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Laura Whitcomb – A Certain Slant of Light

March 31, 2008

41. A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb (2005)

Read by Lauren Molina
Length: 8h 30min (288 pages)

Genre: Young Adult; Paranormal Romance

Started: 26 March 2008
Finished: 31 March 2008

Summary: Helen was a young woman when she died over a century ago. Since then, she’s spent her time as a muse – attaching herself to a sequence of “hosts”. Her current host is an English teacher, and one day in class, she notices a young man looking at her. That boy turns out to be James, another spirit who took over the body of Billy, a drug addict, when Billy’s own spirit left it empty. The two feel an immediate connection, and soon they find Helen an empty body as well – that of Jenny, a girl from a stiflingly strict religious family. However, when both of them are in the flesh, they suddenly find themselves having to deal with the problems of normal teenagers, and have to overcome these obstacles if they truly want to be together.

Review: I was underwhelmed by this one. In general, it was pretty inoffensive, and I think it got a lot of the details of teenager-dom correct, but I just didn’t care. I think part of this was that the writing style didn’t really suit me – it felt like it was trying too hard to be literary and descriptive, but instead it came out feeling trite and overworked. Also, I didn’t really care for either of the characters; I felt like they pushed the “charmingly naive” thing too far – some degree of that is expected in 19th century ghosts, but interpersonal relationships haven’t changed all that much. Unfortunately, by the time either of them figured out what was going on and grew a spine, I no longer cared. 3 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Pretty realistic for a teen ghost story, but uninvolving characters, tiresome writing, and an overly facile ending results in a solidly mediocre listening experience. Fans of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series might like it, but for everyone else, I wouldn’t bother.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

First Line: Someone was looking at me, a disturbing sensation if you’re dead.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. April 9, 2008 1:07 pm

    How do you deal with audio books on your reading graph?

  2. April 9, 2008 1:21 pm

    I count them. I only listen to unabridged books, so in my mind, if the words have gotten into my brain, it counts the same whether they got in via my eyes or my ears.

    I’ve only been graphing new reads, so no re-reads are included, but my tally of books per year includes audiobooks.

    For the page numbers, I’ve just been looking up the numbers from the most popular paper copy on Amazon. I also go through at the end of the year and tot up total listening time, but that’s on my own, not on the spreadsheet.

  3. April 9, 2008 1:35 pm

    I had decided to count them as ‘books read’ for the same reason, but I was undecided as to whether or not to count pages. I may have to continue to dwell on that.

  4. marrie permalink
    February 19, 2009 6:28 pm

    loved this book

  5. Helen permalink
    November 15, 2011 2:36 pm

    I happened to love this book and I have NEVER liked twlight. I feel as though maybe you didn’t understand the depth of the book. It was honestly beautiful. It’s a shame you couldn’t see that.


  1. Book Review: A Certain Slant of Light « ReviewsbyLola's Blog

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