Review – This Raging Light

thisraginglight

Title: This Raging Light
Author: Estelle Laure
Publication: December 22nd 2015 by HMH Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 288 pages
Format: Library book
Rating: 4/5

About the book:

Can the best thing happen at the worst time?

Her dad went crazy. Her mom left town. She has bills to pay and a little sister to look after. Now is not the time for level-headed seventeen-year-old Lucille to fall in love. But love—messy, inconvenient love—is what she’s about to experience when she falls for Digby Jones, her best friend’s brother. With blazing longing that builds to a fever pitch, Estelle Laure’s soulful debut will keep readers hooked and hoping until the very last page.

 

So here’s the alphabetical run down:

Characters

I absolutely loved the characterization in this book. Lucille is such a strong main character. She is so mature for her age and the way she holds it together and tries to make ends meet for she and her little sister is so admirable.

Lucille’s best friend Eden was quite unlikeable at times, but I felt like her reactions fit with her character.  She was quick to defend Lucille and quick to come to her rescue, but also quick to be offended and respond selfishly as well. I feel like as a reader, even when you dislike a character, you have a sense that they were either well written and their character made decisions fitting with the person you thought the author was writing or they didn’t. In this case, even though I didn’t always like Eden or her decisions, I felt like her character was written well and her actions fit the person she was written to be.

Digby’s character took me a while to warm up to, but throughout the book he’s so caring and such a steady presence in Lucille’s unstable situation, that I eventually wanted to cheer for him.  Fred, is just amazing, part Godfather, part sleazy restaurant owner, he is such a memorable character. You really felt for Lucille’s little sister, Wren, throughout the book. She was 9, turning 10 and you just knew that she saw and heard everything that went on and was dragged into so many situations that she shouldn’t have had to deal with at her age.

Cover

I adore this cover. It is beautiful and the colors look like a sunset, but the typography is a little messy and less than perfect, which fits the story just perfectly.

Love

At the beginning of the book I had a hard time getting a sense of who Digby was and why Lucille was so in love with him. I understood that they had known each other since they were kids and one day she just realized that she had feelings for him, but for a while she just doesn’t give any qualities about him that she likes. However, throughout the book, Digby proves himself worthy of her affections.
There is quite a bit of infidelity in the book that I think should have been avoided. It’s hard to trust someone who is willing to cheat on their girlfriend, even if you’re cheering for them to break up, the breaking up needs to happen first.

Pros/Cons

I loved Laure’s writing style, it was both poetic and heartbreaking. It wasn’t a long book, but I can’t call it a “quick read” because the emotional journey it pulls you on does not feel quick at all. There were some loose ends at the end of the book, but key pieces of the story were resolved and there is a companion novel set to come out in January or 2017: These Mighty Forces. I can’t wait to read it!

Quotable

Something about the way he moves, about his himness – it shatters me all the way down. So I hope he never does kiss me. That would be nothing but a disaster. No one needs to see me fall apart like that. Least of all him. Actually, maybe least of all me.

I like to think that the things we talk about here are safe, that words drip from our mouths into the earth and grow trees that guard secrets in their leaves.

I get out. Get a clear shot of his eyes, the sweet clean green he carries around with him like it’s nothing. I force myself to stay with them, to see what’s in them. Pooling lamplight is what. Wee sparkling stars. It’s like that.

Rating

There are two things that kept this from being a five heart: the infidelity didn’t sit well with me and there was almost too much drama packed into a book that was too short to hold it all. However, I loved Laure’s writing style and I look forward to the companion novel coming out.

red-heartred-heartred-heartred-heart

library-sig

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