Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cold Light

It's not very often that I tell you that I flat out hate a book when everybody else will tell you it's amazing and wonderful but here you go.

Cold Light - Jenn Ashworth

I’m sitting on my couch, watching the local news. There’s Chloe’s parents, the mayor, the hangers on, all grouped round the pond for the ceremony. It’s ten years since Chloe and Carl drowned. You can tell from their faces that something has gone wrong. But I’m the one who knows straightaway that the mayor has found a body. And I know who it is.
Jenn Ashworth’s gripping and unforgettable Cold Light is the story of a friendship unsettling in its intensity and of one terrible summer when lies, secrets, jealousy, and perversion result in tragedy more twisted and evil than one unsuspecting community can handle. A dark tale with a surreal edge, it follows two fourteen-year-old girls, best friends, as they confront the dangers of a predatory adult world, where truth is cruelly sacrificed in the name of innocence.
Ok, so I was absolutely intrigued by this book because we've all had that one really best friend who we've done everything with and the thought of not having them is devastating, especially when you're 14. Plus, when you have a tagline like "They found a body. I know who it is." - who doesn't want to read that? 
But I was disappointed. I have a really hard time when the writing is so lofty. I mean, to explain one scene takes pages and it makes it really hard for me to continue, let alone care. Did I finish the book? I absolutely did because what I discovered is that I didn't like Chloe one bit and not to be cruel, but I kind of wanted her character to be killed. That sounds so totally wrong, but really. Bad egg from the start. But everything about this book is bizarre. You have a teenager with clearly low self esteem (Laura), you have a teenager who is clearly misguided and a bad influence (Chloe), and then you throw in this insane cast of characters- the family, Carl, Wilson, Emma, etc and it's just too much. 
Did I see the ending coming? OK, I will admit it and say no, I didn't. I didn't love the ending, but I guess in hindsight it all kind of made sense. It doesn't change the fact that this book was so hard for me to read just because it's written so difficult. Does that make sense? It's like all of this added time was given to lofty paragraphs and drawn out passages that I was so frustrated within the first 100 pages. Then I thought once the story got rolling it would flow better but it didn't. 
I really wanted this to be like a Jennifer McMahon where nothing is really what it seems and it blows you away at the end and it just wasn't. It took me three weeks to read this book and that tells you something considering I can get through about 3-4 books in a weekend. I'm a fast reader but I kept losing interest in this one and that was probably the biggest disappointment to me. 
I am still going to encourage you to read it because I've seen some other readers rave about this book so maybe it's just me. Maybe I'll feel differently if I read this one in a year, maybe I'd love it then. Who knows. Check out Jenn's webpage HERE too because there is a lot more book information that will likely sway you to read this. 


Laura Kay said...

thanks for an honest review! I have had some books that are really hard to get through, too. In some ways, your review makes me want to read it more...but it makes me also realize it's one I may need to read while reading other books.

Anonymous said...

I'm bummed that this didn't turn out to be the perfect read for you, but we appreciate your honest review. Thanks for being a part of the tour Sara!