Review: The Light That Gets Lost by Natasha Carthew


Author Natasha Carthew

Title: The Light That Gets Lost

Purchase: Available in the UK and the US.

Overall rating: 3/5 stars

Great for: Fans of abstract writing and troubled teen memoirs

Themes: Contemporary, coming-of-age, young adult

Review: Troubled teenager, Trey’s fate was decided when he witnessed the murder of his entire family whilst just a toddler. A decade later, he is sent to a camp for wayward children where he believes he will find the perpetrator for his parent’s untimely demise. His continual struggle to control his emotions makes him appear as just another troubled teen, but Trey knows he is different from the troublemakers that reside there. That is, until he makes the acquaintance of the self-certified as crazy, Lamby, and the mysterious and beautiful Kay. They teach him that both people and life have more shades to them than black and white.

I was immediately captivated by the lyrical genius of the writing: the elegance of style and the abstract lilt to the narrative made me sure this was going to be a new favourite read. I am always drawn to odd, polarising fiction and this initially drew me in. Much of the narrative was lost in a string of metaphors and antistrophes, leaving the reader to find the truth amongst the emotion. This daring, stylistic approach can often sequester the readership and I admired Carthew’s boldness!

Unfortunately, I found that whilst I continued to find solace in the writing, the believability of the plot began to evade me. I felt distanced from the events that took place and, therefore, the characters. I could not validify the credibility of the plot’s meandering journey. Whilst still maintaining a link to reality and the contemporary genre, the events seemed to become far-fetched without actually becoming fantastical, leaving me at a loss of where the story was heading.

The ending provided some respite from the questions that plagued my reading of this. I found solace in the close of the story and I felt my intimacy with the text return as the symbolism of the extraordinary title was revealed.

I would be interested in reading more from this author as her skill in penmanship has won me over, however, I think I will write this book off as a case of ‘just not for me’.

I received this in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, Natasha Carthew, and the publisher, Bloomsbury Children, for this opportunity. 

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