Review ~ This Raging Light

Posted December 18, 2015 by Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog in Reviews / 30 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review ~ This Raging LightThis Raging Light by Estelle Laure
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on December 22nd 2015
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
4 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. 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.


Lucille and Wren are on their own. Their dad has been away after an altercation with their mother. Their mother needed some time. It’s just turning out to be more time than anyone thought. Lucille has to be responsible for Wren, pay the bills, get food on the table and do all the things a parent should be doing. Thankfully she gets help from her best friend and her brother as well as some good samaritans. All this while dealing with normal teenage stuff – school, friendships and crushes.Will Lucille be able to manage?

So a lot of people might be turned off of this one for two reasons I can think of:
1. This book has the classic YA crappy parentals.
2. There is cheating.
Not going to lie – neither bothered me. The whole parentals issue is pretty much the plot of the book so without it there isn’t anything. So I accept that. The cheating business? Not a deal breaker for me ever. I mean I don’t condone cheating, but it happens. Especially in that time when people are young and confused. Again, not saying it is right just that I get that it happens.

Now that that is out of the way let’s get to the things I really enjoyed and some things I didn’t care for.

Things I Enjoyed

Lucille. I wasn’t sure at first about her. I thought she was going to whiny for some reason. But she wasn’t. She had the attitude I always adopt – Just get sh*t done. She did the best she could with help. Got a job. Which in normal circumstances isn’t that big of a deal. But she had to find someone to watch her sister while she went. Also, when most high schoolers get a job it isn’t to pay all the bills, buy food and get your kid sister clothes that fit. She wasn’t perfect, though. She had this obsession with her best friend Eden’s brother, Digby (love the name btw) who had a girlfriend. Also, she lost her temper some. But she was human and I thought she was a great character.

Life is messy. There were a lot of bad things that happened in this book. Maybe too much but still. Life is hard and it is messy. Parents aren’t always great, friendships go through rough patches, and sometimes people cheat. It’s real. It sucks. And sometimes I like reading about it.

Good samaritans. While this whole ordeal is going on with Lucille and Wren some good things do come their way. As in full cabinets and refrigerator of food and drinks, the yard work being done and other things It was a fun little mystery, if you can call it that, in an otherwise heavy book.

Wren’s optimism. This poor little girl (she is 9 going on 10) is dealing with a lot. And she really tries to be happy. She makes the best out of the situation and tat is more than most adults would do. Even when she is sad and shows it, she puts that smile back on her face and keeps going.

“Wren and I have a dance party, because as Wren points out, sometimes you gotta dance it out. “

Dance it out. That quote right there. Truer words have never been spoken.

Things I Didn’t Care For

Some of the writing. At times is was a bit much. It’s hard to explain, but sometimes it came off as trying too hard. But when it wasn’t doing that I really enjoyed it.

Immaturity in some of the characters. There were times with Lucille and Wren when they came off as really young. I am not sure if it was intentional or just how I took it. For example, there was a part when Lucille, a high school senior, gets referred to as a woman and her response is “gross”. Really?

Once this got going I really flew through it. I wanted to make sure they would be ok and find out who was helping them. While there are definitely some touchy things that may turn some people off I really enjoyed the story and Lucille most of all.

Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog

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30 responses to “Review ~ This Raging Light

  1. It’s really hard for me to enjoy a book that has cheating. It’s a trope I don’t like and the only way I read it is if it’s done extremely well. The parenting is normal as you said so I don’t think it would bother me much. The immaturity could bother me since I can’t stand people and book characters like that. I’m glad you got to enjoy the story and Lucille since loving the main character makes the reading experience even better 🙂 Great review!
    Genesis recently posted…This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp | ARC ReviewMy Profile

  2. I don’t care for immature characters but cheating and crappy parents don’t typically bother me, maybe I’m used to it?! Glad you found some enjoyment in it despite the things that seem wrong with it.

  3. I’m glad you enjoyed this more than I did. I have to say, it wasn’t the cheating that bothered me as much as that I wished the romance could be a bright spot in Lucille’s life rather than just one more crappy thing. She deserved one person in her life who put her first, not to be someone’s secret girlfriend. Maybe the book was trying to make the point that deep down she didn’t feel like she deserved love? idk, I just didn’t like anything about that romance.
    Jen recently posted…My Favorite Books of 2015: Realistic Fiction + Giveaway!My Profile

  4. I must admit, I am REALLY glad to see your positive review about this one. Cheating doesn’t bother me either, and I have seen so many negative reviews that I was about to write this one off. I also don’t mind the missing parent trope when it is important to the storyline itself, in this case. The immaturity thing does worry me though, I get pretty frustrated with characters when they act like that. BUT I could still see myself enjoying this! Fabulous review!
    Shannon recently posted…This Week At Midnight (92)My Profile

  5. I’m so glad that you enjoyed this book. I’ll be reading it in the next few weeks, and I was kind of hesitant since I’ve been hearing some pretty negative things about the book. I guess I’ll have to see. I don’t usually like cheating in books but it’s not always a dealbreaker for me… but some of the other things you mentioned, like the characters acting too young for their age, might bother me a little. Haha, I’ll just have to go into it with no expectations whatsoever.
    Jenna recently posted…Jenna’s Top 10 YA Releases of 2015My Profile

    • Yeah I think it is best to go in with low expectations because I think I am the outlier on this one. Most reviews I have seen are meh. I really focused on her overcoming the crappy situation and it was a bright spot for me. Hope you enjoy it!

  6. I don’t condone cheating, but that doesn’t mean I can’t read about it. Sometimes, it is somehow weirdly understandable, and in other cases it makes me loathe the characters involved in it.
    This is a book I have been lusting after for a long time, so I’m glad you enjoyed it, even if you had a few issues with the writing at times.
    Great review, Grace!
    Lexxie recently posted…Review: The Strongest Steel – Scarlett ColeMy Profile

  7. Nice review Grace! All I’ve heard were negative things about this book, but it seems like most readers were just upset with how messy it was. I’m so glad you enjoyed it though! Cheating is a no-no for me but I can deal because I understand it happened (God knows I see it too often in my own life). I love the fact that we see good samaritans! Sends us a little hope these days. <3
    Aila recently posted…Jenna’s Top 10 YA Releases of 2015My Profile

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