I kind of consider myself a high maintenance reader. I get bored with books easily. Surprising, I know. I usually figure out the ending of a book early on and am dragging my feet through the waters of the rest just to check it off my list. One thing I love about the YA genre is that it constantly keeps me on my toes. There is always something new and different coming along that catches me by surprise.
Laura Whitcomb’s book definitely took me by surprise, and in the most positive of ways. I’ve expressed this before, but the books I love most capture me with the writing. I devour rich, beautiful writing, and it thrills me to see it in Young Adult literature. Whitcomb’s words are painfully beautiful. Pair that up with catching me by surprise, and you’ve got a fan in this girl.
I first came across Whitcomb’s book, A CERTAIN SLANT OF LIGHT, back in 2010. I’m going to be shamefully honest here and say that I pretty much bought the book based on the cover alone. This goes against everything I teach my students. But for real, though:
When I was younger I was always drawn to suspenseful, scary novels. I think it was the whole ‘catch me by surprise thing’, but if you caught me with a book, it was more than likely a love story or a ghost story. Well, this book embodies both, so I was destined to love it.
Here is the synopsis:
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.
I was thrilled when she announced she would be writing a sequel to it. UNDER THE LIGHT does not disappoint, by any means.
I was very interested in hearing about Laura’s writing process and her inspiration for the books she writes: