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. After a mugging 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. 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…
Lila has a unique ability to move things with her mind. However, because she often acts on impulse, she has trouble controlling her telekinetic power. Although she tries not to use her ability when she is in the public, her occasional slip-ups make her feel helpless. When she accidentally exposes her telekinetic ability in front of two strangers, Lila feels scared of herself, of her freaky mind power. She doesn’t want to be alone, but with her dad rarely stays home looking after her, she feels desperate to want to run away from her loneliness and find someone to offer her a safe place to stay. Without much hesitation, Lila decides she’d leave London and pay her brother a visit in Southern California.
Because Lila has a difficult time controlling her telekinetic ability, she feels insecure. While she has been in love with her brother’s best friend, Alex, for almost her entire life, she has never spoken about it in front of anyone. Since Alex and her brother work in the same organization, Lila is excited to see Alex when she stays at her brother’s place. A visit to her brother’s workplace leads her to meet Rachel, Alex’s boss, and when Rachel flirts with Alex, Lila feels jealous, defeated and inadequate because Rachel looks so well-groomed, confident and smart. She assumes Alex would never find her attractive and she is saddened by the possibility that Alex would never see her as herself but only as his best friend’s little sister.
While I can understand where her sense of insecurity is stemming from, I find Lila dwells a little too much in her own self-perceived inadequacy. Combined with her occasional reckless behavior, Lila seems like a hilarious super-girl who just can’t save herself from danger. And every time when Lila is in need of someone to rescue her, we find Alex swooping in ‘saving the day’.
Interestingly, I actually find it fun and sweet to watch Lila behaving recklessly and then seeing Alex jumping in to rescue her. Although Lila can be annoying at times, I don’t find her off-putting at all.
Alex, on the other hand, seems a bit too gentleman, too accommodating, too nice, too smart. I kinda find him a little too good, and to me, his almost flawless character actually makes him appear to be less attractive or appealing.
Hunting Lila is a flavorful story with many interesting twists and turns. The good guys and the bad guys add a wonderful mix of excitement, tension, suspense and amusement to the fast-paced setting. I had a great time reading this book and I can’t wait to pick up its sequel and see what new adventure lies ahead.