Book review: “This Raging Light” by Estelle Laure (Spoiler free)

Hi all,

I’ve got quite a few things to update on but before I do so, I wanted to share my thoughts on a novel I read a few days ago. I always find it easier to write a review soon after I’ve finished the book, when my thoughts and feelings are still fresh in my mind. As the queen of procrastination, I rarely succeed but this time, I’m determined.

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As another testimony to my procastinating abilities, I’ve had a proof copy of This Raging Light sitting on my shelf for more than a year now. I have heard a lot of great things since it came out and I decided to finally pick it up. I was a bit weary when I saw in the review page that it kept being compared to Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you might have read my review of this novel or realised by now that YA does not agree with me. However, as I’m not one to give up on something, I decided to still give This Raging Light a try.

Did it resemble Eleanor & Park? Yes, very much so. Was it better? Thankfully, yes. The most significant difference between the two novels for me was the main character and my ability to identify with her. Lucille is not an over-dramatic teenager, although what keeps happening to her is dramatic. She’s mature, caring and smart (not that I am all of these things). She does retain some teenager characteristics but nothing that made me wanna pull my hair out.

Moreover, I also found Lucille’s family story more compelling than in Rainbow Rowell’s novel. Although it was very similar, it was more complex and got my attention from the start.This novel really questions the meaning of family ties and what comes out of this reflection is that family does not always reside in blood ties but rather in who is there when you most need them. Although this seems somewhat obvious, the author does a great job bringing it about.

From what I heard other people say, I was expecting This Raging Light to be a very emotional read. I am usually a cry baby and need some mental preparation if I’m about to have any type of feels. Thankfully or not, it didn’t happen for me this time. This was probably due to the fact that, despite really being into the family and friendship plotline, the love story just did not do it for me and kind of took me out of the story at times. As in Eleanor & Park, there was a lot of eye-rolling moments but I guess that’s one thing I need to get used to it if I want to keep reading YA. I didn’t feel the romance part of the plot was particularly well brought up and I could have simply done without it.

Because I don’t want to end on a negative note, I just want to conclude by saying that, if you’re in search of a quick and easy read, then This Raging Light is a good pick for you. It only took me a couple of hours to get through; the story will grasp you, and you will (hopefully) love the characters as much as I did.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Toodles,

Pow.

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