Thursday, 7 January 2016

'This Raging Light' by Estelle Laure (****)

Hello readers! Unfortunately, with the Christmas and New Year celebrations behind us, it is the time to go back to early mornings, late nights and long days at school or work. However, on the bright side, I’ve got a book review for you of a fantastic story that will transport you back to lazy summer days on the beach, or cosy winter evenings reading in front of the fire. The book I'm going to review for you today, This Raging Light, is one of those books that are definitely timeless, and can be enjoyed in any season.

I was kindly sent This Raging Light by Orchard Books in exchange for an honest review.

Intrigued? Read the blurb to find out more…

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.

The proof copy of This Raging Light is absolutely gorgeous, and the first thing that struck me upon seeing the cover was the amount of praise the book had already received, as these were plastered all over the front cover. This being said, I had high, high expectations starting the first chapter.

And I was not disappointed. Upon starting the first page, I was automatically reminded of books that are among my favourites: all of Sarah Dessen’s books and Emily Murdoch’s If You Find Me. This Raging Light is a book about family, love, community and loyalty. In their small, friendly community, something very dark occurs between Lucille Bennet’s mother and father, so shocking that Lucille’s father is taken away to an institution and her mother leaves Lucille and her younger sister Wren to fend for themselves. Lucille, for the first time in her life, is left with a house to clean, bills to pay and a hungry young girl to feed. This all seems too much to bear, however on hand are Lucille’s best friend Eden, her new job at a crazy restaurant, and the boy who she’s desperately in love with… The only thing is, Lucille has a terrible fall-out with her best friend, and the boy just happens to be Digby, Eden’s twin brother. This Raging Light is a story that takes the reader on a remarkable and heartwarming journey, following Lucille as she grows into a person who finally learns to believe and trust in herself.

The tone of Lucille’s narration was perfect and I could easily empathise with her, and want to read the rest of the story to see what would happen next. She was such a relatable character and I warmed to her automatically: she was brave, strong, but most of all realistic. The only character I loved more than Lucille was Wren, and their sisterly relationship and bond was beautiful to read. Again, I was reminded of the relationship between Carey and Jenessa in If You Find Me.

The book was perfectly paced and- although I never wanted the story to end- the ending was perfect in its own way. That being said, I really want to find out what happens next! This is definitely the kind of novel that you can read in one sitting. This Raging Light has the faultless mix of action, romance and tension. The relationship between Lucille and all of the other characters were delightfully complex and well-explored, in fact, every element of this novel was obviously carefully crafted to achieve what the book certainly turned out to be: a stunning YA novel. 

If you love Sarah Dessen, Emily Murdoch or Rainbow Rowell, this is definitely the book for you. I would highly recommend that you run to your nearest bookshop to pick this gem up: it’s 100% worth it!

Buy This Raging Light here:

Check out Estelle Laure here:

Until next time :)

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