NetGalley Reads: The Light Fantastic

NetGalley Reads: The Light Fantastic


Hello and happy Friday. Today classes ended early, so I have more time and energy to blog. And of course, when I have time and energy, I like to use them for book reviews, more specifically book rants. The book I’m going to discuss today was sent to me via NetGalley for reading and reviewing purposes, so I’d like to thank them, the publisher and the author for this opportunity.

I read The Light Fantastic by Sarah Combs between October 28th and November 4th, 2019 and I gave it two stars. If I could summarize my reading experience, I would take a quote from the book: “a replay we couldn’t bear to watch but strangely couldn’t get enough of.” I could’ve binge read this book, especially considering the fact that I took in on a trip in which all I did was read, but I didn’t because I couldn’t stand it for more than a few minutes at a time.

This novel is written from multiple perspectives and it is about school shootings. Now, I’ve had this book for a while, so it’s not like the author was being opportunistic when she wrote it, capitalizing on the horrible events that have had a spike in 2019 in the United States. Nevertheless, I do feel like stories about shootings should be handled super carefully, and I don’t think this was. There was nothing structurally wrong with it, in my opinion, but in a way it gave me the feeling Thirteen Reasons Why did, in which they’re basically blaming other kids and negating the existence of other deeper issues such as mental illness and the overall toxic environment in which American teenagers live.

I don’t know if I could consider each of the seven narrators a “main character,” considering that at least two people were given more chapters than the others. Anyway, the first person we read from has this condition in which she has an amazing memory for events in the past. I found this very interesting, but my problem was that this character only tied her memories to traumatic events including, you guessed it, school shootings.

One of the characters is a mix of black and Caucasian and the way he speaks is absolutely horrible. The author is white but she is trying to “sound” black and the character’s voice is just this caricature. I don’t even know what the author’s intent was.

Honestly, there’s not much to say here. The more I read, the surer I was that I’d heard people talk about this book, and from what I recall those comments were not positive either. If you still want to read it, keep in mind the trigger warnings for school shootings and suicide.

Do you think there is a “good way” to address these extremely sensitive issues in literature? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila