Monday

A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb

Helen has been haunting people for over a century. She is used to her lonely existence... never seen, never heard, but in some ways she feels as if she has been a muse to her hosts (or the people she haunts), she has inspired them. She doesn’t remember much of her past life other than her name and her age and has always felt that something has kept her from heaven, but she just can't remember what it was. She refers to herself as Light, while she calls living human beings the Quick.

One day while in class with the English teacher she has been haunting, she feels eyes on her. One of the students can see her!?! Billy Blake is the emo kid in the back of the room, does drugs, doesn’t do very well in class, nothing unremarkable about him at all. That is until a ghost named James takes over his body after Billy’s spirit leaves his body after a drug overdose. Billy (or really James) can now see Helen. He explains how Billy’s spirit left his body behind and he is now in that body.

As Helen and James begin to fall in love - there are obviously some issues with this relationship. Helen’s lack of a body being the biggest. Luckily for Helen, James has a knack for finding spirit-less bodies, and they find one body belonging to a girl named Jenny whom is also roaming around spirit-less. With both Helen and James having bodies they can now love each other more freely and also help one another discover details to their lives before being “light” but there are still many obstacles in their path - especially those of the lives of the two kids they are now inhabiting.

This was surprisingly very good. It was beautifully written, almost lyrical in nature. You become immersed in Helen and James, and their star-crossed lover-esque type relationship, from the start. You can't help rooting for their love and can only hope that they can somehow find a way to make it work.

Although this is classified as young adult novel, I think it is geared more towards older teens and adults. For starters, James and Helen are both in their late 20's so they might look like teenagers, but they certainly don't talk, feel or act like teenagers. Also, I will forewarn that there are some sex scenes (yes, more than one). But they were very tasteful - more like a fade to black, but still more than you normally find in your everyday YA novel.

All in all, reading A Certain Slant of Light was a joy. There are so many emotions infused in the storyline (i.e. hope, self-forgiveness, longing, love) that at times I wasn't sure if to laugh or cry (although I will confess that I did both). I highly recommend this to anyone who loves a ghost story that will leave you feeling haunted and have you thinking about it long after you have put it down.

My Rating: 

14 comments:

christina said...

I have this on audio. I put it in a month or so back but never listened more than 30 minutes or thereabouts. I immediately decided it was a book that I wanted to "read" and not "hear".

Ms Ulat Buku said...

This sounds like a good book to read. Might check it out at the store this weekend. Happy Reading!

Leslie said...

Wonderful review! I have this on my TBR pile and after reading your review I'll be bumping it up to the top. :)

Diane said...

awesome review; that cover creeps me out, but i want to read it. thanks

La Coccinelle said...

Lovely review! I really enjoyed this one, too. The author's style of writing was beautiful.

According to the author's blog, there's going to be a sequel...

Michelle said...

I bought this book a long while ago and have yet to get to it. I have taken a few peeks though and from what I've read, it is gorgeously written. Thanks for the review! :)

celi.a said...

I saw this cover in a bookstore and stopped for a second, but ghost stories aren't really my thing. I may still give it a try...

Kailana said...

I have wanted to read this book for a while. I really need to get around to it soon!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Fantastic review. I tried it and didn't like it but I love your review.

Aarti said...

I read this some time ago... I don't know when. But I really liked it! I also really liked The Mercy of Thin Air, which is kind of a more adult version of the book.

Misty said...

I LOVED this. I thought it was so unigue and interesting. It got a bit heavy-handed at the end, but for the most part, outstanding. I need to read The Fetch, her other one.

A Bookshelf Monstrosity said...

Oh, I loved this book. I listened to it on a road trip a few years back. Glad you enjoyed it too.

Michelle said...

This looks like a great book. I've definitely just added it to my must have list. :)

lilly said...

I'm glad to see you read, reviewed and liked this book. I bought it on a whim (I liked the cover) but knew nothing about this book. To read here that it was a great read and a joy helps me make up my mind to actually read it myself.

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