Posted in book reviews

This Raging Light – Estelle Laure (A Review)

Thank you to NetGalley and Hachette Children’s Group for sending me this book!

How is it that you suddenly notice a person? How is it that one day Digby was my best friend’s admittedly cute twin brother, and then the next he stole air, gave jitters, twisted my insides up?

Lucille has bigger problems than falling for her best friend’s unavailable brother. Her mom has gone, leaving her to look after her sister, Wren. With bills mounting up and appearances to keep, Lucille is raging against her life but holding it together – just.

A stunning debut to devour in one sitting, Laure captures completely the agony and ecstasy of first love.

This description really doesn’t do this book justice and is rather misleading. This book is more than the “ecstasy of first love” and Lucille falling for her best friends brother. One thing it has got right, is that she does have bigger problems than falling for him. This book really has more to it than her falling for her bff’s brother (well, when we meet her she already loves him so it’s not really the story of her falling in love with him).

Sometimes the metaphors would get a bit too much. One minute the writing is all nice, simple and flowing and then BAM a whole page of a strung-out metaphor that had me skim-reading. I have nothing against metaphors, but I don’t see what it is with YA & contemporary authors telling their stories through a narration of long-winded metaphors, that have the time don’t even make sense? It makes it seem forced, and like the author was trying to hard when she really didn’t need to.

I really, really wasn’t feeling the romance. Which for a book that was promising an epic tale of first love, makes it seem like a failure. It was just Digby. I didn’t get him. I’m not sure if I love him or hate him. I’m confused, just as confused as Lucille. One thing is for sure though is that he made me mad. It annoyed me how one moment he was all over her and then texting his girlfriend, like dude, wtf?! Especially since all Lucille was going through, it was a dick-ish move. I never really felt a connection between them (all it really was was Lucille swooning over him, or yearning over him). So the romance was a whole no-no for me and I couldn’t really care less if they ended up together or not. I just wanted them to both get their heads out of their butts and think about what was actually going on. The dialogue between them was just…weird? I don’t know how else to put it – for one, she says her bellybutton is grateful (?) & he says that she has a ‘dangerous ear'(I’m not even gonna go there). It was just so awkward and cringey at times that I just had to skim read.

Lucille and Wren’s relationship is what made this book for me. The way they held themselves together, too scared to let themselves go in fear of hurting one another. How Wren would make food, and Lucille would do whatever she could to try and make things normal and good for Wren. Not once was Luce a brat about having to take care of Wren. She just got up and did it (kind of reminded me of Katniss and how she would do whatever it took to take care of Prim). It was a great dynamic.

Let’s not even get started on her mother. Or her dad (although can we give him bonus points for actually trying to make amends?)

Lucille’s work friends were great too & I liked how they helped her out by covering shifts and taking care of Wren.

This book was good, and I’m going to give it a rating of 3.5 stars out of 5. Well done to Estelle Laure on a good debut novel.

(P.S: The cover is also quite pretty)

You can also view this review on Goodreads!

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