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17 Jun Review: A Certain Slant of Light

A Certain Slant of LightA Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb
Genres: Adult, Literary
Published by Graphia on September 21st 2005
Pages: 282
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
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.
Recommended Read? Oh yes! I really think anyone could find something interesting in this book.
Buy the Book (Book Depository)Buy the Book (Amazon)



The. Writing. Is. Beautiful.

“This is the story of my journey back through the Quick. I would climb into flesh again for a chain of six days.”

Helen calls the living Quick and the dead Light. She’s spent 130 years clinging to a host to stay out of her hell, which she so elegant explains as:

“Icy water was burning down my throat, splintering my ribs, and my ears were filled with a sound like a demon howling, but I could hear her voice and reached for her.”

The plot, while interesting, is not what really shines in this book. It’s the characters. Mr. Brown is Helen’s host and. I swooned over this man. Why? Here’s Helen’s words:

“I chose him partly because he loved literature so very much, but I also chose him because he had a king heart, an honest tongue, and a clear honor and yet seemed totally unaware of the fact that he was virtuous.”

James is the other ghost Helen meets. I was suspicious of him and what his motives were — was it really out of love? But my heart did break a little when I learned his backstory. Helen — probably should’ve mentioned her first, huh? — is the main character. She was in her mid to late twenties when she died and can’t remember how it happened or why she was cursed to hell. I felt so bad for her, being stuck for 130 years without being able to do anything — to talk to anyone.

And now, let’s talk about the romance.

“He pressed hard as if he were lost at sea, drawing fresh water from my depths.”

Wow, right? The romance was so vibrant. I understand why Helen fell so hard, I understood why it was so sudden and important to everyone involved. I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure about James at the start. Whenever ghosts are involved, I instantly think something dark was going on.

Though this isn’t really YA, I loved it. It’s beautifully written, the romance is passionate and understanding, and the characters flawed but lovable.

Other Opinions:

Wendy Darling (The Midnight Garden) 4.5/5

Fiction for a New Age 4.5/5

Horror Warning? It’s mildly scary at times. Mostly, I was scared for Helen and what might happen.



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Freelance Editor at Wild Things Editing
I'm a designer, a freelance editor, an intern for Bree Ogden at Red Sofa Literary and, most importantly, a book blogger. Reading wise I’m a huge fan of anything creepy, weird, whimsical, or sinister — and zombies. Gotta love zombies. Oh, and I'm a YA writer represented by Prospect Agency.

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  • Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies
    Posted at 12:27h, 17 June Reply

    I’m so happy to see a review of this book! It’s been on my shelf forever — I’d almost forgotten it was there. Terrific review, can’t wait to read the book! I didn’t realize it was part of a series. Do you know how many books there are and whether the series is done yet?

    • Kim
      Posted at 13:01h, 17 June Reply

      I think that there’s just a sequel, and that’s out, so it’s complete.

  • AlluringReads
    Posted at 20:30h, 17 June Reply

    Oh man you have me so excited for this one now. I read Wendy’s review a few weeks back and ended up grabbing this one for my Kindle and now I want to bump it up in my schedule. The writing seems so amazing and I think it’s a story that plays with your mind, which is something I love!

    • Kim
      Posted at 10:27h, 18 June Reply

      Wendy’s review was what made me buy this book :)

  • Henrietta @ Leisure Reads
    Posted at 04:20h, 18 June Reply

    Like Jenni, I read Wendy’s review a while ago and then I requested the library to carry the title. I hope the library would carry the book soon. Thank you for sharing the snippets – like a greedy child, I want to read more now :)

    • Kim
      Posted at 10:27h, 18 June Reply

      Wendy made me aware of this book too. I hope you enjoy it!

  • Deb A. Marshall
    Posted at 08:57h, 18 June Reply

    Yes and yes on everything you say about this one…including literary fiction. Makes me want to read it all over again!

    • Kim
      Posted at 10:27h, 18 June Reply

      It is such a good book :)

  • Lexa Cain
    Posted at 20:47h, 18 June Reply

    I love the way Helen expresses herself like she really lived 130 years ago. The book sounds great, and I’m glad you enjoyed it! :-)

  • Leanne
    Posted at 03:17h, 01 July Reply

    Just the snippets of writing you shared with us from the book are FANTASTIC. I have to put it on my immediate-acquisition wishlist. Like, I don’t think my life will be as awesome as it could be until I have this book in it. And that cover is amazing! I hadn’t been interested in the book from the blurb, but went on to read the review just because of the cover. So glad I did.
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