“This Raging Light” by Estelle Laure

This Raging Light

(Author: Estelle Laure) + (Year: 2015) + (Goodreads)


After her dad goes mad and her mom, too depressed to look out for her two children, goes on a vacation she never comes from, Lucille is left to take care of her 9-year-old sister. Lucille is still in high school, she has no job and absolutely no idea how to be the grown up her sister needs. On her journey to becoming that person many different people come to her aid and help her realize that not everyone leaves and that some people love you no matter what.

Now that you’ve read this, you realize that the theme of This Raging Light has been used and abused in YA fiction. There are entirely too many books for abandoned teenagers or ones which do have a family or a single parent, but are in a very dysfunctional and even abusive relationship with them. This being said, in order to succeed with a story like this, the author has to be very good, both in terms of writing and in the terms of the special twist that each book possesses. Estelle Laure was unable to sell the story to me.

→ There are certain moments in the book which had me guffaw:

Example 1:

Then his fingers are on my arm and touching light, tracing slowly, and my lungs are huge, bigger than they ever have been. I don’t ever want it to stop.

Trace me forever.

WHAT IS THIS EVEN? “Trace me forever”?  I realize that this is an attempt at very beautiful and artistic writing, but to me something like “Trace me forever” sounds so dramatic and ridiculous.

Example 2:

“Your yard looks nice,” he says.
“So they tell me,” I say.
Touch me. Kiss me. I’m yours. Yours.
I know he won’t though. He would not cheat.
I like his shoes. Vans. His long feet.

“I like his shoes”?? “Vans”??? “His LONG FEET”???? And I’m not even going to comment on the “Touch me…” line. I never sound like this in my head. I would be ashamed to think something as melodramatic. And I would also be ashamed to write this and have it published.

The characters were… for the lack of better description, “MEH”. What do I care? The main character, Lucille, is a queen of drama and an ungrateful brat. She acts like her best friend, Eden, is her girlfriend and like Eden owes her something. Let me put it into a context: After working for a couple of hours, Lucille comes home where Eden and Digby, Eden’s brother, have been taking care of Lucille’s sister, her house is full of goods given to her by an anonymous friend, she has made money, her sister is sleeping, everything is good. Then her friend tells her that because she is failing in her ballet classes, she can no longer take care of Lucille’s sister(and it’s not like it’s her job to do it, either). What does Lucille do? She starts screaming and shouting for them to leave her, get out of her house. A couple of pages later, though, she is curious why Eden isn’t speaking to her. Nice.

The rest of the characters were had so little personality that I didn’t even bother with remembering their names and had to look them up for the review. Sorry. But not really. Because the entire book is the childish musings of the hysterical main character. Dude, your life is hard, but there are people doing so much worse.

→ Last but not least, there were so many unresolved plots: What happened with Lucille’s mom? I actually do want to know and I hate the fact that the author completely skipped the answer to that. What happened with the sister? Her teacher called Lucille to tell her her sister is acting out and being a bit psychotic, writing odes to Digby’s mom, so what happened there?

This books suffers from “the small book syndrome”. Too much is going on and ultimately nothing is going on. The book ends and you haven’t had the time to care and to make sense of what is happening and where the characters are going and who they are as people at all.


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