Thursday, May 5, 2011

"Someone was looking at me, a disturbing sensation if you're dead." - Helen

A Certain Slant of Light – Laura Whitcomb

282 pages

Genre:  YA; Paranormal; Romance

Summary:  Helen, a ghost whose soul has been trapped on earth since her death 130 years ago, attaches herself to various hosts and, effectively, haunts them.  There isn’t any malicious intent in what she does; rather, she just enjoys watching the lives of the people she chooses to follow.  Her world is turned upside down, however, when she notices that somebody can see her for the first time since her death.  Will she figure out the mystery surrounding this person, and will she ever be able to make it to a place where her soul can finally rest?

Review:  Originally, what really drew me towards this book was the cover.  The colors were pleasing, the picture was rather creepy, and after reading the description on the back, I couldn’t wait to read it.  Unfortunately, while the premise was incredibly promising, it didn’t live up to my expectations.

One of the primary things that I found to be rather off-putting was the religion laced within the text.  Going into it, I had no idea that religion was going to be such a big factor, and at times, I found it incredibly distracting.  I understand its place in the text, especially as it relates to the time period in which the narrator originated as well as latter parts of the book, but it just wasn’t doing anything for me.

Furthermore, I thought that the relationship between Helen and James developed much too quickly.  I understand that they were both in the same situation, but everything seemed rather rushed, especially if you take social mores of the times in which the two narrators were born into consideration, and it just didn’t seem believable to me.  Every time James or Helen commented on what a gentleman James was, I had to stifle a laugh.

This book wasn’t completely terrible though.  The story really picked up speed towards the middle when things began to change in Helen’s life, and I really enjoyed reading about how she adapted to everything.  It was also rather interesting to see her memories begin to unravel as she let her walls down bit by bit.

I found the ending of this book, however, to be rather cheesy and much too neat and tidy for my taste.  I think my exact thoughts were akin to “let’s join hands and skip through fields of daisies together.”  Ugh…

While this book wasn’t for me, I think people who are looking for a ghost story mixed with romance and a bit of a religion would really enjoy this.  At times, it also reminded me of Twilight, so if you’re into that series, you may like A Certain Slant of Light, too.

Rating: 2.5/5

Read Alikes:  Everlost – Neil Shusterman, The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney – Suzanne Harper, The Adoration of Jenna Fox – Mary Pearson, If I Stay – Gayle Forman


  1. Hmm, I liked this when I read it, but that was early on in my exploration of YA lit (back when Twilight was the best), so perhaps this is how I would feel if I revisited it. Too bad.

  2. I think I would've enjoyed it much more if I hadn't been this far into my YA exploration, too. It really is too bad because the premise was so intriguing, and the author writes pretty well. Oh well!

  3. I got another book by this author for free during that one YA class where they had us bring soap for some cause of some sort. Hopefully, it's better!

  4. I think I'm going to give this author another chance because this book really did have potential. Let me know what you think of your freebie!

  5. I want to read this! Lets do it!