Publisher: Orchard Books
Released: January 14th 2015
My Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
How is it that you suddenly notice a person? How is it that one day Digby was my best friend's admittedly cute twin brother, and then the next he stole air, gave jitters, twisted my insides up?
Lucille has bigger problems than falling for her best friend's unavailable brother. Her mom has gone, leaving her to look after her sister, Wren. With bills mounting up and appearances to keep, Lucille is raging against her life but holding it together - just.
A stunning debut to devour in one sitting, Laure captures completely the agony and ecstasy of first love. (from Goodreads)
You know when a book just grips you? The kind where you say “just one more chapter” but really you know you’re going to keep reading until you’re done? This is one of those books. Before this I was reading something I literally had to force myself to finish - but with This Raging Light, I didn’t need to make an effort, I just kept turning the pages. It was very engrossing, and while I wouldn’t say I absolutely loved it, I really, really liked it and I’m really hoping that Estelle Laure is going to write a sequel!
Lucille, our main character, was struggling to cope. Her mum was supposed to be home by now, but she was nowhere to be found. She wasn’t picking up the phone, the money she had left to cover a month’s worth of bills had run out, and Lucille was stuck caring for her little sister Wren all by herself, with no money and no job and no-one to help her. It was enough to make anyone panic, and while I really think Lucille should have told someone what was going on, I could understand why she didn’t. She was trying so hard to keep what was left of her family together - she got herself a job after her mum’s money had run out, she reorganised her schedule, she took her sister to school and kept up with her own school work. Not a lot of people could have done what she did. But at the same time, she was feeling hopeless, feeling stressed and also feeling abandoned, wondering why her mother couldn’t even be bothered to contact her. She was going through a lot, and I felt that her thoughts and feelings were portrayed really well. There was one line I really liked about Lucille feeling like her life was “a glitch in the Matrix” - I thought that was really well put. I also really liked the way Lucille’s relationship with her sister was written. It felt very realistic and the dynamic between them was great - they were close but their relationship was strained at times because of everything that was happening, and I just really loved reading about them.
Eden was Lucille’s best friend, and Digby was Eden’s twin brother, and I had mixed feelings about both these characters. With Eden, I feel like at the start, she really did try to support Lucille the best she could. But at the same time, she had her own life, and her own goals (ballet being one of them - that scene where Lucille described how messed up Eden’s feet were due to her ballet honestly made me feel a bit sick - ugh), and she didn’t want to give everything up. I understood that, but I felt she was also a bit harsh at times (though so was Eden). She was definitely an interesting character though, and one of the main reasons I want a sequel is so I can find out what happens next with her! Digby…I’m so conflicted. We kept hearing Eden say how much of a nice guy he was, how supportive he was, how understanding he was - and while at times he really was all those things, I felt Lucille kept repeating this stuff to detract from his behaviour at other times, when he was being a bit of an idiot. And ultimately, he did some things that would be hard to forgive. So I don’t know how to feel about him. He definitely did help Lucille a lot during this difficult period but I’d need to find out a bit more about him to fully make up my mind - so I really hope there's sequel! (I’m pretty sure there’s going to be a sequel. Estelle Laure has a book called “These Mighty Forces” coming out in 2017 - that’s got to be a sequel, or at least a companion novel, right?)
Plot-wise, as I said previously, I was pretty much hooked from the few pages. I really wanted to know how Lucille would cope with all the new problems thrown at her, and there was so much I didn’t expect to happen. The pacing was brilliant because there was a build up of wondering how things were going to turn out in the end - and it ended like THAT and ugh. Seriously. I need a sequel. I'm just working off the assumption that there's going to be one.
Overall, this was a really great contemp, one with a lot of feeling, that addressed a lot of difficult issues, and I think everyone should give it a go, even if you’re not the biggest contemp fan.