TITLE: This Raging Light
AUTHOR: Estelle Laure
PUBLISHER: HMH Books For Young Readers
GENRE: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
RATING: 3.5/5 Stars
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.
What I Liked:
- This book was pretty fast-paced and I liked that most of all. Laure did not beat about the bush when getting to the point so I felt totally sucked in by what was going on all the time. There were a lot of twists and turns throughout and plot-wise, it moved in a very definite direction with utter confidence. Sometimes little to no build up is a bad thing but in this case it didn't feel that way. I liked being plopped into the middle of the situation and being pulled along for the ride.
- Laure wrote her perspectives very well and handled a subject that I rarely see in books, especially YA: child abandonment. She wrote from Lucille's perspective, a seventeen year old girl left to fend for herself and look after her sister after her Mother takes an extended vacation to 'get away'. In a lot of ways, despite a slightly immature perspective for a seventeen year old, I felt like I appreciated a lot more how difficult coping with something like that can be. Lucille is under a lot of pressure to feed them both and pay bills, deal with school, work an almost full time job and keep up appearances so that no one will suspect the two of them are alone.
What I Disliked:
- As I said, Lucille is under a lot of pressure in this novel so in my opinion, the last thing she needed was a love interest. And I'm not talking about the kind that is there to save the day or help her to cope with what's happening. I'm talking about the kind that already has a long-term girlfriend, can't make up his mind, and is adding a lot more stress into an already stressful situation with plenty of plot points to keep it going. At times it felt like there was just a little too much going on.
- The ending was probably my biggest disappointment because as quickly as it started, it felt like it just...stopped. As I said there were a fair few plot-lines and none of them were resolved very well. I was left with so many questions! The one mystery that was solved also seemed to be a little unrealistic and cheesy for me. In an effort to make all of the characters likeable by helping Lucille out, it also made them seem a bit irresponsible.
As I said before, my feelings are quite mixed with this book. The writing really impressed me because it had such great energy and I enjoyed the fast pace. The plot was quite well thought out too and I really felt for Lucille, the main character, having to juggle so much at once. I didn't dislike Digby but I didn't rally get why the romance had to happen. It felt like an unnecessary stress. Ambiguous endings really disappoint me too so while I had a great start, I left on a bit of a low. It definitely kept my attention throughout though and overall was a fun, light read to get me through a pretty horrible cold!