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When Lucille Bennett’s mother leaves town to have ‘a break from everything’, Lucille and her sister Wren are left to fend for themselves. This is easier said than done – there are bills to pay, suspicious neighbours to avoid and grades to keep up at school.
Lucille gets a job at a Mexican restaurant run by the eccentric Fred, and her best friend Eden is happy to help take care of Wren. Even so, Lucille’s problems are piling up as fast as the lies she is forced to tell. People are starting to talk, and the Bennetts’ secrets are in danger of being discovered. Just when it seems things couldn’t get more complicated, Lucille finds herself falling in love with her best friend’s brother Digby. Could there be worse timing for something so wonderful to happen?
This book quickly proved itself to be much for than just another YA romance. This Raging Light is a story centred on themes of family and friendship, and I actually think it would have been just as good without the romance. Lucille’s relationships with her sister and her best friend are much more important to the story than her love for Digby.
I was impressed by how realistic Lucille’s character is; her story is very well-written. She’s a strong, hard-working protagonist who is the main force pushing the story forward – you’d be surprised how often the main characters of young adult literature aren’t like this. No helpless Bella Swan characters to be found in this book. I was also surprised by how maturely Lucille dealt with the situations both of her parents were in. Forgiveness is another theme that you don’t see enough of in young adult novels.
I recommend This Raging Light to any teen readers who are looking for a book that they will struggle to put down; the vivid characters are what make this one special. They’ll capture your attention and have you rooting for them from beginning to end.
Reviewed by Tierney Reardon
This Raging Light
by Estelle Laure
Published by Orchard Books