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 do the best things always happen at the worst times?
I wanted to love this book. I really did. This Raging Light was really an impulse buy, and now I realise I should have done more research on it. The moral of the story for this one is never buy a book solely based on what the publisher says about it because of course, it’s going to be biased. This book wasn’t terrible, but it was really lacking in some areas and our protagonist’s voice felt young and immature. But despite that, it was a sweet afternoon read and it kept me hooked — but I don’t think it’s worth going out and buying a copy.
What I liked:
- I loved the relationship between Lucille and her little sister. Even though I don’t have any siblings, their bond felt genuine and it was beautiful to watch Lucille care for Wren and try and protect her from the mess that was their life now.
- There was a little bit of mystery surrounding what really happened to Lucille’s family and why she was left having to look after her sister and make sure they both stayed afloat. I think that’s the main thing that got me through this book and it was heart-wrenching to learn the truth behind it all.
- Besides Lucille’s voice, which seemed quite young at times, all of the other characters felt realistic and genuine. Yes, they got on my nerves quite a bit, but they were completely and utterly human. They had their flaws and their annoyances, but most of them had hearts of gold and I wanted nothing more than to gather them into a big hug.
What I disliked:
- The love interest. Digby. First of all, I don’t find that name attractive. I’m sorry, that’s just how I feel. And his whole personality annoyed me. I mean, he was cheating on his long-term girlfriend and the conversations he had with Lucille made me want to extract my eyes with a fork. It was unbearable.
- Lucille’s best friend, Eden, was also a problematic character. Not only does she ditch her supposed ‘best friend’ when she can clearly see Lucille’s struggling — #friendshipgoals — but her actions basically portray the author to condone teens smoking. Great role model.
- There were way too many plot lines for such a short book. This Raging Light is only just over 200 pages because the font is literally 14pt, so I finished it really quickly. But it seemed like every character had their own issues that needed sorting out before the end and therefore the narrative was long and complicated and felt rushed for what should have been a straight-forward, cute coming-of-age novel.
- The author tried to write this book in a poetic, heartfelt way, but it just came across as cringeworthy. Our protagonist was overly dramatic, the conversations felt forced and the descriptions felt overdone. If only this novel were as gorgeous as its cover.
Overall, I found myself quite disappointed with This Raging Light. What could have been a poetic, touching tale about a girl struggling to look after her sister after her mum left them was brought down by the cringeworthy romance, the abundance of separate plots and those two overpoweringly annoying characters. It was bearable, but only just.
Have you read This Raging Light? What did you think of it? Were you a fan of the romance? What are some books you think pull off ‘poetic’? Do you like the cover of This Raging Light? I’d love to know!