The Light Fantastic by Sarah Combs | Review

This review is spoiler-free!

the light fantastic

The Light Fantastic by Sarah Combs
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: September 13th 2016 by Candlewick Press
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Find it here: Goodreads || Book Depository

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? The Light Fantastic is a tense, shocking, and beautifully wrought exploration of the pain and pathos of a generation of teenagers on the brink—and the hope of moving from shame and isolation into the light of redemption.

So I’ll just… be totally honest right off the bat here: I have no idea what the point of this book was. Like, I get maybe it has to do with small connections to one another and how (maybe) it’s just that small of a world, but it wasn’t presented in a way that that is what I thought while, or even after, I was reading it. It was only after I took the book back to the library and made myself try to think about what it could have been that I came away with that opinion. Above all of that, it was about a school shooting. That part? I could grasp easily, but there was so much else being layered overtop of the overreaching plot that the plot… barely reached at all. So, in the end, maybe the small connections were the point of the plot.

But, am I even right? I couldn’t tell you, because the book doesn’t say anything about it! It’s supposedly about three different perspectives, but there are definitely more inside the story itself (and they all read very similarly, so good luck there…), and the plot as a whole doesn’t seem to only be about three people.

I don’t know. This review is just as confusing as what I read, and I can’t seem to make sense of either. I feel like I walked away from this one missing something. The only reason I gave it two stars instead of one is because, to start, I liked it. It was interesting when it was only in April’s, one of our main character’s, point of view as she was explaining to us about her rare condition and, from there, about a boy named Lincoln, who we flip to next in a seemingly coherent pattern. But then it all kind of fell into disarray for me, and I almost didn’t bother finishing.

There are better options out there for the topic, honestly. Sorry!

Thanks for reading!


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