The Light Fantastic
by Sarah Combs
I'm really not sure what to think of this book to be honest. You know that line from Fight Club that goes "we met at a very strange time in my life"? That's kind of how I feel about the book. I started reading it and was loving it, but then the next day a man walked into a gay bar in Orlando and killed 49 people...and later, when I went back to the book, I couldn't read it in quite the same way given the subject matter.Summary: Seven tightly interwoven narratives. Three harrowing hours. One fateful day that changes everything.
Delaware, the morning of April 19. Senior Skip Day, and April Donovan’s eighteenth birthday. Four days after the Boston Marathon bombing, the country is still reeling, and April’s rare memory condition has her recounting all the tragedies that have cursed her birth month. And just what was that mysterious gathering under the bleachers about?
Meanwhile, in Nebraska, Lincoln Evans struggles to pay attention in Honors English, distracted by the enigmatic presence of Laura Echols, capturer of his heart. His teacher tries to hold her class’s interest, but she can’t keep her mind off what Adrian George told her earlier.
Over in Idaho, Phoebe is having second thoughts about the Plan mere hours before the start of a cross-country ploy led by an Internet savant known as the Mastermind. Is all her heartache worth the cost of the Assassins’ machinations?
When I first started reading the book, I loved nearly everything about it. The writing was beautiful, and I loved the characters -- especially April and Gavin. And the plot, it hooked me and had that kind of ominous feeling where you know something bad is going to happen but you can't stop reading it.
But then, something changed. I had been writing notes as I read and this really isn't the review I thought I'd be writing, based on those, I thought this review would be a glowing one. And I genuinely can't tell if it's something in me that changed after Orlando or if the book was one of those ones that start off well then go downhill.
It seemed to drag and meander in really frustrating ways and it felt like there was so many POV's that it lacked focus. It would go off on tangents that were beautifully written, but would bore me because it wasn't what I wanted to be reading about (I needed to know what was happening to the characters in the Now of the story, to know if the characters were okay and what was happening, but there wasn't a lot of that).
It would do this thing where it would end a POV on a cliffhanger and we'd have to wait so long to get back to that, and when the story would bring it up again it would skim over it or sum it up briefly or just be disappointing -- it felt like the attention was never quite where it seemed it should have been, if that makes sense?
In the end, I felt pretty underwhelmed. It wasn't a bad book, far from it, but it felt like I'd gotten into a taxi and been taken on a bunch of detours then the car stopped before I'd gotten to the point I needed to get to. I'd still rate the book 3 stars out of 5, because it is still beautifully written but something just didn't click for me in the end and I'm not sure if I'll ever figure out if it's just issues I had with the book itself or real life events messing with my emotions and judgement.