Back when I did far more YA and children’s reads, I saw the description of this book and was intrigued. The debut offering from Estelle Laure presents a family in crisis with a young protagonist working to hold everything together. Please read on for more about
This Raging Light
Lucille is a teenager with all of those issues and a few more. Her father disappeared after a breakdown and her mother has vanished leaving her alone with her 9 year old sister, little to no money and no stability. Not wanting to risk being split up in foster care, Lucille decides to do the best she can, keep the secret from everyone (but her best friend) and just carry on. School, work, friendships and one cute boy who seems interested and interesting just add to the myriad of situations to navigate.
The writing is wonderfully poetic, if not wholly true to the character’s as described, and does tend to over-play things. Often I felt as if the stressors that Lucille faced were enough without overly flowery metaphor dancing on the line of telenovela. Sure, it did bring home the point, but at the expense of truly feeling the character’s emotions. Then, we have the ‘best friend’ who is everything but- wholly disruptive is her. With everything else, did we really need friend drama from some seemingly unnecessary direction?
The plot is full, perhaps with three or four elements too many. Lucille and Wren and their struggle to stay together and manage without parental figure was a story in and of itself. Then we add friend drama, a romance with an unavailable boy, an accident, a mystery and the metaphors. For nearly everything. WHY didn’t the editor suggest more focus and eliminate some of the extra twists – I think it would have served the story and created a more compelling and complete book. Then we add in the secondary characters and all too oft-repeated quirks and tics that bring readers to the point of distraction. Frustrating is not a strong enough word.
Sadly, this story had a strong and solid single plot element in the girls, then focus, interest and resolution were sacrificed to the multiple additional elements added for dramatics – all of which could have been eliminated in favor of following the story of the growth and struggles that Lucille and Wren faced as abandoned and struggling to survive on their own.
Title: This Raging Light
Author: Estelle Laure
Genre: Young Adult
Published by: HMH Books for Young Readers
Published on: 22 December 2015
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Audio Length: 5 Hours: 36 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ AllRomance ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour
"A funny, poetic, big-hearted reminder that life can—and will—take us all by surprise.”—Jennifer E. Smith, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight 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.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.