Saturday, January 08, 2011

Review: A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb

From Back Cover: In the class of the high school English teacher she has been haunting, Helen feels them: for the first time in 130 years, human eyes are looking at her. They belong to a boy, a boy who has not seemed remarkable until now. And Helen - terrified but intrigued - is drawn to him. The fact that he is in a body and she is not presents this unlikely couple with their first challenge. But as the lovers struggle to find a way to be together, they begin to discover the secrets of their former lives and of the young people they come to possess. 

My Rating: 3.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb was recommended to me by Laura (not the author), and was very different from anything I’ve ever read.  

It’s a love story involving two ghosts (referred to as the ‘Light’), Helen, a woman who has haunted five humans (referred to as the ‘Quick’), and James, a Light who has come to inhabit the body of a seventeen-year-old boy named Billy who overdosed and had his spirit leave his body. As the two struggle to be together despite the obstacles surrounding them, they also attempt to piece together their memories from before they were Light to determine why they are in limbo.

On top of the unique plot, Whitcomb’s writing is very beautiful and haunting, and the romance between Helen and James is intense. However, I felt very removed from the characters themselves, which is probably why I didn’t read the book in one sitting. Also, even though I ended up liking A Certain Slant of Light, the writing style isn’t something I’d read on a usual basis (since it seems reminiscent of older times) and so I’d recommend this novel for more mature teens and adults. 

A Certain Slant of Light was released by Graphia in September 2005.

Comments About the Cover: I love the cover because it gives off a really eerie feel through the use of muted, somber colours and the way the girl is lying in the bathtub holding up her ghostly hands as if they don’t belong to her. 


  1. An interesting book, thanks for the review!

  2. This sounds really good...though perhaps only for the right mood, you know? Great review! :)

  3. Thank you for this review, its so hard to love a book when you can't connect with the characters. I always feel if l might have read a certain book at a different time l might feel completely different!
    Books For Company

  4. This sounds so interesting. It's too bad you found you couldn't connect to the characters though. Thanks for the review.

  5. You finished it! Yay! It's too bad you couldn't connect with the characters. The romance is definitely intense, but in a good way! Did you like the ending? What's great about this book is that you never know what's going to happen next. Even towards the end the fates of the two MCs is so unclear!

  6. I've heard a lot of interesting things about this one, and I'm really intrigued by the romance aspect of it since it's such a different relationship situation. I'm interested in the writing style as well, did they just talk as though they were older? Nice review Zahida!

  7. It's been a while since I read this one, but I think I was about where you are - it was good, but I couldn't get really into it. I do think it has an awesome cover though.

    I found your blog through Parajunkee and I'm a new follower :)


  8. I have been eyeing this one for a while now. Thanks for the review!
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  9. I read this book a long time again and I really liked it. I know my daughter's middle school has it. I think that's where I picked it up...

    Good review!


  10. This one has been on my wish list for so long. I'd almost forgotten about it! Thanks for the great review! :)

  11. I LOVE this book. I first read it when I was much younger and I've reread it every few years. This book does have a different feel to it.


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