(Review) This Raging Light
This Raging Light by Estelle Laure
Expected Publication Date: January 5th, 2016
Pages: 288 (Kindle Edition)
Genre: Young Adult
My Goodreads Rating: 4.5 Stars
The novel follows a teenager and her younger sister as they try to deal with their mother’s sudden disappearance. Things become further complicated when older sister Lucille falls for her best friend’s brother. The publisher said the book is a “luminous portrait” of two young girls enduring hardship.
This book is...something else. It gets you where it counts.
Lucille is a seventeen-year-old girl whose mother has up and left her and her nine-year-old sister to fend for themselves. You don't find out what happened to their dad for a while, but it's pretty bad too. It's bad enough that it drove Lucille's mom to abandon her children. Right off the bat, Lucille's life is pretty terrible.
While things are looking pretty bad for Lu and her sister Wren, they do have some good things going for them. Eden, Lucille's best friend, and her twin brother Digby are happy (kind of) to help her out. The twins are helpful in the sense that they keep her secret and babysit for Wren, but they also encourage her and tell her like it is. Even when she doesn't want to hear it.
I love being inside Lucille's head. It's a weird place, but I really like it. She's got so much going on that sometimes her thoughts are scattered and I feel like that makes her a little more relatable as a main character, which I think is a huge feat considering the story content. It's hard to connect with a character who has picked herself up for the sake of her younger sister and promised to take care of everything.
As Lucille and Wren make new friends, her relationship with Eden is strained and what she feels for Digby only grows. What I liked most was that she started out being totally in love with Digby, it isn't a slow burn like in most books. She's head over heels in love with him and has a difficult time being around him, which is pretty adorable. It's a light part to a pretty heavy story. Lucille does a great job of finding her niche, and rediscovering herself, too.
Her resilience is what really draws you into this book. You really want everything to work out for her and hope that it's something she can do on her own. I really didn't care for either of her parents by the end, and absolutely loved Eden, Digby, and their parents. There are a lot of unlikely heroes in this book and it only makes it that much better. Digby is a great character. He's honest and confused and some of the things he says and does are quite swoon-worthy.
There is, of course, a fair share of drama. The last quarter of the book had me curled up into a tight little ball clutching my kindle and tearing up.
The only thing I didn't completely love was the ending. I liked things tied up nicely and it left a little to be desired, but I guess I understand the reasoning. The story was Lu's and Wren's, so it made sense.
This was a great read, and it's one that's going to stick with you for a while.
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light." - Dylan Thomas
*ARC courtesy of Edelweiss and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.*