‘This Raging Light’ by Estelle Laure (2 / 5 stars)
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.
This book had great potential but, unfortunately, it did not live up to that potential for me. The main character’s father is currently undergoing in patient treatment for mental health issues, her mother has left her with her 9 year old sister to care for, and no word of when she will be home. This leaves our main character (Lucille, I actually had to look up her name as I had forgotten, this is how much of an impact she made.) trying to deal with her own confusion and hurt over being abandoned, trying to make sure that no one finds out that they are on their own, keeping on top of caring for her sister, whilst working as many shifts as she can to pay the bill.
She has a huge amount of support from her best friend Eden, and her twin brother Digby, who our main character is in love with. The only problem is, Digby is in a very long -term, committed relationship. As this love was already in place at the start of the book, and mainly just involved Lucille mooning over Digby, with Digby leading her and his girlfriend along, I found myself not caring about their relationship one bit. It didn’t feel like it was going anywhere realistic, and when anything happened, it felt very forced.
The book also seemed to brush over the surface of the characters and the issues they were facing, without really delving into them very deeply. This meant I came away feeling like I didn’t really know who the characters were, how they felt, or what really made them who they are. Therefore, it meant I didn’t really care about them as I read them, and I felt very frustrated when I finished the book as I felt like I hadn’t got much out of the book.
Two stars as the book had so much potential, with important issues to discuss, and a really gripping initial story line. I just felt like the book could have been a bit longer, with those issues and characters explored more deeply, especially as stories like this are so important to highlight issues like this. Perhaps without the romance as it felt like a waste of words, and focused more on the friendships present.
I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.