Title: This Raging Light
Author: Estelle Laure
Publisher: Orchard Books
UK Release Date: 14th January 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
How is it that one day Digby was my best friend’s cute twin brother, and then the next he stole air, gave jitters, twisted my insides up?
And with Mom gone, bills to pay and Wren to look after… Why does the best thing happen at the worst time?
I thought this book was an interesting one, and my opinions are somewhat mixed. The blurb kind of says everything, yet at the same time gives only the bare bones of the story, as the two main focuses are Lucille’s emotional – and romantic – journey and the difficulties she faces in having to deal with the absence of both her mother and her father in her life. The way these two factors overlapped was also interesting to see, especially in the way Digby and Eden, two big parts of her emotional journey, helped in sustaining her life without parents.
The main thing I liked about this book was the way it was written. When I saw the title and a few one-liner reviews, I starting to hope for a book akin to Jandy Nelson’s novels, the outstanding I’ll Give You the Sun and the beautiful The Sky is Everywhere. Unfortunately it didn’t quite live up to the expectation I created for it, but it was still beautifully well-written. Something I love but don’t come across all that often is a book where the writer creates strong and descriptive images with their words, but I found this book to be descriptive, and at times poetic.
However, I did find at times that aspects of the book were unrealistic. If the book had been a tad closer to what I perceive as realistic, I don’t think that Lucille and Wren would have been able to get away with living without a parent for as long as they did, and I think that the people who knew would have done the responsible thing and told some member of authority. I also don’t think she would’ve gotten a job at Fred’s, and the set up with his restaurant didn’t strike me particularly as something that was feasible in reality.
Then there was the romance. I’ll admit, the title definitely made me think the book would be entirely romance based, and so I was pleasantly surprised when upon reading it I realised there was a lot more to the story than that. I always prefer books which have a balance, as I think that this accurately reflects how romance isn’t everything in life, but some romance can be fun, so I really liked this aspect. What I didn’t like was the fact that I felt like Lucille got a lot of mixed messages from Digby – or perhaps she was just perceiving the situation incorrectly. Either way, I didn’t like the way I could never be entirely certain if he even liked her or not, let alone whether he would commit to her.
Overall, this book wasn’t my favourite, and there were parts that I found unrealistic or a tad annoying. However, the way it was written was some that I really did enjoy, and there was a nice balance between romance and other aspects of life in my opinion, so on the whole I definitely have mixed feelings about this book.
Some other reviews which are more positive on the whole can be found here: