Thursday, 14 May 2009

A Certain Slant Of Light by Laura Whitcomb

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pub. Date: September 2005
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 288pp
Format: paperback
Source: from publisher - Houghton Mifflin Graphia

In the class of the high school English teacher she has been haunting, Helen feels them: for the first time in 130 years, human eyes are looking at her. They belong to a boy, a boy who has not seemed remarkable until now. And Helen—terrified, but intrigued—is drawn to him. The fact that he is in a body and she is not presents this unlikely couple with their first challenge. But as the lovers struggle to find a way to be together, they begin to discover the secrets of their former lives and of the young people they come to possess.

Such a lovely read this book is. Although all the thrill and mystery included didn't come up to my expectation, it was still a nice story about ghosts. Scary? No. Dark? A little bit. Meaningful? Hell yeah.

Light is the way the author called the Death, and Quick the Human. They connect to each other one way or another - some ghosts have to cling to the hosts in order to get through the days, while, some, if lucky, could take control of the living body of those whose spirits choose to drift away and let the flesh hollow. This is a fresh take, on exploring the world of the Death, you also learn so much about Life, especially ones of people who are still breathing but are no different from the bodiless creatures.

The first thing I noticed about this story was the ghosts were so nice, not to say vulnerable. Helen didn't float freely in the sky, she didn't stir things to scare people, she didn't even know how she looked like. To survive, she had to be close to her hosts and never to wish for anything more than to be with them. She went through 130 years with so much pain and fear, pain of not knowing how to really interact with them, fear of losing them and being dragged back to darkness. The most ironic thing was when a human saw her, Helen was terrified and embarrassed. I was annoyed at first, but as the story went on, I wasn't anymore. Why? Because in this stories the ghosts were just like human - they had weaknesses, they had feelings, they had desires too.

The adventure of exploring who they were and why they were here of Helen and James - the guy in the boy body was very enjoyable. Love snuck in and everything turned out to be crazy for both. Excitement rose when they found away to be together and got stuck in a bunch of troubles they weren't ready for. During my read sometimes I lost track of the main point, like the story just went on and on and I didn't know what to expect. But as the end neared, everything was cleared - the message was about how precious life is. It can be dark, it can be miserable, it can be so so meaningless you just want to escape from it, but if you drive out all the bads, there're so many things and people to live for. Just the ability to smell, to taste, to feel the skin is enough for life to be cherished. And the key to let your spirit free is to forgive yourself.

One more thing I love to mention about this book - it's so inspiring. After reading it, if you're a writer, you'll love to write more. If you're a reader, you'll want to snatch another book. The way it's illustrated by words is simply beautiful and poetic.

Rating: 3.5/5

6 comments:

prophecygirl said...

Great review! I loved this book, it was brilliant!

Diana Dang said...

Lovely review ^^

Jen said...

Sounds brilliant, what a great review!

kaylie said...

WOW!! i love the cover...it really rocks: scary, blurry.
the sypnosis is brilliant .that's such a lovely ghost..

Lenore said...

I have a signed copy of this, but I haven't read it yet...

Amy said...

CUTE new layout! I thought the ending was absolutely brilliant!
-amy