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The Statesman

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The Statesman

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Chris Colfer: Emmy nominee, Golden Globe winner and new author

Photo Credit: MCT Campus

If you need a good book to read over the holiday break, you should consider reading “Struck by Lightning” by Chris Colfer. There is a movie based on the book, but if you have the time, reading the book is more than worth it.

The book follows Carson Phillips, a high school senior looking to get into Northwestern University, doing whatever it takes to increase his chances of getting into the school of his dreams. It is a constant reminder of how stressful senior year can be and how a person will resort to any means to get what they want.

Carson goes as far as blackmailing his classmates to get them to join a magazine he was told to start to better his chances of acceptance to Northwestern. He also has to deal with the separation of his parents, his alcoholic and drugged up mother, his father’s remarrying and his grandmother’s Alzheimer’s disease.This would take a toll on anyone, but the fact that it happens to a high school senior looking to move forward with his life makes it seem even more difficult to cope with.

Carson is also one of the less popular kids in school, but he is fine with that. Since he does not care about his time as a high school student, he has no issues with blackmailing his peers.

He is ruthless with his blackmail; he goes as far as blackmailing a football coach who is sleeping with one of the cheerleaders. Carson will stop at nothing to get into his dream school.

Phillips also blackmails a student named Emilio, who pretends to be a foreign exchange student. Emilio is also having sex with one of the secretaries, but Carson just goes after his faked accent. The list goes on and on.

Throughout his time participating in underhanded activities, Carson talks to his grandmother who is incapable of remembering his plans.

Through all of this, Colfer shows how it really is a struggle for kids trying to get into college and how there is an extreme, unfair expectation for them. Kids today have the feeling that they need to get into a prestigious college in order to be successful in life. If they do not, they will end up unsuccessful and unhappy.

These expectations are unfair for anyone, especially someone who is still in their teenage years. Colfer makes his writing very relatable to his audience.

It was likely easy for Colfer to cover this topic. He is openly gay and was bullied in high school. This is similar to his character in “Glee”, Kurt Hummel.

Colfer starred in and produced the movie version of his novel, and the movie will premiere worldwide on Jan. 11, 2013, after opening during the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2012.

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