ARC Review: This Raging Light – Estelle Laure

Synopsis:this raging light cover

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.



I received an eARC edition of this book from Hachette Children’s Group via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Oh how I hate reviewing books with a lot of hype surrounding them, mainly when they didn’t quite reach my expectations… and whilst this book did have a fair go at it, it simply wasn’t everything I hoped it would be – but that isn’t to say that I didn’t like it.

The poetic writing was incredible, honestly – as stated in my 2015 End of Year Survey  it was definitely one of the most beautifully written books I had read last year. Whilst the language wasn’t particularly difficult (I’d say that the book was aimed at the lower end of the YA scale) it was impeccably chosen to weave a story that tugged at my heartstrings.

I empathised with Lucille, she was forced to grow up wayy too quickly, but somehow she didn’t get too messed up in the process (SEE! Dear YA heroines, it is possible!). I wanted to slap her mum silly for causing literally nearly all of the events in this book…. it just made me quite mad that it all came down to her actions… like, REALLY mad. Albeit all in all I was quite proud of Lucille for handling everything in the way she did, I don’t think I would have been able to keep so calm about the situation she was in, or balance work with school and home to care after her sister, and so incredibly too! I don’t think there was a moment where her love for her sister didn’t shine through which was wonderful and definitely one of the highlights of the novel.

However, this book had some downfalls and unfortunately the protagonist was one of them… especially when around Digby; the rational girl we meet has been somewhat thrown out of the window and replaced by a melodramatic, overly-hormonal almost fangirl. And the guy wasn’t even that swoon-worthy. Although “his long feet” were apparently worthy enough to make an appearance in the story (WTFF??)  nothing else that actually would have warranted her swooning over him in the way she did made the cut. Which was confusing as well as disappointing because I really could not understand why she would react in that way to an indecisive, immature boy who may I mention, kept cheating on his girlfriend (please tell me I wasn’t the only one who actually thought this was all kinds of wrong, especially when Lucille nearly encouraged him to do it and acted morose when he was doing what he should have been in the first place and spending time with the girl he was actually dating).

The ending… let’s just say I didn’t completely buy it for numerous reasons I cannot disclose without literally spoiling the whole book. But the number of coincidences that made it up was simply too high for me to be able to say I fully agreed with it. Also, Laure left a lot of endings untied which was annoying because it seemed as though something rather major would have definitely been answered at some point during the novel, and my bets were on the ending… but that plot hole just kept on existing, and expanding which really wasn’t great and I just wished less questions were left without answers because the book had quite a lot of potential. Perhaps it was intentionally left like that, but my brain just wasn’t feeling quite satisfied with the information which it accumulated and wanted much more.

On the whole though, the book was a quick, light read and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for something short and rather sweet, perhaps to bring them  out of a reading slump due to its bookling length at only 288 pages.

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Explain to me what the point of living is if you aren’t willing to fight for the truths in your heart, to risk getting hurt

-Lucille Bennett



One thought on “ARC Review: This Raging Light – Estelle Laure

  1. So glad to see I wasn’t the only one who felt a little “meh” on this. I read it a while back before it came out and it just didn’t really seem that great to me, despite everyone else completely raving about it. It felt kind of flat, and it was hard to connect to the characters. It was a quick read though, so there’s that!


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