ARC Review: This Raging Light

This Raging Light
This Raging Light by Estelle Laure
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Release date: December 22, 2015

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.

Rating this book was a bit hard for me – on one hand, I loved the writing, loved Lucille, but on the other hand, I also felt it was a bit unrealistic, and the romance didn’t really click for me? So, the story is about how Lucille, after her dad’s move to an institution, and her mother skipping out shortly after (saying she needs a break), is left to manage a home and take care of her nine-year old sister. And it is an uphill battle she has to go through – not letting people know, to manage finances, get a job, take care of her sister; she basically has to become an adult overnight. Her best friend and her twin help out, but even they have their limits. And when it comes to the twin in question, Digby, whom Lucille has been crushing on despite him having a girlfriend, things get complicated in this new scenario.

Lucille is a smart, independent, self-reliant girl, and that is perhaps what I liked best about the story. She doesn’t take shit from anyone, not her mother, not her father, and certainly not from Digby, who is cheating on his girlfriend by the middle of the plot. The book should have actually been called These Raging Hormones, because that’s what their romance feels like. Lu is all about wrapping herself around him (okay, I get that she is a teenage girl but pages of this stuff?) and he really can’t keep himself in check. He is nice, helpful, but I can’t find it in myself to empathize with a person who cheats. He hurts both the girls by the end of it, Elaine and Lucille. And his behavior is pretty weird from the start, so it didn’t really endear me to him. (Case in point, the time Lu got sick) Elaine, for her part, was understanding, and even when she confronted Lucille, you could see she was more hurt over the betrayal of her trust. As for Wren and Eden, they are really supportive towards Lu, keeping her from imploding with all the stress.

In the end, though, the story has an open ending – there is not much resolution, but there is some hope. As for Lu and Digby, well, those crazy kids work it out in the end, but I was beyond caring then so it didn’t really matter. This story is however, really inspirational, and reminded me of my friend, who is similar to Lu in terms of personality. Recommended for people looking for a good contemporary read.

Received a free galley from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group via Netgalley; this does not influence my opinions or review.

View all my reviews

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