When Light Left Us
When the Vasquez siblings’ father left, it seemed nothing could remedy the absence in their lives . . . until a shimmering figure named Luz appeared in the canyon behind their house.Luz filled the void. He shot hoops with seventeen-year-old Hank’s hands. He showed fourteen-year-old Ana cinematic beauty behind her eyelids. He spoke kindly to eight-year-old Milo. But then Luz left, too, and he took something from each of them. As a new school year begins, Ana, Hank, and Milo must carry on as if an alien presence never altered them. But how can they ever feel close to other people again when Luz changed everything about how they see the world and themselves? In an imaginative and heartfelt exploration of human—and non-human—nature, Leah Thomas champions the unyielding bonds between family and true friends.

When Light Left Us Details

TitleWhen Light Left Us
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 13th, 2018
PublisherBloomsbury USA Childrens
ISBN-139781681191812
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Science Fiction, Contemporary, Lgbt

When Light Left Us Review

  • Kristen
    January 1, 1970
    Review can also be found on my blog, here: Kiwi Can ReadI was so stoked to receive a Net Galley e-arc of this book. This was one of my 2018 most anticipated releases. I read Leah Thomas' Because You'll Never Meet Me last year and LOVED it so much. It instantly became one of my favorite books of all time. I'm sorry to report that I can't say the same for this one.The premise was so original and compelling, I thought for sure I would love it. I ended up getting so frustrated with this book, that I Review can also be found on my blog, here: Kiwi Can ReadI was so stoked to receive a Net Galley e-arc of this book. This was one of my 2018 most anticipated releases. I read Leah Thomas' Because You'll Never Meet Me last year and LOVED it so much. It instantly became one of my favorite books of all time. I'm sorry to report that I can't say the same for this one.The premise was so original and compelling, I thought for sure I would love it. I ended up getting so frustrated with this book, that I was fuming with rage while reading it at one point. It took everything I had in me not to just DNF this sucker and be done with it. Nevertheless, I persisted until the very end. I'll start with what I liked:1. Multiple POVs - This story was told from 4 main perspectives, from all different ages. It's told from the perspectives of an elementary schooler, two high schoolers, and a parent (plus an alien at one point). It was like getting to read a Middle Grade, Young Adult and Adult book all at the same time. You don't know how much I appreciated getting the parent's POV. Something that I hate in YA is how little of the parental figures we get to see. Not only did we get a real live parent in this book, we also got to see what she's thinking. I hope that this is a trend that sticks!2. The Originality - I thought that the alien parasite concept was so cool. Especially when I read that he took something from each of the three Vasquez siblings. From Hank, he took the use of his hands. From Ana, he took control of her eyes. From Milo, he took over his ears. Cool!What I didn't like:1. Confusion, Confusion and More Confusion - I thought the alien idea was cool beans. However, I felt that there was not enough backstory and explanation at the beginning in order for me to really get a grasp on what was happening. At first, I thought this was a good thing. I was strangely compelled, and wanted to keep reading in order to figure this thing out. However, as time went on, this just got more and more frustrating. By the 50% mark of the book, Luz the alien wasn't fully explained and I started to get mad. I felt like the book was stringing me along and wasting my time and I very badly wanted to eat my Kindle out of rage. I get that authors want to keep their readers interested in order for them to want to keep reading. I just don't think that this is the way to do it.2. Offensive Language - I swear. A lot. But still, I feel like in YA there are a few words that are utter and complete NO-NOs. Two of these taboo words that I'm talking about are "retard" and "faggot." These words, and ones similar to them, are generously sprinkled throughout the book by a real homophobic character. There was also a supremely racist moment as a bonus. I just feel like there's no way that people aren't going to take offense to these things and that it should be pointed out. Maybe it would have been okay if the characters being called these names would have stood up for themselves, but they never really did. Which brings me to...3. The Characters - Okay, let me first say that I can really tell that the author loves her characters like they are her own flesh and blood. It's obvious in her writing that she cares about them a lot. However, I don't really feel like she gave me any reason to care about them. This book was heavily character oriented (and barely even had a plot, imo), so you really need the characters to be lovable. These ones really weren't - not to me.Meet Milo - an adorable six (or seven?) year old boy who ended up bugging the crap out of me. For starters, HE SHOUTS ALMOST ALL OF HIS LINES. He also adorkably (or irritatingly) sometimes uses the wrong words, which wasn't at all distracting. He also said really random shit at times. It got not cute real fast. I wasn't a fan.Get Acquainted With Ana - the semi-emo 16-year-old girl who duct tapes her eyelids open and puts safety pins through her legs. I liked her the best out of all of the characters, but I do think that her character could potentially be very triggering.Say Hello to Hank - the boy who's dumber than a bag of rocks and just as useless. He was bullied pretty drastically and yet never got angry or spoke up for himself. At one point, someone threw a basketball at his thick head and he was all: "I'm not even mad about it." Woooow! Where are your emotions robot boy?Meet Mama Maggie - the mom who is fed up with her crazy kids and may or may not love them anymore. I felt for her the most, because she's helpless to her kids who went loco all at once, but I really didn't like it when she'd say or think bad things about her kids. Do you hate them? Do all parents think horrible things about their kids at times? Do I need to be worried?4. The Plot - What plot? Where? I didn't see any plot! As I said earlier, this one was mainly about the characters. I love me a good character oriented book. However, there needs to be more plot in a story than there was in this book. It's 400 pages long and hardly anything happens. And what does happen feels random and disjointed and just all over the place. Every chapter was like a fragmented piece of nothingness. I feel like this book was trying way too hard to come across as "deep." I kept asking myself, "WHAT IS HAPPENING? WHAT IS THE POINT? GAH!" It actually made me pretty mad.5. Dumb Jokes Are Just Dumb - I'm no Robin Williams or [INSERT OTHER RELEVANT COMEDIAN HERE], but the jokes in this book were so lame. I usually don't mind sad puns or whatever, but these ones were a little pathetic. Some were even offensive. One dick joke is too many. I don't want ten.I don't know, guys. Maybe I'm just too shallow of a person to really appreciate the full effect of this book. Maybe someone who's smarter or more profound than me will be blown away by it. At this point, I kinda just want to blow it up. 2/5 Stars.
    more
  • georgia ☽
    January 1, 1970
    I WILL READ ANYTHING THAT LEAH THOMAS WRITES
  • Lindsey Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    Review and rating to come
  • Vicky Who Reads
    January 1, 1970
    5 starsOH MY GOSH THIS BOOK.I picked this up at my library in the uncatalogued section (where they have some ARCs) on a whim, and I regret nothing.When I started reading it this Friday night, I knew nothing about it. I hadn't read the summary and I probably wouldn't have actually started if I didn't schedule this post weeks ago thinking I would read this book before then.I wasn't sure what I was expecting--maybe something fake-poetic based on the vague-ness of the title, but it ended up not bein 5 starsOH MY GOSH THIS BOOK.I picked this up at my library in the uncatalogued section (where they have some ARCs) on a whim, and I regret nothing.When I started reading it this Friday night, I knew nothing about it. I hadn't read the summary and I probably wouldn't have actually started if I didn't schedule this post weeks ago thinking I would read this book before then.I wasn't sure what I was expecting--maybe something fake-poetic based on the vague-ness of the title, but it ended up not being a fake-poetic intentionally-vague largely-metaphorical-but-truly-unhelpful type of novel.It had a delicious magical-realism atmosphere (despite not being magical realism), themes on friendship and family and living through a loss, and a very impactful narrative.It was good. It was so good.I haven't read a book this good since December (ok, that's not very long but still). This is what I'd call a true 5 star read because it was amazing emotionally (I had such a fantastic and enjoyable time reading) and technically (it was written very well).I almost couldn't put this book down.It was just very entertaining--I was sucked into the narrative and I wanted to read more, more, more and I wanted to know what happened to the Vasquez siblings.At first, it was a little funky because the first chapter of each part is in third person omniscient so there's a lot of bumping around from character to character without distinguishable breaks, so it made it a little confusing until I realized what was happening. But after, it switches to third person limited and it feels more comfortable.It was very nuanced and had some half-flashback half-not-flashback scenes that were executed really well in my opinion. It could have been hella confusing to read present, past, present, past happening all in one page, but I think Thomas made it work and the parallels she put into it made it so interesting.And the entire plot was very interesting. I had no idea what was going to happen/what had happened (I didn't read the summary) before I started, but Thomas introduced the whole story to us very well.Luz is an alien/spirit/parasite/something that inhabited all three of the Vasquez siblings and left a ton of damage in its wake.This book deals with the aftermath of Luz and slowly exposes what he did to make the entire family so traumatized. It reveals everything to you bit by bit and it just pulls you into the story with the mystery behind Luz and what he did and where he came from.The characters are all so complex, and I loved how even the side characters were developed really well.Ana struggles with self-harm (TW) as well as having a crush on her brother's ex-boyfriend and living life after Luz and dealing with the loss of her best-friend after actions Luz made her do. I loved her story of healing and how she slowly began to get better as school started--making new friends and actually closing her eyes.Hank struggles with touching anything with his hands after Luz did something to them and this affects his basketball performance, all while his actions under the influence of Luz haunts him and the halls of the school.Milo has to have his headphones in his ears or else he'll hear the Roaring Nothing and begin screaming--and this isn't something that his classmates or his second grade teacher find to be conducive to learning. He's dealing with the loss of his "Dad" (Milo believed Luz was his "Dad" coming back) and it broke his heart all over again.They've all got a ton of problems, but through the narrative, they work to overcome this. Their growth and change as people after a surreal encounter mimics that of growth and change after a non-surreal but equally-traumatizing event, and I really enjoyed this.This might just seem like 400 pages of character growth, but let me tell you--spicy things happen that I can't spoil. (Is Luz really gone...?)The magical realism atmosphere was delicious--it was spooky (and got creepier with Luz) and it also had this very nice rhythm to the narrative so it never lagged or did anything funny.There are so many things that I could talk about that I love about this book, but then I'd just write the whole book all over again! There was symbolism, parallels, foreshadowing, and all sorts of great technical use of writing techniques in this book that took it from just being entertaining to being amazing. I have zero criticism because it was beautiful, it was capturing, it was a very great read.This makes the list to one of my favorite books. I'd totally recommend to everyone and anyone.Thank you so much to my library and Bloomsbury Kids for providing me with an (uncatalogued) ARC in exchange for an honest review!Blog | Instagram | Twitter
    more
  • Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
    January 1, 1970
    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 3.5*This is a very... different sort of book. I mean, you see in the synopsis that Luz is an alien who is having an impact on this particular family. A huge impact, basically. But I'll let you read about that. Point is, an alien invading a family isn't your run of the mill story. Also, this alien is kind of an asshole. The book started off in a bit of a confusing way, and I wasn't wholly You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 3.5*This is a very... different sort of book. I mean, you see in the synopsis that Luz is an alien who is having an impact on this particular family. A huge impact, basically. But I'll let you read about that. Point is, an alien invading a family isn't your run of the mill story. Also, this alien is kind of an asshole. The book started off in a bit of a confusing way, and I wasn't wholly sure what I was even reading. Was this contemporary? Was it sci-fi? The story is told through several POVs- the three siblings and their mother (technically, a little from Luz, too). I didn't mind that part, actually. It's a very character driven story, so I liked the opportunity to get to know all the characters in depth. My real problem with the beginning was that there wasn't much happening, and I was confused, and it led to me not connecting immediately. But then, as the book went on (and it's a bit long for a contemporary, at over 400 pages), I really grew to care about this family. I needed to know their stories, I wanted them to be okay. Frankly, I wanted to know if Luz was even a real thing or a construct of their imagination, or something else entirely. I really had no idea where the story was headed, and I quite liked that! I was also mildly disappointed by the end; it wasn't quite as epic/surprising as I'd hoped. It wasn't terrible or anything, mind you, and it very well may just be my personal taste. Maybe you'll love it. But my investment in the characters outweighed my disappointments in this book. I loved watching them grow and develop, make friends and see their relationships change and evolve. I loved their interactions as a family, too. While they were often messy, they also seemed realistic. Their mother cared so much for them, but always felt overwhelmed and like she wasn't doing enough. In turn, each of the children had their own crosses to bear. It all felt incredibly honest. Bottom line: While the plot was on the slow side, and I had some moments of confusion, the characters and the love they shared made up for my dislikes, no question. *Copy provided for review
    more
  • Sara (A Gingerly Review)
    January 1, 1970
    This book was an absolute struggle for me. STRUGGLE. Why? It was too wordy... as if Thomas was trying so hard to make this story magical and engaging. Was it? Not at all. It was hella confusing and I had no idea what was going on... It was simply trying to be a bigger story than what it was.--------Full review can be found here: https://agingerlyreview.wordpress.com...**I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Bloomsbury for the opportunity!**I’m sad to This book was an absolute struggle for me. STRUGGLE. Why? It was too wordy... as if Thomas was trying so hard to make this story magical and engaging. Was it? Not at all. It was hella confusing and I had no idea what was going on... It was simply trying to be a bigger story than what it was.--------Full review can be found here: https://agingerlyreview.wordpress.com...**I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Bloomsbury for the opportunity!**I’m sad to report that while this book has a beautiful cover and a great premise, the story itself fell incredibly flat for me. I just did not like it as much as I had hoped. This really is the most unusual book I have read in quite some time and that isn’t really a compliment. It is about an alien who has come to Earth and has impacted a family. This is the story of how that family has been impacted and their struggle to live with that.When it comes to characters… well… they are not easy to describe. Luz, the alien, has taken certain features from the various family members and uses them for himself. From one kid he takes his hearing, another is their eyes (or the ability to blink?), you get the idea. All of this happened after the father of this family left in the middle of the night. He had just helped them build a tree house in the middle of nowhere but left after that was built. I’m struggling to properly describe these characters… I’m sorry for that. The main thing is that the alien is a bit of an asshole (he really is) and the family members are just weird. The chapters are told from various POVs (the kids) but it comes across as broken and random. None of it makes much sense. I found that I just could not connect with any of the characters because I couldn’t understand what they were going through.The plot of the story was just as confusing as the characters. Was this supposed to be a contemporary story? Perhaps a sci-fi? Or maybe a coming of age? I wasn’t sure for the longest time. I had zero idea where things were going to go because the beginning of the book was rather boring. Believe me when I say that almost NOTHING happened. I’m going to sound like a broken record but I found myself not caring what happened. I found myself wanting to DNF several times because if I cannot connect to the story or find myself able to not read the book and be okay by page 100, then I’m done. I did stick with this one and it did get a little better but it was not a substantial improvement.I don’t like writing reviews like this… it was overall an okay story but not one I would recommend to others or force them to add to their TBR. It was just too confusing with no clear direction. The characters were not that well developed, nor was the plot. I think I knew what the author was trying to do but she took the most confusing route to get there. I wanted to like this so much more than I did.
    more
  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    It's a little bit of bizarre premise if you're not into aliens but this book is SO GOOD and yeah there's an alien but even more so, it's about life and family and friends and trauma and loving yourself. Read this book with a friend because you are going to need someone to talk about it with!! I was so sad when I reached the end because I didn't want to leave these characters!
    more
  • Gabrielle de Waal
    January 1, 1970
    This book gets points for being completely unlike anything I have ever read.I wasn't completely sold on all! the! exclamation! points! in Milo's sections, though I can understand why the author wanted to emphasize the louder and less contained nature of his thoughts. The pacing was a little weird in places. There were about two characters too many. And a few plot threads were just a little too neat.But it was also creepy and haunting and genuinely moving in places. I loved watching the three sib This book gets points for being completely unlike anything I have ever read.I wasn't completely sold on all! the! exclamation! points! in Milo's sections, though I can understand why the author wanted to emphasize the louder and less contained nature of his thoughts. The pacing was a little weird in places. There were about two characters too many. And a few plot threads were just a little too neat.But it was also creepy and haunting and genuinely moving in places. I loved watching the three siblings grow together, apart, together again. Their three stories felt distinct, their personalities and motivations entirely their own. I kept guessing at what the heck was going on, even when I wasn't actually reading. These problems and situations felt real and human and vivid, even though the central premise revolves around.....possessive alien termites of light. All the weirdo elements of the book spoke to real-life issues on a deeper level. And my absolute favorite thing about this book: the best character is the kids' middle-aged mother. I've never seen that in a YA book before! She gets her own sections, her own thoughts, her own fears and struggles. She's such a wonderfully complex character. She's allowed to not be very naturally nurturing or very feminine or very "motherly," and yet she loves her children fiercely and supports them even when it's hard. She's allowed to sometimes be embarrassed or exasperated by their unsettling behavior, to just want her children to be normal, and yet she fights on their behalf time and time again. She chooses actions of love even when her head and heart are both screaming. The story esteems motherhood as incredibly important and rewarding, while also insisting that being a Good Mom doesn't have to look the way people expect. Very cool.
    more
  • Suzanne (The Bookish Libra)
    January 1, 1970
    When Light Left Us by Leah Thomas is one of the more unique books I’ve read lately. At its heart is the Vasquez family, in particular, siblings Milo, Ana and Hank, who are reeling from the fact that their father has just walked out of their lives without so much as a goodbye. They are all trying to cope with the loss as best as they can, until one night something happens that changes everything…a shimmering alien figure named Luz appears in the canyon behind their house. Luz fills the void left When Light Left Us by Leah Thomas is one of the more unique books I’ve read lately. At its heart is the Vasquez family, in particular, siblings Milo, Ana and Hank, who are reeling from the fact that their father has just walked out of their lives without so much as a goodbye. They are all trying to cope with the loss as best as they can, until one night something happens that changes everything…a shimmering alien figure named Luz appears in the canyon behind their house. Luz fills the void left by their father, bonding with each of the siblings in his own way. Until Luz disappears without a word too…taking something vital from each of them.Struck by the sense of loss all over again, Milo, Ana, and Hank are left to pick up the pieces and attempt to go about their lives as normal. It’s much easier said than done and all three siblings flounder, filled with questions about why their father left them, why Luz left them, and how can they ever feel close to or trust anyone again. Will the Vasquez kids get their lives back on track? What were Luz’ motivations for coming into their lives and then leaving them so abruptly? What did he take from them when he left? All of these questions and so many more began filling my head as soon as I started reading this moving story about family. I thought the focus on family was the highlight of When Light Left Us. Even though the book itself centered a lot on the alien Luz and the impact he had on each of the Vasquez siblings, it was the family itself and how the siblings dealt with the losses they experienced that really kept me reading. Their struggles to function on a daily basis, their hesitation to trust and connect with others, and even their own now-awkward interactions with each other at home all felt so realistic as was their mother’s reaction. First, Maggie’s husband walks out on them, then her children experience something together that can’t really even be explained but obviously continues to haunt them many months later, to the point where they can barely function. Maggie loves her children more than anything in the world and is overwhelmed and frustrated that there doesn’t seem to be anything she can do to help them. All of the pain this family experiences is just so palpable. I ended up really caring about them and wanting to know that they could make it through this. Expected the unexpected. I’m kind of a sci fi nut, so I was also a big fan of the twistedness of the whole Luz storyline. I loved how original this part of the storyline was and I loved how I initially felt a bit of an E.T. vibe from Luz with the way he came into these children’s lives and filled the void left by the father who abandoned them. The E.T. vibe didn’t last long though as Luz ultimately ends up being a much more complex character than I was expecting and a bit more of an ass if I’m being truly honest. I won’t go into any more details so as not to spoil anything but definitely keep your eyes on Luz. A final element that I thought was very well done was the way the story was presented from multiple points of view. Thomas gives us the perspectives of each of the three Vasquez siblings, as well as a few chapters from their mother, and even as we move further into the book, a few chapters from Luz himself. Since I was so invested in this family, I liked being able to have a glimpse directly into each of their thoughts to get an honest look at how they were each doing. The Luz chapters were especially illuminating since we finally get a look at what is driving his actions with respect to this family. As much as I enjoyed When Life Left Us overall, I have to admit that it started out super confusing and I almost DNF’ed it about a quarter of the way through the story. I like reading and putting together the pieces of a mystery as much as the next person, but in this case, for the longest time it didn’t feel like any of the pieces were fitting together at all. I just kept getting more and more pieces and setting them aside, waiting for them to finally make sense. Once they did start to make sense, it was very satisfying, but I just thought it took way too long to get to that point. I’m glad I pushed through and made it to the end, but if I hadn’t become so invested in the family so quickly, I’m pretty sure I would have given up on the book. When Light Left Us is a beautiful story about how a family has the power to overcome their struggles if they stick together. I’d obviously recommend it to anyone who loves stories that focus on families and relationships, but any science fiction fan would probably enjoy this as well. If you’re impatient and like for the stories you read to make sense from the get-go, this might not be a good fit for you. Even though I had issues with that, however, I still very much enjoyed the story overall. I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
    more
  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    I loved it. This isn't a perfect book, it's a little mangled as far as a time line goes with pre-Luz, Luz, post-Luz but I was racing near the end to get to the ending that had me welling up. Leah Thomas has found just a great blend of sci-fi and realism. I forgive this book for not being the next book in the Because You'll Never Meet Me series, it's really that good.
    more
  • Kelly Gunderman
    January 1, 1970
    Check out this, other reviews, and more fun bookish things on my young adult book blog, Here's to Happy Endings!I honestly had no idea what I was expecting when I started reading When Light Left Us. I had read the synopsis, of course, and it kind of made me a bit more confused, and when I started the book, read through it, and finished it, I came out feeling puzzled about the whole thing.Don't get me wrong, I did like When Light Left Us. I thought it was different and interesting, and kind of re Check out this, other reviews, and more fun bookish things on my young adult book blog, Here's to Happy Endings!I honestly had no idea what I was expecting when I started reading When Light Left Us. I had read the synopsis, of course, and it kind of made me a bit more confused, and when I started the book, read through it, and finished it, I came out feeling puzzled about the whole thing.Don't get me wrong, I did like When Light Left Us. I thought it was different and interesting, and kind of reminded me a little bit of some of my science fiction shows, but I just found it kind of hard to relate to any of the characters or really even enjoy the plot as much as I had hoped that I would. All in all, I felt kind of disappointed and unsatisfied about it, especially the ending (which still left me feeling a little perplexed). "When Luz was with them, they weren't annoyed with one another. The understood what they'd never understood in all the years of growing up without him. The Vasquezs understood they would never entirely understand one another, and that was okay." The Vasquez family broke apart when their father left, without goodbyes for some, leaving Maggie and her three children - Hank, Ana, and Milo - behind. Maggie is left to raise three children alone, and they all have their quirks and problems, but sometimes it's just difficult.Then Luz comes along, and changes everything. At first, for the better, and then things go to strange, dark places, leaving lives shattered and everyone in the family feeling broken. "'You'd be surprised at how much of a person is left behind after they go missing.'" Left trying to find themselves and repair relationships, the four of them embark on a life without Luz. Milo talks very little and swears he can only hear a loud sound in his ears, causing him to always wear headphones. Ana doesn't sleep - she rarely blinks and refuses to close her eyes. Hank is afraid to use his own hands, which no longer feel like his own, causing him problems at school, with friends, and with basketball. Maggie doesn't understand, and tries her hardest to make the life of her children the best she can.Throughout the book, it's so difficult to figure out exactly what is going on. Nothing seems to be told in a timeline that would clear this up - the story essentially starts during the aftermath of when Luz is gone, and we get a glimpse into what life was like with Luz every now and again thanks to flashbacks. These are essential to the story, and reveal so much. It really leaves you guessing at what Luz actually is, who he is, etc. "'We can call him alien because it's life we don't understand, and we don't really understand the stars. But we don't really understand the holes in the world, either. We don't know what springs up in the deep trenches of the ocean, in the unexplored caves of the Amazon. Nobody does.'" I think part of the allure of When Light Left Us is the whole trying-to-figure-out-what-Luz-is thing. Sure, it was confusing at so many parts, but it was also intriguing and really grabs your attention. While I spent the entire book scratching my head and wondering what the heck was going on, I also couldn't stop reading, looking for answers and devouring the writing that made this story so unique.I think that this book was a bit long, and the pacing seemed kind of off in some places - for example, the last 100 pages seemed to drag on a bit, full of information that simply didn't answer the questions. The ending left me wanting more answers than were given, and I felt like the family issues were not resolved as clearly as they could have been.This is admittedly the first book I've read by Leah Thomas, and I was entranced by her writing style and thought she was able to create a family dynamic that was deep, emotional, and full of secrets, and I loved that. I am looking forward to reading her other books, including Because You'll Never Meet Me.I wish more focus would have been placed on Luz's origin, as well as the children's father who kind of just upped and left the family. I also wish I would have been better able to really like the characters - I think out of all of them, the only one I truly cared for was Hank. The rest just didn't seem deep enough, maybe? I'm not sure.If you're a science fiction fan I would recommend this, especially if you like books that keep you guessing until the very end (because trust me, you'll be guessing a lot throughout this book). I did enjoy it, and I'm glad I had the chance to read it. I do wish I had more positive things to say, and I wish I had been able to fall in love with the book like I had hoped I would.Another note? That cover is freaking gorgeous.Note: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!
    more
  • Shoshana
    January 1, 1970
    Holy shit, this book. Hooooly shiiiiit. Punched in the feels, over and over. In the best possible way.
  • Sureena
    January 1, 1970
    1.5* Such a pretty cover, such a disappointing book...Okay, there was a lot of issues in this book and I'll do my best to articulate them properly in words, but that'll be hard because every time I think about this book I get angry. First, basically, this book is about Hank, Ana, and Milo who's dad left and a few years later, some sort of "celestial" entity, Luz (Spanish for light) arrives and basically possesses them. For two months, he fills the void of their absent father but then he leaves t 1.5* Such a pretty cover, such a disappointing book...Okay, there was a lot of issues in this book and I'll do my best to articulate them properly in words, but that'll be hard because every time I think about this book I get angry. First, basically, this book is about Hank, Ana, and Milo who's dad left and a few years later, some sort of "celestial" entity, Luz (Spanish for light) arrives and basically possesses them. For two months, he fills the void of their absent father but then he leaves too, taking something from each of them. We learn that he takes Hank's use of hands so he can't play basketball anymore, Ana's sight so she can't film or make movies anymore, and Milo's hearing so he can't hear his family. Throughout the book, they learn to cope and hopefully eventually come to terms with the traumatic thing that happened to them. Things I didn't like (also known as a really long rant):-The writing. SO. MANY. ADJECTIVES. I felt like I was drowning in the prose and found myself skimming over pages more than not. It felt like Thomas was trying to appear lyrical and poetic with her writing, but it came off as dense and completely unnecessary. It was a pain to read and made me almost DNF the book, but stubbornly I kept on. -The length. It didn't need to be this long. If she cleaned up the prose- this book would be half as long. I felt like it kept dragging on and on and on and on.... The only real substance in any of the pages happened in the last half. -The characters. This was, by all means, a character-driven novel (the plot was literally non-existent) and for me to enjoy a character-driven novel, the characters would have to be really good. They weren't. It's clear that the author loves and cares for her characters, but she gave me no reason to care for them other than sympathy for their tragic lives. And to a certain point, that'll work but there needs to be substance with it- I'm talking personalities. But there wasn't. Ana, Hank, and Milo were promising, but they ultimately fell flat. -The POVS. I felt like I couldn't differentiate between the POVS and that's crucial in multi-POV novels. I also felt some POVS weren't as developed as others. Milo's POV was a pain to get through as was Luz's and Maggie's. -The completely CASUAL way self-harm was mentioned and NOT acknowledged properly. Self-harm and self-hatred are mentioned multiple times throughout this book and can definitely be considered a theme, but the author fails to acknowledge it as anything more than something bad. If you're going to take the trouble of including important topics in your books, you need to discuss them. You need to talk about getting help and why self-harm is not the answer and that everyone is worth it. Leah Thomas did basically none of this except one sentence in the last few pages of the book which I almost didn't catch because I was skimming through the pages of prose. This could be triggering and harmful for those with self-confidence and self-worth issues and it was not handled well. So if you're self-worth sensitive, I wouldn't bother with this book because it won't help you. -The racist and homophobic jokes. Let me be clear. The main characters are not racist and homophobic. In fact, there is gay rep as Hank is gay and has had to deal with a lot of crap from people (cough* Tim cough*) and it's NOT EVEN ACKNOWLEDGED. I don't appreciate how racism and homophobia is not dealt with. The author makes it clear that it's not supported, but still doesn't make the characters stand up to it. If you're someone like me who can't stand reading about prejudice forced on people based on race or sexuality then don't even consider picking this book up. And it was especially bad because Tim, who was a character initiating a lot of homophobia (playing games like smear the queer and other crap) was normalized by Hank considering him a FRIEND after all of it. He wasn't even called out for his jokes, therefore, portraying his behavior as "okay". That's not okay at all. -The confusion. There's a lot of paranormal and "alien" elements with this book that are not properly explained and it honestly left me feeling so confused and annoyed. The novel takes place as sort of the aftermath of Luz's visit but Luz and his visit weren't properly explained throughout the book and it left me disjointed from the story. It also seemed kind of unlikely that none of the characters wondered how this stuff happened or how it made sense because it didn't. So confusing. The small things I liked:-The representation and diversity: Hank is gay, Brendan is pansexual (as we learn), and there are other sexualities revealed but I won't spoil. There are also characters that learn ASL which is something we don't see often in YA. I personally know "a bit" of ASL so I liked that whole aspect. -The concept. The whole alien/sacrifice/light/thing concept was intriguing and promising even though it did not pan out. Overall, this was not an enjoyable read for me and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who won't read books with themes of homophobia (especially homophobia that's not called out), racism, self-harm that isn't acknowledged or given hope for, and other problematic themes. Or people who don't like slow-paced, exceptionally long, dense prose novels with indistinguishable POVS.
    more
  • Alexa
    January 1, 1970
    So I checked this out from the library and sat on it for a month and a half. And then I read it all in one day! From the start you could feel how raw and hollowed out these characters felt and it was such a jolt to enter the story in the aftermath of what felt like a tragic loss, but without the details of what that loss was. Everything from the specific issues each of the three siblings was dealing with, paired with the way the chapters were titled and the glimpses of the recent past were SO GR So I checked this out from the library and sat on it for a month and a half. And then I read it all in one day! From the start you could feel how raw and hollowed out these characters felt and it was such a jolt to enter the story in the aftermath of what felt like a tragic loss, but without the details of what that loss was. Everything from the specific issues each of the three siblings was dealing with, paired with the way the chapters were titled and the glimpses of the recent past were SO GRIPPING! I needed to know what had possessed them, what it had taken from them and how they were going to recover. With their POVs, we also got their mother's POV and she was so insightful and added so much that I wasn't expecting. I love how her backstory came out and how fleshed out she was as a character. She didn't fall into the usual "mother" categories. Instead I could really believe she had been a child herself once not too long ago, and that understanding I think was so important. The way the story was structured was very well done. The characters we met and when and how was so thoughtfully arranged. We know the siblings had lives and friends before this summer but they begin the school year isolated and alone, and we only begin to be introduced to their old friends as they start letting new ones in. We only get flash backs as we also see them begin to heal and change. As they forge new connections. (view spoiler)[Luz was a most fascinating alien parasite and watching him grow and test boundaries and try to cause harm just to see what would happen was really fascinating, and the terror in that kind of organism living within you and influencing your thoughts and actions was really visceral. Once we got to Dr Ruby's story and how she fit it, Luz was a monster, and she managed to turn it around again and make him sad. The amount of empathy they all had and could then embody in the reader for this invisible, manipulative being was incredible. It was a really incredible ride to be on. I was worried briefly that it would turn out to be something truly mundane, a misunderstanding, but it wasn't and I was so satisfied with the ending. (hide spoiler)]I could talk all day about how great all the characters were. How unique and complex they were. I love Milo so much!!! I love Ana so much!!! I love Hank so much!!! And the fact that Maggie accepts them all unconditionally, despite what they've been through and the dreams she's let fall away to be a parent, she still does her best to be the best mother she can and that's so SO incredible to read. A truly good parent. Still complex, still not perfect, but trying so hard to be what her kids need from her.Basically this book was so much raw emotion and connection and healing and just so happened to be centered around a really fascinating extraterrestrial experience. I will definitely be reading more of Leah Thomas soon.
    more
  • Chiara
    January 1, 1970
    A copy of this novel was provided by Bloomsbury Australia for review.Leah Thomas is hands down one of my favourite authors. I endlessly adore her first two books – Because You’ll Never Meet Me and Nowhere Near You – and now When Light Left Us has cemented her as one of the best authors in YA right now.Each of Leah’s books hits you hard in the feels. The entire time I was reading When Light Left Us I felt like my heart was breaking. Each of the four POV characters – the three Vazquez siblings and A copy of this novel was provided by Bloomsbury Australia for review.Leah Thomas is hands down one of my favourite authors. I endlessly adore her first two books – Because You’ll Never Meet Me and Nowhere Near You – and now When Light Left Us has cemented her as one of the best authors in YA right now.Each of Leah’s books hits you hard in the feels. The entire time I was reading When Light Left Us I felt like my heart was breaking. Each of the four POV characters – the three Vazquez siblings and their mother – was going through such a hard time. Each of them was struggling with their own demons, and each of them wanted to be better. Hank wanted to be a better brother, but didn’t know how in the wake of what happened before the book started. Ana wanted to feel better, but didn’t know where she fit in. Milo wanted everyone else to be better, but he was only a kid. And Maggie. Maggie wanted to be a better mother, but wasn’t sure she could be.Each and every one of these characters was so distinct, and each of them tugged at my heartstrings for a different reason. For the most part of When Light Left Us the Vasquez family is in tatters – they hardly talk to each other, they’re trying to forget this huge-ass thing that happened to them, and they’re still recovering from their father just up and running away from them, never to be heard of again. But this doesn’t mean that they don’t love each other fiercely because they do. In fact, the Vazquez family is one of the strongest I’ve read about. I absolutely adored them, and I just wanted to reach through the page and get them to talk to each other – make them realize how much they love each other, and how much they need one another.The isolation that surrounds each Vasquez has mainly come around due to the absence of Luz – a kind of alien creature that inhabited each of the three siblings. Throughout When Light Left Us, I was wondering what exactly Luz was, and what he did to the three Vasquez children. I was wondering why they were all so broken after he left. I won’t say anything about Luz or what the Vasquezes went through with him because I think it’s best left unknown until it’s revealed naturally in the story. I will say that when everything was revealed… I couldn’t bring myself to completely despise Luz, despite his actions. There was a part of me that sympathised with him, that understood what drove him.When Light Left Us was by no means an easy read. There were many things that were touched on – from sexuality, to bullying, to motherhood, to finding yourself, to falling in love, to fitting in – and they were not always “pretty” so to say. But they were heartfelt and real and explored in a way that was always to the fullest extent. When Light Left Us wasn’t an easy read, but it was one that I highly recommend because it’s full of heart and I know it won’t be leaving me for a long, long time.© 2018, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.trigger warning: use of ableist language, absent father (abandonment), reference to self harm, physical assault, homophobia/misia, bullying, loss of autonomy, attempted suicide, car crash
    more
  • Trisha
    January 1, 1970
    Images from this complicated, layered, grief-imbued story will stay with me.Extraordinarily affecting.
  • Tori
    January 1, 1970
    4.5!
  • Valerie
    January 1, 1970
    Confusing start, but other than that this was totally a me book? Loved the characters.
  • Krista Stevens
    January 1, 1970
    See Kristen's two-star review.
  • avery-I-guess
    January 1, 1970
    This book is...weird. It definitely takes a lot of suspension of disbelief to read, and I don't know if I'd recommend reading it before bed if you're anything like me, but it's a fascinating piece of writing and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I might write a more comprehensive review later, but for now, here are some of the awesome things that the story includes:-LGBT characters (I mean, it's Leah Thomas)-AN OPENLY PAN PERSON-a heavily autistic-coded kid who I definitely related to a ton-kids with wei This book is...weird. It definitely takes a lot of suspension of disbelief to read, and I don't know if I'd recommend reading it before bed if you're anything like me, but it's a fascinating piece of writing and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I might write a more comprehensive review later, but for now, here are some of the awesome things that the story includes:-LGBT characters (I mean, it's Leah Thomas)-AN OPENLY PAN PERSON-a heavily autistic-coded kid who I definitely related to a ton-kids with weird ailments, like in BYNMM and NNY, but this time because Aliens™-also another slightly creepy doctor with an extremely strange backstory-ASL usage and education (this was really creative and pretty accurate from what I know)-discussion of depression and mental illness (warning, there are quite a few references to self-harm and a few to suicide)-lowkey cultural diversity-the lack of succumbing to a lot of literary tropesAnyway, I loved this book and would totally recommend it to people interested in the above things and/or creepy alien shit.
    more
  • Teenreadsdotcom
    January 1, 1970
    Milo, Ana and Hank all know the first day that their lives fell apart --- the day that their father drove off into the desert sun and never came back. Ana and Hank know the second day that their lives fell apart --- when Luz, the light, the intangible alien, came into their lives. And they know the day that they finally realized it --- the day that he left. Now Hank can’t make a single basket, Ana can’t close her eyes and Milo can’t take off his headphones. This is the Vasquez family: broken and Milo, Ana and Hank all know the first day that their lives fell apart --- the day that their father drove off into the desert sun and never came back. Ana and Hank know the second day that their lives fell apart --- when Luz, the light, the intangible alien, came into their lives. And they know the day that they finally realized it --- the day that he left. Now Hank can’t make a single basket, Ana can’t close her eyes and Milo can’t take off his headphones. This is the Vasquez family: broken and splintered, each member struggling on their own, the bonds between them broken.After their father left, Ana, Milo and Hank all felt the same emotion when Luz filled the void in their lives --- elation. As an alien unsure of where he came from, and curious to know about the people he saw, Luz put a part of himself in each of the Vasquez siblings. With Luz, Hank was a stronger basketball player than ever, Ana saw wonders every time she blinked and Milo always had a comforting voice in his head. Soon, however, Luz’s guiding influence begins to strain them all, and the conflict leaves them broken and lost for a second time. If they ever want to learn to stand on their own again, they’ll need to lean on each other first to get back up. Leah Thomas’ novel WHEN LIGHT LEFT US explores loss, grief, trauma and family in an honest and unique portrayal of a fractured family trying to find the light again.With WHEN LIGHT LEFT US, Leah Thomas demonstrates that novels don’t have to fit into one category: she blends contemporary fiction with science fiction and almost slightly paranormal elements. The result is a heartbreaking, truly unique story with astonishing depth. Sometimes science fiction relies on plot and lacks the strong themes and character development of contemporary novels, but this is not the case in Thomas’ novel. For the majority of the book, the plot is character-driven, focused on the slow struggle of each sibling, rather than on bombastic events, though the pace quickens dramatically leading up to the climax. Once readers start to understand each individual and submerge in each of their minds, this character focus is surprisingly compelling. However, the chronology of the story is slightly confusing at first --- the story jumps from the present to the past often and suddenly, and it may take some time for readers to gain a full understanding of how the events are working together, but the slow unraveling of what really happened when Luz left is a mystery that readers will delight in seeing unfold, layer by layer.One of the strongest elements of the novel is the voice, or voices. Milo, Hank and Ana each have equal amounts of narration, and their mother also voices a large portion of the story, an element often unseen in young adult literature. While young adult authors generally focus on teens, it is refreshing to hear both the Vasquez’s mother and Milo --- only in second grade --- especially because they are so well developed, and this particular element helps to define the Vasquez family for the reader, because they see how each member is broken, and gain a true understanding of all of them, equally. These messy, fragile characters allow Thomas to truly explore what it means to be family, and the struggle that it can take to pull individuals back together after a tragedy, a theme that runs throughout the entire story. The novel also explores coming of age, social pressure, and responsibility.Overall, Thomas’ story, with complex characters, intense emotions and some graphic scenes, lends itself more to older teens looking for a unique story with weight. Readers who love realistic families, tough personal struggles and layered characters will find WHEN LIGHT LEFT US satisfying and meaningful, but individuals who also love unique stories will find that Thomas’ novel delivers in that aspect and in many more. Reviewed by Rachel R., Teen Board Member
    more
  • Celia Whimsy)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Netgalley for the ARC!This is a story of three siblings who get possessed, in a way by an alien parasite. Sounds simple, right?Nope.First off, this story is told by multiple POV's so if you're not into that, you can stop here. What I love about this is that you are seeing the story through different ages since the kids range from age seven to almost eighteen. And then you have the mother and the alien toward the end.The story gave me a definite Spielberg vibe. We have three kids who ha Thank you Netgalley for the ARC!This is a story of three siblings who get possessed, in a way by an alien parasite. Sounds simple, right?Nope.First off, this story is told by multiple POV's so if you're not into that, you can stop here. What I love about this is that you are seeing the story through different ages since the kids range from age seven to almost eighteen. And then you have the mother and the alien toward the end.The story gave me a definite Spielberg vibe. We have three kids who have very different views of what the alien had done to their bodies and a mother desperately trying to help them the best way she possibly can. This alien "Luz" took young Milo's ears, Ana's sight and Hank's use of his hands.At first I was a bit confused since the author kind of throws you into it with little explanation. You collect hints along the way, but nothing is fully explained until toward the end of the book. To me, I liked this a lot because it kept me reading and wanting to know what in ever living Hell is going on. Because that is what I said after each chapter. Also this face. O_OThe plot is simple once you break it down. We have three kids trying to live life after this alien invaded them for a summer, coping with their father who had left them and a sort of confusing love life between Hank, who has broken up with his boyfriend in which his sister, Ana falls for, but Hank doesn't know it and seems to fall for his straight friend who may or may not be gay and I'm over here like, Ana has stars for eyes and nobody seems to question that.Through all of this, we have this alien who decides he wants to do some more damage which builds up to a climatic ending that had me on the edge. I couldn't put the damn book down until i knew what happened. I forgot to eat.All in all, I loved the emotion put into this book which is more than an alien story. it's a story of coming of age and acceptance and sorrow. There's something deeper in there that had me dwelling on it after I was done. It's something poetic. I will probably buy the copy when it comes out.
    more
  • Resch Reads
    January 1, 1970
    *Book Received in Exchange for Honest Opinion/Review*Okay...truth because it's my blog and I do what I want, I didn't like this book. I read it out of sheer determination and it took me the past week to finish. So the story concept, I think is brilliant and unique. An alien appears and inhabits the body of siblings. What a refreshing and unique concept to the Young Adult book market, sign me up. The execution was a confusing mess, that left me lost in the story line, floundering between the mult *Book Received in Exchange for Honest Opinion/Review*Okay...truth because it's my blog and I do what I want, I didn't like this book. I read it out of sheer determination and it took me the past week to finish. So the story concept, I think is brilliant and unique. An alien appears and inhabits the body of siblings. What a refreshing and unique concept to the Young Adult book market, sign me up. The execution was a confusing mess, that left me lost in the story line, floundering between the multiple POVs, and over all annoyed that it was so poorly done.I almost DNF-ed the book within the first chapter because the opening to this story is so confusing. I don't really understand the opening, it is a flashback, told from no one's point of view, and it definitely don't hook the reader. Next, let me tell you about my confusion with the chapter titles as it took me about 10 chapters to figure out Hank, Milo, and Ana were actually POV chapters associated with the body parts Luz inhabited. And wow was that frustrating and confusing. So after about page 75, I think surely this is looking up. Alas, I was wrong.The author then felt the need to insert relationships into the story. Why yes, an alien named Luz taking over bodies isn't enough to handle a plot on its own, lets have Ana and Hank dating people. But wait, it doesn't stop their we are going to have exploring sexuality, multiple exes appearing and friends deciding to come out to you. NO, just no...where were people to tell this author that this is too much. The story had no balance or symmetry, it was bouncing from plot line to plot line, from melt down to melt down, and it wasn't enjoyable because during all of the this, the main story was washed away.Overall, it was just too much crammed into a book to make it a cohesive novel. It didn't flow and while I wanted to be left with good feels, I ultimately was just happy it was over. So excellent idea, horrid execution.
    more
  • Kacey
    January 1, 1970
    For me, this is an incredibly fascinating novel that explores loss in a unique way. But it's not going to be for everyone. There are mentions of self-harm and there are characters who express racist and homophobic ideas. There are words like "faggot" and "retard" used in dialogue. I thought this was handled in the best way one can for the subjects, but every reader is subjective so leave it up to your discretion whether you still want to read after learning these things are in the book.The story For me, this is an incredibly fascinating novel that explores loss in a unique way. But it's not going to be for everyone. There are mentions of self-harm and there are characters who express racist and homophobic ideas. There are words like "faggot" and "retard" used in dialogue. I thought this was handled in the best way one can for the subjects, but every reader is subjective so leave it up to your discretion whether you still want to read after learning these things are in the book.The story is done in different perspectives that evolve as the story goes on. This was a pretty fascinating way of telling the story and showed how the characters were growing. There are still a few vague things left unexplained by the end, but I never felt unsatisfied by the mystery. I don't feel like it was necessary to know every detail in order to understand what the characters were going through. There's even a bit of ambiguity that can spark conversation and leave things open to interpretation.It's hard to discuss this book without giving too much away. I will say that Luz is one of the more unique aliens I've come across in media. They are an incredibly intriguing being and can come off as very creepy or even terrifying. But it's not quite as clear-cut as one might think. I personally liked that approach a lot. It was also nice that there was a lot of parental and adult involvement in the story. There's a sad lack of that in YA and it was so nice to see in this novel.I would personally recommend this as a book club pick. I feel like there's a lot that one can discuss, and how the book leaves things open to interpretation and doesn't answer every question lends itself to that nicely.
    more
  • Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
    January 1, 1970
    Thomas, Leah. When Light Left Us, 390 pages. Bloomsbury, 2018. $17.99. Language: R (122 swears, 46 “f”), Mature Content: R (homosexuality, self-harm), Violence: PGTeenagers Hank and Ana, and their little brother Milo have never been the same since their father left with no explanation. Then, inexplicably, several years later, an entity enters the body of each sibling for two months. They refer to him as Luz which is Spanish for light. While it is there, it fills the void left by their father, bu Thomas, Leah. When Light Left Us, 390 pages. Bloomsbury, 2018. $17.99. Language: R (122 swears, 46 “f”), Mature Content: R (homosexuality, self-harm), Violence: PGTeenagers Hank and Ana, and their little brother Milo have never been the same since their father left with no explanation. Then, inexplicably, several years later, an entity enters the body of each sibling for two months. They refer to him as Luz which is Spanish for light. While it is there, it fills the void left by their father, but when it leaves it takes something from each of them, leaving them handicapped. From Hank, he takes the use of his hands so that he can no longer play basketball. From Ana he takes the use of her eyes so that she sees only emotional darkness. From Milo he takes the use of his ears, so he has selective deafness. Each of them begins to overcome their emotional deficits by the end of the storyThere is no other way to say it. This is a strange story. There is deep meaning if you care enough to analyze it, but it is very confusing. I never fully understood the Luz entity. I didn’t understand what it was, how it entered people, why it entered them, or whether it was good or bad. Everyone who reads this book will have a different interpretation of what it all means. I don’t think this book will have much appeal with teenagers. The most likely audience would be teens who are intellectual, artsy, and love books.HS – NOT RECOMMENDED. Reviewer: Valerie McEnroe, Media Specialisthttps://kissthebook.blogspot.com/2018...
    more
  • Mandi
    January 1, 1970
    So this book starts off really, really weird. Weird enough that about 30 pages in, I was almost concerned it would be a DNF. I couldn't follow what was going on individually with our three main characters Hank, Ana and Milo without hints of confusion. It felt disjointed, it felt a bit chaotic, and I felt like I had just walked into a movie half way through. Then I buckled down and got through the first third of this book, and was glad I did.The growth of these three siblings is so beautifully wr So this book starts off really, really weird. Weird enough that about 30 pages in, I was almost concerned it would be a DNF. I couldn't follow what was going on individually with our three main characters Hank, Ana and Milo without hints of confusion. It felt disjointed, it felt a bit chaotic, and I felt like I had just walked into a movie half way through. Then I buckled down and got through the first third of this book, and was glad I did.The growth of these three siblings is so beautifully written. Watching them recover from their confrontation with 'Luz', how each one is healing and moving down their paths, and coming back together as a family is wonderful. Honestly, this story could have the sci-fi angle taken away, and just that growth alone, recovering from trauma, would have been enough. There are beautiful side characters too that compliment everything so well. Brendan, Penny, Carmella, Orson, Maggie... wonderful, wonderful cast. All with such unique voices.Then holy HELL, the last few chapters. This beautiful book about growth, acceptance, family, friendship suddenly goes into something that you could almost consider sci-fi horor. Took me by surprise, and made me rush through the rest of book. Another recommendation from my library I was very pleased with. Rough start, gets remarkably better, ends with some good twists and a bang.
    more
  • Brittani
    January 1, 1970
    TW: self harm and suicidal thoughts.If you're a fan of Shaun David Hutchinson's writing, I definitely recommend you check out a book by Leah Thomas. Their books both have the whole "contemporary except this one specific science fiction aspect that's completely normal/accepted" thing going on and they're both really excellent at it. I went into this thinking it would be one thing and it completely surprised me by being almost the exact opposite. I won't say anything more than that because I think TW: self harm and suicidal thoughts.If you're a fan of Shaun David Hutchinson's writing, I definitely recommend you check out a book by Leah Thomas. Their books both have the whole "contemporary except this one specific science fiction aspect that's completely normal/accepted" thing going on and they're both really excellent at it. I went into this thinking it would be one thing and it completely surprised me by being almost the exact opposite. I won't say anything more than that because I think it adds to the reading experience. I really loved the Vasquez family and I want to hold them and protect them from the world. This was lovely and weird and it made me think. It was complicated and full of grief and it left me with my own feelings of longing. Leah Thomas is such an underrated author and she writes good stuff.I was provided a free copy of this on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Corey
    January 1, 1970
    Book Talk: The Vasquez siblings' dad leaves them unexpectedly, leaving a hole in their lives that they feel can never be filled. That is until they meet a shining figure named Luz in the canyon behind their house. Luz begins to fill all the spaces in their lives...Hank's hands, Ana's eyes, and Milo's ears. But when Luz leaves them, the siblings have no idea how to move on in a world where everything has changed.My thoughts: Without trying to give anything away, this is a weird little book. In fa Book Talk: The Vasquez siblings' dad leaves them unexpectedly, leaving a hole in their lives that they feel can never be filled. That is until they meet a shining figure named Luz in the canyon behind their house. Luz begins to fill all the spaces in their lives...Hank's hands, Ana's eyes, and Milo's ears. But when Luz leaves them, the siblings have no idea how to move on in a world where everything has changed.My thoughts: Without trying to give anything away, this is a weird little book. In fact, the author self-describes it as such in her acknowledgments. It took me a good 3 or 4 chapters to really get into the storyline, but it was worth the patience. The constantly changing perspective takes some time to get used to, until you figure out what is meant by Ears, Hands, etc. Overall I liked this one because it is so different from anything else I have ever read. My recommendation: 4/5 stars (language, mild adult situations); Grades 9+
    more
  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Stars - I’m not gonna lie - based solely on the synopsis, I had a completely different vision of what I thought this book was going to be about. The only thing I knew for sure was that I loved Thomas’s debut novel and its companion - so I was just super stoked to see she had some new material.Jump ahead a bit to when I actually started reading and my thoughts became a jumbled mess of, “wow, this book is super weird” and “wait, what’s going on here?” and “Ummmm...what?” But I kept going and a 4.5 Stars - I’m not gonna lie - based solely on the synopsis, I had a completely different vision of what I thought this book was going to be about. The only thing I knew for sure was that I loved Thomas’s debut novel and its companion - so I was just super stoked to see she had some new material.Jump ahead a bit to when I actually started reading and my thoughts became a jumbled mess of, “wow, this book is super weird” and “wait, what’s going on here?” and “Ummmm...what?” But I kept going and as I continued reading and the pieces started coming together, I found that I was enjoying and embracing all of the little oddities and appreciating just how finely nuanced Thomas’s writing style was. And by the end? Well, by the end the Vasquez family and their entourage had completely wiggled their way into my heart. So, long story short, although this wasn’t exactly the book that I thought I was getting, it ended up being something so much better!
    more
  • Adele
    January 1, 1970
    I loved Thomas' first two books so much it makes it all the more disappointing that I didn't really even like this one. It was slow and dull for so long. The chapters from Milo's perspective were annoying. He's just a fictional character so I don't think it makes me a horrible person that I don't enjoy spending time with a weird little kid who over-uses exclamation points and is obsessed with things I have no interest in. Actually, I don't think it makes me a horrible person that I wouldn't enjo I loved Thomas' first two books so much it makes it all the more disappointing that I didn't really even like this one. It was slow and dull for so long. The chapters from Milo's perspective were annoying. He's just a fictional character so I don't think it makes me a horrible person that I don't enjoy spending time with a weird little kid who over-uses exclamation points and is obsessed with things I have no interest in. Actually, I don't think it makes me a horrible person that I wouldn't enjoy that in real life either, but I'm getting off track. There was a short part starting about 300 pages in that I actually enjoyed. I felt like the book wanted to say some things about love and parenting that might have been interesting, but it didn't quite get there. It's a relief to be done with this book and that makes me sad.
    more
Write a review