17 Jun Review: A Certain Slant of LightA Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb
Genres: Adult, Literary
Published by Graphia on September 21st 2005
Recommended Read? Oh yes! I really think anyone could find something interesting in this book.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.
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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.
Horror Warning? It’s mildly scary at times. Mostly, I was scared for Helen and what might happen.