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'This Raging Light' by Estelle Laure: EW review

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This Raging Light

Current Status:
In Season
Estelle Laure
HMH Books for Young Readers
Young Adult

We gave it a B+

Laure’s emotional, resonant debut is billed mostly as a love story. After 17-year-old Lucille’s father lands in the hospital following a nervous breakdown, her mother leaves for a two-week “vacation” that stretches on and on. She forgets to contact Lucille or her younger sister, Wren, even once. As Lucille struggles to keep things together, she ends up falling in hungry, all-encompassing love with her best friend’s twin brother. But while the romance is sweet, it’s the serious stuff—the emotional toll that abandonment takes on Wren, the realization that parents aren’t infallible, the fact that Lucille has to get a job at a Hooters-esque restaurant to pay the bills—that’s far more compelling and original. Laure rightly decides against either a pat ending or an overly maudlin one, but I still wish she’d explored the story’s dark edges a bit more. B+