Unfortunately it was my patience that got lost in this book.
My “patience” instead of “light”??? GET IT?? Okay okay, yes I’m sure you got my excellent pun! I’m really sad though, because I wanted to like this book so bad! It has a gorgeous cover (WHAT?!? IT NEEDS TO BE SAID) and I have an entire weakness for books about quiet lonely orphan boys with dark murderous revenge vendettas.
But after I had to wade tediously through the first chapter’s dense writing style, I knew I was going end up in a whimpering heap. The writing is lyrical, also, which is nice! Don’t get me wrong! But it just relied so heavily on metaphors and thick writing that I spent most of the book entirely confused. Obviously this doesn’t mean the book is bad, just that me + metaphorical writing = WE SHAN’T NARY MESH.
I do think Trey was an entirely adorable little cinnamon roll, though. Also a pyromaniac. Also slightly stabby. And I always feel rather tenderly fr stabby protagonists (um, I’m sure I’m normal). I was also definitely caught up in the “BUT WHO DUNNIT” question about who killed Trey’s family while he, as a small child, stayed locked in a cupboard. So it kept me turning pages. It also had no romance! Which was refreshing!
- I felt like I had to WADE through the writing to actually figure out the story line. Not great.
- So much slang. Like slang everywhere. If there was any more slang being slung around, I would pack my bags and migrate to Jupiter because the aliens would make more sense. ALL I ASK IS FOR GRAMMER AND SPELLING, MATE. It might be a realistic narration of how they were speaking but — seriously hard to read.
- More telling than showing. Even in the dialogue!! Instead of actually having dialogue, sometimes (though not always) it’d skip it and just say “she said she wasn’t going with him”. Excuse you. Dialogue is my FAVOURITE THING and you’re skimping on it for telling prose?? Not cool.
- The revenge plot was very lowkey. I’m still actually so confused as to who killed Trey’s family and if he even got revenge or not.
- It felt like two separate stories. So we have (A) poor-sad-orphan-boy-in-a-cruel-camp-for-delinquent-teens-here-to-work-and-plot-demise-of-his-family’s-killer and then suddenly (B) it flips over to pack-of-children-left-alone-to-kill-each-other. They didn’t really mesh for me. It was like it suddenly turned into The Maze Runner??
- What was going on with the setting, too?! Like maybe camps for delinquent teens happen like this in the UK. BUT I’M STRUGGLING TO BELIEVE IT. The camp is set up much like a prison camp (hello, they’re harbouring possible child murderers) and they’re surrounded by electrified fences, on strict schedules, have cruel wardens, and forced to work all day in an abattoir. Yes. YOU READ THAT RIGHT: KILLING ANIMALS. They’ve literally got CHILDREN who’ve been in PRISON, some for MURDER, now KILLING ANIMALS ALL DAY WITH KNIVES. Who thought this through????????? No one?????? You have no right to be surprised when things go badly, you moronic camp leaders.
- I didn’t care for the characters. This could be because I’m an uncaring unfeeling little Vulcan flavoured avocado. But it could also be because people weren’t really very dimensional.
- I squint skeptically at some injuries too. Not that I’m a doctor, but at one stage someone gets gravely injured and everyone’s attitude is “Is he still alive? Yeah? Okay then he’ll be fine because he’s lasted this long”. SO THAT’S HOW FATAL WOUNDS ARE HEALED. Who knew.
- You may rename me Queen Confused if you wish. Because that’s who I felt I was when I finished.
- But HEY. I liked the idea lot, if not the actual, well….execution of said idea.
THANK YOU TO BLOOMSBURY FOR THE REVIEW-COPY! The Light That Gets Lost by Natasha Carthew was published December, 2016.
A small boy hiding in a cupboard witnesses something no child should ever see. He tries not to look but he still hears it. And when he comes out, there’s no mistaking. His mum and dad have been killed. And though he’s only small, he swears that he’ll get revenge one day.
Years later, Trey enters a strange camp that is meant to save troubled teenagers. It’s packed with crazies, god-botherers, devoted felons and broken kids. Trey’s been in and out of trouble ever since the day the bad thing happened, but he’s he not here for saving: this is where he’ll find the man who did it. Revenge and healing, salvation and hell are a boiling, dangerous mix, and Trey finds himself drawn to a girl, a dream and the offer of friendship in the dark.
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