A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb
Series: Light #1
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Age Group: Mature Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal, Romance
Publisher: HMH Books
Release Date: September 21st 2005
Synopsis: 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.
I found quiet beauty within the pages of A Certain Slant of Light. Even though the book contains mature themes and some slightly disturbing moments, Laura Whitcomb somehow makes every page seem beautiful. Well, it was all beautiful to me at least.
What you will find in this novel is a story of two ghost, the romance that blossoms between them, the lives (originally belonging to two souls who wandered away from their bodies) they try to blend into, the fragments of memories that they slowly start to recall, their struggling to forgive themselves, and searching through their emotions and soul.
Whitcomb does a magnificent job at telling the story, weaving together all the many different story elements together perfectly and giving each one enough attention. She made A Certain Slant of Light a completely compelling story. I could go on and on about how the finesse this lady was able to tell her story with. There are religious and spiritual themes in thus book, and while I thought them to be executed well and not in a “preachy” way, it could bother some readers. Just thought that that might be something readers would want to be aware of…
A Certain Slant of Light is a bit different from many other Young Adult novels, because of the two leads. The two lead characters, James and Helen, are in their late twenties (though the empty bodies they take over are teens). I really didn’t know what to expect since the characters are clearly not young adults. Fortunately, Whitcomb wrote James and Helen in a way that allowed me to be able to understand and connect with them, despite the significant age difference.
One might say that the love that sparks between James and Helen could be called insta-love or something close to insta-love. It’s true that James and Helen talk about love very early into the book , but I see their romance another way. I think their love stemmed from loneliness and desperation. The two ghost haven’t been able to touch or speak to a person in over a hundred years. So I only think it’s natural that the two characters would want to cling onto each other as tightly as they could.
The atmosphere of this novel is what really grabbed hold of me. A feeling of muted melancholy and creepiness went over me while I read A Certain Slant of Light. But there was also the occasional feeling of love and hope. I love it when a story has a noticeable atmosphere that stays with me even after I finish. And this book certainly had one of those atmospheres.
Whitcomb’s prose is absolutely wonderful. The way she puts words together is lovely and even calming. I swear, one could devour her words all day. It also seems like Whitcomb has a large love for poetry and literature as a whole, as her book has references and quotes peppered throughout the course of the story.
A Certain Slant of Light is a truly amazing novel and I can not wait to read Whitcomb’s most recent release, which is a sequel to this one. I am literally having to restrain myself from begging for people to read this book (I’ve been getting a little hyper lately 😉 ). So, if you have an urge for a book with ghost and a little more, A Certain Slant of Light is at the bookstore, waiting for you. Like it was waiting for me.