TITLE: A Certain Slant Of Light
AUTHOR: Laura Whitcomb
SERIES: Light (#1)
PUBLISHER: HMH Books For Young Readers
GENRE: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Ghost Story
RATING: 4.5/5 Stars
In the class of the high school English teacher she has been haunting, Helen feels them: For the first time in 130 years, human eyes are looking at her. They belong to a boy, a boy who has not seemed remarkable until now. And Helen - terrified, but intrigued, is drawn to him. The fact that he is in a body and she is not presents this unlikely couple with their first challenge. But as the lovers struggle to find a way to be together, they begin to discover the secrets of their former lives and of the young people they come to possess.
What I Liked:
- This was a really original concept! I have read a fair few Paranormal Romance books in my time and first off, barely any of them include ghosts. This one had two! I liked the rules that Whitcomb came up with that ghosts had to stick to, I liked the methods of bending those rules that Whitcomb came up with too. While reading, I was hit by the feeling that I have never read anything like this before, and it was very refreshing to realise that.
- James and Helen. Such a good couple, I was rooting for them the whole way through! I have seen complaints that they fell in love too quickly from other reviewers, and this worried me because I'm normally very fussy about the pace of a romance. I thought Whitcomb did a good job though! What needs to be taken into consideration here is that Helen is lonely. Up until this point she's had 130 years of being around, but invisible to all humans. Whitcomb really sold that loneliness to me, and on James' part too, because despite having found a vacated body to live in and the fact that he can interact with humans, he is still the only one in his situation. He is still an outsider. Would they have fallen so head over heels so quickly in normal circumstances? Probably not. But these were not normal circumstances.
- There are some great quotes and lovely writing in this book! Whitcomb is extraordinarily gifted and has a talent in making a reader understand exactly how a character is feeling about a situation. I loved the language and writing style, and found myself hooked on every word. It felt like a modern-day story written by a historical character, which was precisely what it was!
What I Disliked:
- The reason I think that I ended up knocking off half a star was because although I enjoyed it, it did feel a little predictable a times. This ultimately meant that I never truly felt like the book had many twists and turns that threatened the characters I cared about, because I had already guessed it would happen and figured out to an extent how they might overcome the problem. It didn't hugely infringe on my enjoyment of the story, it all just felt a little too safe.
- This isn't really dislike, more confusion. There is a sequel to this book, and while I look forward to getting my hands on it because I really enjoyed this one, I'm not sure it's entirely necessary. This book just ended too well! Loose ends were tied, I felt like character's stories were finished. Is there really any need to continue the story at all? I've had a little look into the vague plot-line for the second book, and it is told more from the POV of the two bodies, Billy and Jenny, that were left behind. Okay, I suppose I can understand that but is there any need to bring back Helen and potentially James too? Perhaps Whitcomb did not originally plan a sequel and so that's why the perfect (almost ridiculously happy) ending but I am still a bit mixed on this one. I guess I should reserve judgement for when I've read it!
I really did enjoy this book rather a lot! Full marks for originality and writing skill, Whitcomb's prose was lovely to read! Also she really writes romance very well, this couple is one of my favourites that I've read in a while and I rooted for them from the moment they met! There was a certain inevitability about the book in terms of plot-line. Perhaps I just made a few lucky guesses, but I wish that there had been a few unexpected twists thrown in there. I would really recommend this one though, it's very different from a lot of Paranormal Romances I have read previously and if that's something you enjoy, you'll want to give this one a try.