This Raging Light Collaboration Review -- Q&A Time!


This Raging Light | Estelle Laure
Release Date: December 20, 2015 | HMHkids
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 288
Edition: ARC
Source: Publisher
Rating:



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. With blazing longing that builds to a fever pitch, Estelle Laure's soulful debut will keep readers hooked and hoping until the very last page.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.

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REVIEW

Did This Debut Novel Deliver
Or did it stink horribly like a piece of bologna that no one ever wants to eat? 
That was funny right? No? Okay whatever.

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Outside of blogging, I don't have any friends that enjoy reading which is one of the many reasons why I started fangirlconfessions. I yearned to be able to chat about my love for books, and with my friends . . . that just wasn't happening. After being apart of the community for just a couple of weeks, I was already making new friends, and participating in fun bookish things such as buddy reads, which has become an absolute favorite of mine. I'm definitely one of those readers who loves to share my thoughts with others. I like the idea of reading in pairs or groups, knocking out chapters while we rant, rave, or stir up ridiculous (but very plausible) theories about the stories we're reading. I've noticed that just about every month, I'm buddied up with someone, and when I noticed my friends Tina and Erin were reading This Raging Light around the same time as I, well . . . you know what ensued. So instead of doing a traditional review, we've decided to team up to do a fun post, Q&A style!

Ready to get this poppin?

Q&A


What Were Your Initial Thoughts Prior To Reading TRL?

TIKA
This Raging Light was one of my most anticipated reads for 2015, so I was pretty excited going in. Okay, I was more than excited, but that's a discussion for another time. My good friend Jocelyn had read and loved it, and since we have the same taste in books, I figured this would go on my " I-fucking-love-you " shelf, especially after being told the author covered the aspect of cheating. I'm always down to read realistic fiction, so to make a long story short, the only thought I had going in was, " I-need-to-read-this-like-now. "
TINA
I wasn't sure what to expect since I've heard very mix things about TRL. It seemed like you either loved it or you hated it. I was curious to see what I would think about it.

ERIN
When I first saw the title, I was expecting an issue-heavy book. Maybe it's the title's reference to "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" that really led me to believe that it would be a book full of hardships and struggles. I was also really hoping that it would have a really strong female lead character.

Concept & Writing: Raging Hit Or Flopping Miss?

TIKA
As strange as this may sound . . . both. While I felt the concept and writing were strong, there were instances where they didn't exactly work for me. It took me a couple of chapters to get used to the writing, (which was a bit over-bearing at times) but after a while it started to flow, and I eventually came to enjoy it's quirkiness. As far as the concept goes, it was definitely a raging hit. I enjoyed how the subject matter was relatable, even though there were scenes that were a bit far-fetched for my tastes. On the other hand, the story was so faced paced that situations and characters didn't get the opportunity to fully blossom, not to mention how the ending completely left us hanging. Grrr.
TINA
TRL has a very delicate subject matter. Sure, we've all read our fair share of crappy parents in YA but TRL has a whole different kind of shitty parents. The concept isn't unheard of but I was curious to see how the author would deliver the story. The writing was different and took a couple chapters to get use to, and with the pace being so fast, I think it really hurt the story. Things didn't develop the way they could've, but it did keep me interested because I had so many questions, and I had this need to know what was going on. Personally, I thought it was a bit sugarcoated but I do admire that the author took a chance on a subject that I have rarely read or seen in YA.

ERIN
It really took a while for me to get used to Ms. Laure's writing style. It's actually kind of awkward because I just felt like it didn't really represent how most teenagers speak. I think that Ms. Laure was trying for something poetic, especially because of the book's title, but she just missed the mark. It was a bit of a fusion between prose and how a teenager would actually speak. It was kind of weird, and I would have enjoyed something more reliable.


Now For Our Hottest Topic: Characters. Thoughts Ladies?

TIKA
I didn't develop a major connection with any of the characters, which was a big problem for me. I really liked how determined and fierce Lucille was when it came to taking care of her sister, but other than that, I found her to be a bit immature. I hate a wishy-washy person in general, and Lu often displayed hot and cold behavior, always snapping at weird times over stupid things. Maybe it was the pressure from her situation, maybe I'm just being insensitive who knows, I just wasn't her biggest fan. The secondary characters added to the story but not much. Digby was cool, but his " situationship " with Lucille happened too quickly, so I wasn't completely sold on them. You don't really get a chance to connect with Digby, his sister Eden, or Lu's younger sister Wren, so you're basically going through the motions, which isn't completely a bad thing, but it isn't a good one either.

TINA
I felt bad for Lucille, the girl was seriously handed the shittiest card in the parents department, but I also admired her, she was strong and stepped up when she could've easily broken down. What I didn't like about her was that she had this sense of entitlement like Eden and Digby needed to help her and would become upset when their life wouldn't allow them to help her. I personally wish we could've read the story through Wren's eyes or had her point of view somewhere in between. I think she would've added a fresh perspective. I thought Eden was a good friend to have but she wasn't present enough for me to really consider her a best friend. What little I did learn from her she seemed like the kind of character you want on your team. I didn't care for Digby, and it didn't really have to do with the cheating but more of the mixed signals never really knowing him, and I felt like he was just another mess in Lucille's life instead of helping her.

ERIN
I wasn't really impressed with the characters in This Raging Light because I feel like I know nothing about them! All of them - Lucille, Wren, Eden, Digby, and Shane - really aren't all that spectacular. It was kind of annoying to find such flat characters, especially in a novel that's full of all of these crazy issues.

Likes, Dislikes?

TIKA
The subject matter was probably my favorite thing about TRL. As a parent, I couldn't imagine leaving my son to fend for himself, not for a second, a day, or even years. It was tough seeing Lucille take guardianship over her sister at such a young age, but it definitely showed a side to her that I could relate to. She would do anything to protect her family, and that my friends is what we have in common. I don't have many dislikes, (I do wish the author pushed the envelop a bit on the " cheating aspect.") but what I had a problem with, (the pacing and how nothing really seemed to be resolved) hindered the story big time for me, causing me to chop a few points off of the rating.

TINA
The concept of the story! It was very interesting and one I would love to keep reading. I actually liked the writing style, and her little sister Wren. Like I mentioned before, if the story was told through her point of view it would've been amazing! The mystery surrounding the " guardian angels " really enhanced the story and kept you wondering who was helping to take care of the girls. As far as dislikes, I would definitely say the pacing! I felt like it could've been slower so that the ending and the story could have developed better. It seemed like everyone knew about Lucille's mom leaving but didn't say anything.
LIKE HOW DO YOU NOT SAY SOMETHING?! 
The unanswered questions, I felt like the ending left so many things open for interpretation with bit of a cliffhanger. Not too mention it was incredibly rushed and left me wondering about Eden, and for Pete's sake where is the Mom!? So much backstory was missing about the mother, and since she seemed to be the focus, I honestly knew nothing about her.

ERIN
I liked the idea of This Raging Light, but I don't think that Ms. Laure executed it in a way that will reach readers. The whole "older sibling taking care of a younger sibling" just seemed too easy. The romance between Lu and Digby was awkward, and it seems like it was forced. I also wasn't a fan of the plot twist at the end of the book because it felt like a way to shake things up instead of focusing on what's really at hand.

Rating & Recommendation?

TIKA
I'm still very conflicted when it comes to the rating, but after having time to collect my thoughts and break down the story, I think I'm settling on a 3.
This Raging Light is definitely for fans of Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, especially if you like reading about sucky parents.


TINA
I am so torn. I enjoyed the book but things were missing. Something was missing. Is it a standalone? Is it a series? I guess if I have to pick I'd say three stars.


ERIN
Unfortunately This Raging Light wasn't really for me. I thought I liked it, and I really do think that there are some great aspects, but something about it was off. I ended up disliking more about the book than I liked, so I had to give it a low rating. I think fans of John Green's The Fault in Our Stars and Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park would enjoy This Raging Light.