies (including his pseudo-evangelical stepfather), he needed a miracle to set him free. At thirteen years old, Buckley witnessed a lightning strike that would change everything.

Now an art student in New York City, Becca Burke is a gifted but tortured painter who strives to recapture the intensity of her lightning strike memories on canvas. On the night of her first gallery opening, a stranger appears and is captivated by her art. Who is this odd young man with whom she shares a mysterious connection? When Buckley and Becca finally meet, neither is prepared for the charge of emotions—or for the perilous event that will bring them even closer to one another and to the families they’ve been running from for as long as they can remember.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The sense of melancholy, tempered by the resilience and heart of the characters, makes this ripe for Oprah or fans of Elizabeth Berg or Anne Tyler.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • "[A] powerful, beautiful novel.”

    Booklist (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marjanne | 2/14/2014

    " A somewhat unusual story, with fairly easy to relate to characters. I thought it was interesting how the author wove in different story lines, but kept the story moving. I liked that the author rapped up the ending for several of the minor characters, but left things pretty open for the main ones. I would probably read something by this author again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 2/9/2014

    " What a completely unique story. 3 stars for this one because I thought the story was original and characters were interesting. However, for me, it wasn't a page-turner. I did not become emotionally involved with the story and had trouble following the chronological structure of the book. Overall, I liked it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Margaret | 1/30/2014

    " This looked a lot more interesting than I found it to be. It was still interesting, and the characters developed well, I just didn't feel that it added anything to my life, or my understanding of the world. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendie | 1/22/2014

    " I liked the alternating chapters following Becca's & Buckley's lives, though it was a little hard to figure out who all the characters were at the beginning (both of their parents, friends, grandparents, etc). It was a complex tale, always evolving. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Audra | 1/12/2014

    " Great book! I loved that each character had their own chapter and that it bounced back and forth. I liked how you waited to see when and if they would meet up. The writing style kept you interested and wanting to know more about both character. I liked how she even mentioned details about the supporting characters in a light way that didn't weigh you down. Nice first novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paula Swenson | 1/12/2014

    " Quirky, well written and sad. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 M | 12/12/2013

    " Intricate and vivid characters, a expertly coincidental plot and the unique nature of lightning strikes all make up this wonderful debut novel. From Arkansas to New York, Galveston to Carolina this book pretty much goes everywhere and you will get swept up in it. A great story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 11/18/2013

    " This was enjoyable but shouldn't have read it when we were out near the water. Liked that it was a local author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marcie | 10/21/2013

    " An interesting juxtaposing of people and circumstances. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenna | 10/19/2013

    " this book was a fast read--loved the format, very entertaining I would have given it a 4 and a half stars if possible! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tim | 3/13/2013

    " I picked this up from the new arrivals shelf and was surprised how much I enjoyed it. An interesting and entertaining read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dana | 1/8/2013

    " Not sure what it was but really thought I would be reading this and not be able to put it down. The first part was a little slow for me then once it got about half way, it went faster. Really thought the 2 characters would have intertwined earlier also. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Natalie | 12/15/2012

    " I'm reviewing this book for Blackbird. Coming soon! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joann | 11/13/2012

    " Confused on the names and characters who kept reocurring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeannine | 4/17/2012

    " Quirky, imaginative and un-put-downable; written by a regional (Richmond, Virginia) author. Hope she writes more books! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vilate Van Leeuwen | 2/3/2012

    " Great book - FOUL language "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shally | 11/15/2011

    " Lots of little stories of several characters but mainly focused around 2 characters. Even though it's a pretty long book, it was a fast read because the chapters were short and it jumped around to different characters. It was an interesting read, but I probably wouldn't recommend it or anything. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rhonda | 10/30/2011

    " Engaging book about lightning strike survivors. There are two main characters, and many, many side characters, including survivors mentioned at the end of each chapter that are survivors' stories written into a "help" book within the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristi | 9/10/2011

    " Easy but more serious than usual poolside read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kris Spisak | 9/9/2011

    " The hard lives of these complex characters kept the pages turning and the fascination raw. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim | 8/26/2011

    " What I liked best about this book is that it felt truly its own. Everything about it: the plot, the characters, the tone was unlike anything I've ever read. It was not slick or contrived in any way. I strongly recommend this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anna | 5/13/2011

    " I will never think of lightning the same way again! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sherry | 5/3/2011

    " Great spring title to read as rainy stormy days. You will be filled with some fun lightning facts.
    The journey of Becca and Buckley is very unpredictable but believable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 3/17/2011

    " I almost put this book down. Glad I stuck with it. It's the story of 2 people who were struck by lightning and survived and how the experience changed their lives. Lot of likable flawed characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joyce | 3/16/2011

    " Raelly liked this book. The way the author developed the characters and how she eventually tied them together kept me interested and turning the pages. Before I knew it the story ended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenna | 1/31/2011

    " this book was a fast read--loved the format, very entertaining I would have given it a 4 and a half stars if possible! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carolyn | 1/20/2011

    " This book was fantastic. 'Nuff said. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Greg | 12/22/2010

    " A good first effort. I thought the ending lacked clarity and there were a lot of characters to keep track of. But the theme was excellent. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 12/20/2010

    " Loved this book. The story is well-told, with some really lovely imagery. The characters were engaging and realistic. I didn't want to put it down! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joann | 12/8/2010

    " Confused on the names and characters who kept reocurring. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jbqdoyle | 11/29/2010

    " One of the most enjoyable, poignant books I've read in a long time. The author, in her first novel, conveys tremendous emotion and character with a startling economy of words; almost poetic. "

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About the Author
Author Michele Young-Stone

Michele Young-Stone is the author of the novels Above Us Only Sky and The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors, which the Boston Globe called “an exceptionally rich and sure-handed debut.” She lives in the Outer Banks of North Carolina with her husband and son.

About the Narrator

Coleen Marlo is an AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator who has been nominated for an Audie Award twice, winning in 2011. She has been awarded three Listen-Up Awards from Publishers Weekly, an AudioFile Audiobook of the Year Award in 2011, and was named Audiobook Narrator of the Year for 2010 by Publishers Weekly. She is a member of the prestigious Actors Studio and taught acting for ten years at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute. Marlo is a proud founding member of Deyan Institute of Voice Artistry and Technology.