The Taste of Blue Light
An incandescent, soul-searching story about a broken young woman's search for a truth buried so deep it threatens to consume her, body and mind.'Since I blacked out, the slightest thing seems to aggravate my brain and fill it with fire'These are the things Lux knows:She is an Artist. She is lucky. She is broken.These are the things she doesn't know:What happened over the summer.Why she ended up in hospital.Why her memories are etched in red.'The nightmares tend to linger long after your screams have woken you up ...'Desperate to uncover the truth, Lux's time is running out. If she cannot piece together the events of the summer and regain control of her fractured mind, she will be taken away from everything and everyone she holds dear.If her dreams don't swallow her first.

The Taste of Blue Light Details

TitleThe Taste of Blue Light
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 7th, 2017
PublisherHodder Children's Books
ISBN-139781444936735
Rating
GenreContemporary, Young Adult, Mystery, Health, Mental Health, Fiction

The Taste of Blue Light Review

  • Emer
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. I am blown away by this read. It's rare that a contemporary YA book leaves me feeling so breathless. I absolutely did not see any of that coming. The Taste of Blue Light follows the story of young art student Lux and her attempt to discover what happened to her one fateful summer night. She can't remember. She has nightmares, she has physical manifestations of pain but according to all her doctors she is physically fine. But emotionally she is bereft. She is struggling. As the reader you ar Wow. I am blown away by this read. It's rare that a contemporary YA book leaves me feeling so breathless. I absolutely did not see any of that coming. The Taste of Blue Light follows the story of young art student Lux and her attempt to discover what happened to her one fateful summer night. She can't remember. She has nightmares, she has physical manifestations of pain but according to all her doctors she is physically fine. But emotionally she is bereft. She is struggling. As the reader you are in the dark as much as Lux is about the event that changed her whole sense of being as much as she is and you live each of her struggles with her. You see her fight her parents, act out with friends, get panic attacks, suffer from anxiety, paranoia, see her fixate on unexplained things... Her senses are all acutely heightened but to an almost manic degree. It's clear that she must be suffering from some sort of PTSD but neither the reader nor Lux knows until eventually things begin to fit into place. But trust me. When you find out it won't be what you expected. At least I was completely floored by it. And what's brilliant about this book is that it feels honest. It doesn't feel like a cheap or tacky attempt to be relevant. Because this book is incredibly relevant. Lux is such a brilliantly written character. She is both likeable and unlikeable at different times. I found myself caring deeply about her even though I feel I have very little in common with her. THAT to me is a sign of great writing. To write beautifully flawed human characters. The supporting characters were all veiled in this wonderful air of mystery and confusion as Lux was attempting to figure out the mystery behind that night and even though this probably meant that I didn't connect with these characters as much, it actually somehow added to the tension in the book. All my senses were as heightened as Lux's were. If I were to find any flaws with this book (and these are purely quibbles) it's that the pacing was not entirely perfect. The book dragged a little between the 30% and 50% mark and I would actually have liked the last 15% to have been a little more detailed. But these are minor issues. The ending was actually very beautiful and I did finish the book with my eyes glistening with tears. A thoroughly original and incredibly emotional YA read that feels truly authentic. Highly recommended four and a half stars rounded up to five*A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher, Hachette Children's Group / Hodder Children's Books, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*As I read an ARC please be advised that the following may not be the exact quotes in the published work but I really wanted to share these passages as I found them to be rather beautiful and to me they really encapsulate the feeling and tone of this novel:-"I will find the old Lux and when I do I will climb back inside her and sew myself into her skin so I never get lost again. The last time I saw her, me, properly was at the Leavers’ Ball. I was wearing the shortest, reddest dress I could find. This was before colours meant what they do now. And before I got lost."----"'I know this is difficult, Lux. Perhaps you could just tell me the main things that are bothering you, just so I can make sure I have it all noted down correctly,’ the doctor said. So I told her what I’d eventually told my mother after weeks of saying it was just the headaches while thinking I was losing my mind. That since I blacked out I feel like my head is not connected to my body, that I panic about weird things and that my senses get confused sometimes. And, if I get really strung out, colours get brighter and more intense, and it’s almost as if words and sound have colour. I didn’t tell her that I sometimes see words in the air, sometimes even punctuation, which makes it hard to follow what people are saying. ‘I feel like I’m in a video game or a play,’ I said."----"My thoughts are starting to get mean; I remind myself that villains are just victims whose stories haven’t yet been told. A professional told me that, like he was conveying something super meaningful and all I could think was how much Lux sounded like a villain’s name."----"Vanilla is an insult to some people, but some days I would give up every flavour in my body to be just vanilla."----"These tropes of troubled and rescued teens should embarrass me. I should cringe at the clichés. But words are the most powerful drug, someone famous said that once, I think, and I find myself buzzing."----"A constellation of bright young things, we delight in pre-show banter and buy moonshine from an illicit vendor. But, ten minutes into the actual performance, the nostalgia party ends. Without the narration of the book, all that remains is beautiful, two-dimensional people doing vile things."----
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to Hachette Children's Group and NetGalley.)This was a YA story about a girl who couldn’t remember one night of her life after ending up in hospital.Lux was an okay character, but I found it quite hard to connect with her.The storyline was about Lux not knowing what had happened at a party, after waking up in hospital with no memory of the night before. We then got Lux struggling at school a bit, and struggling with her daily life, but I (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to Hachette Children's Group and NetGalley.)This was a YA story about a girl who couldn’t remember one night of her life after ending up in hospital.Lux was an okay character, but I found it quite hard to connect with her.The storyline was about Lux not knowing what had happened at a party, after waking up in hospital with no memory of the night before. We then got Lux struggling at school a bit, and struggling with her daily life, but I lost interest. I thought that the story would focus more on Lux’s synaesthesia, but it didn’t, and although I was interested to find out what exactly did happen (and it wasn’t what I expected) it didn’t really save the book for me.The ending to this was okay, but I had really lost interest by then.6 out of 10
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  • Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)
    January 1, 1970
    I read this book as part of the Spookathon reading challenge, follow me on Twitter to see daily updates of the books I read! The local YA book group that I attend received the opportunity to read and review The Taste Of Blue Light for the publishers. I don't normally do this but because my review on this book is incredibly long, I have posted it to my blog. It's spoiler-free and also contains a discussion section where all of the group members were sent a list of questions to answer so I answere I read this book as part of the Spookathon reading challenge, follow me on Twitter to see daily updates of the books I read! The local YA book group that I attend received the opportunity to read and review The Taste Of Blue Light for the publishers. I don't normally do this but because my review on this book is incredibly long, I have posted it to my blog. It's spoiler-free and also contains a discussion section where all of the group members were sent a list of questions to answer so I answered them. It would be amazing if you could stop by my blog and read my post: https://marriedtobooksreviewsandblog.... Thanks everyone! Alice x
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  • Kate (GirlReading)
    January 1, 1970
    I'm really not sure how I felt about this to be honest. To me, it definitely wasn't the psychological thriller it was marketed as. Yes, is had a mystery and delved into mental health but a thriller? I'm not so sure. Although I know she was having to deal with a lot, I unfortunately didn't warm to the main character and the way she talked/acted towards others. I also wasn't the biggest fan of some of the content and descriptions from the author, which felt a little iffy in terms of mental illness I'm really not sure how I felt about this to be honest. To me, it definitely wasn't the psychological thriller it was marketed as. Yes, is had a mystery and delved into mental health but a thriller? I'm not so sure. Although I know she was having to deal with a lot, I unfortunately didn't warm to the main character and the way she talked/acted towards others. I also wasn't the biggest fan of some of the content and descriptions from the author, which felt a little iffy in terms of mental illness at times. Having said that, the authors writing style I really enjoyed. It flowed brilliantly and very a quick and easy read. I just wasn't too much of a fan of certain phrases etc. I'm still not sure about how I felt about this, so I think I might have to come back to this review a bit later but for now, I can't say I loved it, nor did I hate it. I just don't think it was really for me personally.
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  • E L E A N O R (bookishcourtier)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Heck I remember ZERO about this. I really should have reviewed this sooner, because it wasn't that memorable and I can already feel the details sliding from my mind. I remember none of the characters names but Lux's, and only because her name was kind of weird. I remember kind of liking it and enjoying it but not really much else. I shall try my best in this review, but I apologise in advance if this review turns out to be extremely...vague. T H O U G H T S - I think the setting was slig 3.5 Heck I remember ZERO about this. I really should have reviewed this sooner, because it wasn't that memorable and I can already feel the details sliding from my mind. I remember none of the characters names but Lux's, and only because her name was kind of weird. I remember kind of liking it and enjoying it but not really much else. I shall try my best in this review, but I apologise in advance if this review turns out to be extremely...vague. T H O U G H T S - I think the setting was slightly weird. It was basically this boarding school kind of thing but totally dedicated to the arts? But it was really abstractly described and they had all these weird mottos and stuff and I wasn't sold? Though I do have nice memories of reading this book by a really pretty river, and keep picturing that as the scenery and getting confused. The writing was pretty nice though! It was quite abstract in places which sometimes made the story hard to understand, but I think it worked well with the whole story because Lux had amnesia. - Seriously though, this felt so much like We Were Liars in a lot of ways! The general plot was really similar, and even though the setting was quite different, I still felt that other story really present in my mind whilst reading this. It is hard to say how without spoiling BOTH books, but here: (view spoiler)[ The plot twist is literally the exact same thing - both characters were told what happened to them over and over and never remembered. (hide spoiler)] I did find the "reveal" pretty satisfying, which is what I need in a book like this, but the ending really dragged. I really did not need that random "part two" tacked on the end. The ending was super anticlimactic after the reveal and I got b o r e d .- I didn't really like Lux before or after the "event" She just wasn't really my type of person beforehand, so I couldn't relate or find anything in common, aside from the fact that she liked to write. But after the "event" she didn't even do that anymore, and I think I would have liked her more if she had. I did like the female friendships and how supportive her friends were (shh don't ask me their names) but the side characters weren't really that memorable - they felt like they were just there for Lux to be horrible to the whole time. There was also just a lot of drugs and drinking and Lux was STILL doing that by the end of the book. She really had no character arc. This was a little enjoyable, but a little bit underwhelming. I liked some elements, and I would pick up another of this author's book, but ultimately this wasn't my cup of tea. I didn't really like the main character. The story was engaging until after the "reveal" and then it could have been cut down by about fifty pages. The whole "part two" was super unnecessary. In the end, it was just kind of "meh".
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  • Liz Barnsley
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this. It was beautiful and sad but uplifting and absolutely does not go down the route you expect it to go based on the blurb – which just made it all the better.Lux is recovering after a blackout and waking up in hospital with no memory of recent events. We join her around the time she rejoins her school and her friends – she is different, disturbed, an artist with a huge black hole threatening to swallow her, a girl who remembers the person she was but can’t seem to recapture it. Her p I loved this. It was beautiful and sad but uplifting and absolutely does not go down the route you expect it to go based on the blurb – which just made it all the better.Lux is recovering after a blackout and waking up in hospital with no memory of recent events. We join her around the time she rejoins her school and her friends – she is different, disturbed, an artist with a huge black hole threatening to swallow her, a girl who remembers the person she was but can’t seem to recapture it. Her parents worry it is too soon, her friends rally round, but Lux is both there and not there as she struggles with her inner demons.The writing is edgy, emotive and really quite wonderful. The descriptive sense of how Lux is feeling, how she is taking this journey back to herself, is completely in the moment and real. I thought the setting was inspired – the school she attends is unconventional and allows for so much exploration of the wider themes here, it was all stunningly vibrant and really gripping.A truly excellent look at life after trauma, some of the best parts of this come after the memory returns and we see Lux moving forward – it is, at that point, a story about how we can survive, adapt, yes even become different people altogether, when life throw us into the most horrific circumstances. How Lux reacts, how those around her do, it is all done with a delicate touch and some beautiful prose that really pulled you into that world and didn’t let go.I adored this story from the moment I met Lux until the moment I regrettably left her behind. Contemporary Young Adult Fiction at it’s very best.Highly Recommended.
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  • Karen Barber
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this captivating read.Initially, Lux was not a character to feel empathy with. Her unwillingness to engage with things and people made her hard to care about. The environment in which she cloisters herself is alien to many of us.Yet as the story progressed I found myself falling under a spell. Desperate to know what happened, we do get answers, and they are far more topical than we might expect. This is one best to know little about before read Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this captivating read.Initially, Lux was not a character to feel empathy with. Her unwillingness to engage with things and people made her hard to care about. The environment in which she cloisters herself is alien to many of us.Yet as the story progressed I found myself falling under a spell. Desperate to know what happened, we do get answers, and they are far more topical than we might expect. This is one best to know little about before reading. It is not immediately seeking to attract your attention, but it sneaks up on you.
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  • ✨Skye✨
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free ebook copy of this from Netgalley. Thankyou to both Netgalley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to read this book! My opinions are still honest and my own.This book is for readers who like beautiful writing. This style is full of very imaginative metaphors and builds and creates ideas in a stunning way. As a book about artists, it fits the plot and subject so well and brings this story to life.The Taste of Blue Light follows Lux, who attends Richdeane, an elite ar I received a free ebook copy of this from Netgalley. Thankyou to both Netgalley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to read this book! My opinions are still honest and my own.This book is for readers who like beautiful writing. This style is full of very imaginative metaphors and builds and creates ideas in a stunning way. As a book about artists, it fits the plot and subject so well and brings this story to life.The Taste of Blue Light follows Lux, who attends Richdeane, an elite art school with a very liberal attitude. Lux lives in a world where art is very important in society. She has just suffered a traumatic incident in which she awakes after a party in hospital with severe physical and mental issues, and no idea what happened to her. We follow her as she navigates how her life has been affected by this, how her relationships with those around her change, and she progresses towards solving the mystery of how she ended up this way.Lux is a very human character, and I mean this in that she can be selfish, makes some bad decisions and can hurt those around her. She is realistic and imperfect, and I love flawed characters who aren't made out to be perfect people. Lux deals with substance issues and I think the result of this plot point was heartening to read. It isn't glossed over or forgiven. I cannot speak as to how accurate the portrayal of her mental health issues are but I think it was a convincing look at how chronic pain can affect day to day life and how repressed memories influence how she treated those around her. Speaking of those other characters, some of those were fantastic. There are some amazing female friendships in this, a great relationship with a mental health professional and an initally rocky relationship with her parents that doesn't turn into an 'all adults are awful' trope, like what frequently seems to happen in novels of this genre. There are romances, but they're side plots and I did like one of the love interests, who was respectful and sweet. This book also shows an unsuccessful relationship, and how we realise that a person isn't right for us.The mystery of what happened to her was well done and the resolution entirely unexpected. I loved the setting of Richdeane and the description of art. I haven't read a book with such a strong focus on art and wide variety of what art means! It includes things like cooking and writing. The conclusion of this story was perfect, with Lux's journey clearly not over, but with her being in a place where we as readers feel hope that her story will have a happy ending. Lydia Ruffles will be an author that I will be keeping a keen eye on, and while I cannot say this book entirely blew me away, it is one I will think about for a very long time and I will be waiting eagerly for new releases from this author.
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  • Bill Kupersmith
    January 1, 1970
    I loved the 1st half of this book. It is set in the most extraordinary school – a pricey independent boarding school devoted to the arts, where Lux Langley, who will turn 18 on 23rd November, is suffering from amnesia as well as synaesthesia, which causes her to have headaches coloured red. That part worked for me; last night I read some before sleep and dreamt of fire. And as a lover of stories about eccentric schools, I found Richdeane a treasure. They really do art snobbery. The teachers are I loved the 1st half of this book. It is set in the most extraordinary school – a pricey independent boarding school devoted to the arts, where Lux Langley, who will turn 18 on 23rd November, is suffering from amnesia as well as synaesthesia, which causes her to have headaches coloured red. That part worked for me; last night I read some before sleep and dreamt of fire. And as a lover of stories about eccentric schools, I found Richdeane a treasure. They really do art snobbery. The teachers are called “directors” – the headmistress is the “head-director” – and the students are called “Artists”! They are expected to dress entirely in black. Lux lives in a dorm called “Dylan” (the Nobel Laureate not the Welsh poet); there’s another called “Van Sant” (whom I’d never heard of – makes movies according to Google and I’d actually seen a couple.) “Art” is literally God at Richdeane. Each day at assembly the head-director leads them in their Act of Faith: “We pledge ourselves to the will of the muses, and to the words of the greats. We give it to art and we let go.” Indeed, sometimes Lux uses “By Art” as an expletive. So I was expecting a side-splittingly funny satire on aesthetic pretentiousness. Unfortunately we have to take Lux seriously. Generically the story is not a satire, but a Bell Jar. For Lux the entire school, especially one of the directors who is also her counselor and coach, Dr. Baystone, who is not quite “a real doctor” (i.e., not a physician), and her BFs Olivia and Mei, are actually involved in treating Lux’s condition, and trying to get her to remember what happened last summer when she was interning at a gallery, went to a leaving party and apparently overdid it, and found herself in hospital the next day with no memory of how and why she got there. From a therapeutic POV I find it ethically dodgy to subject a patient to a course of treatment under false pretenses, but when we find out what really happened, I was so incredulous that the treatment scarcely mattered. At exactly 2/3 Lux started remembering and I stopped believing. I’ll give nothing away, but simply reveal that it was something that Lux would have been constantly and publically aware of whether she could remember it or not. (Even tho’ her major source of news seems to be Hello!) Otherwise, despite the extremely artsy setting, The Taste of Blue Light was pretty typical of the Bell Jar genre, with a very self-centred main character and a manipulative somewhat devious therapist. We also have Lux having relationships with a couple of boys – a sexy but uncaring sculptor and a puppy-doggish painter. It is also amusing that Lux ends up working in a quite different kind of “gallery” than Richdeane would prepare her for. Or maybe not. After the big revelation at 2/3, the ending seemed pretty “meh” but I skimmed to find out where Lux was at 20 and it looks predictable. As for me, I think it’s time I read Jennifer Dawson’s The Ha-Ha (1962) once more. For me it represents the epitome of the genre.
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  • Miriam Smith
    January 1, 1970
    Won in the Goodreads Giveaways
  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    This novel started out incredibly strongly, both in the way it was written and in it's opening scene of the passion of young artists.Although the rest of the novel is written just as lyrically the story looses traction pretty quickly as plot is lost in decorative descriptions of feelings and thoughts of the main character Lux.Though I was intrigued to find out what had happened to the protagonist - the journey to that discovery mostly fell flat through one dimensional events meant to set her bac This novel started out incredibly strongly, both in the way it was written and in it's opening scene of the passion of young artists.Although the rest of the novel is written just as lyrically the story looses traction pretty quickly as plot is lost in decorative descriptions of feelings and thoughts of the main character Lux.Though I was intrigued to find out what had happened to the protagonist - the journey to that discovery mostly fell flat through one dimensional events meant to set her back and cause a reaction. When events finally do come to fruition it was one of the biggest disappoints. The discovery only helped to distance me further from the story and the characters instead of drawing me nearer.Although they weren't given too much substance there was something I really liked about all the subsidiary characters, from Lux's two best friends, to her parents and her therapist. Also Loved the idea of the kids who grew up too quickly as they were taught to give into the arts, and the adults who encouraged them to do so. Overall by the end I wasn't quite sure what the conclusion was supposed to mean, how things were resolved - if they were resolved, and what the point of it all was. The heart of the story felt misplaced.
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  • Greyson Josten [Use Your Words]
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Netgalley for providing me an advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review.Everywhere around the world, all born under the same sky, alarms ring in hearts and people bleed.The Taste of Blue Light is a story about a girl called Lux who attends a boarding school for artists. She loves to write and party too hard, and take recreational drugs. Lux lives the kind of life a lot of teenage artists dream of. She's been looking forward to her final year before she gets to go out int Thank you to Netgalley for providing me an advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review.Everywhere around the world, all born under the same sky, alarms ring in hearts and people bleed.The Taste of Blue Light is a story about a girl called Lux who attends a boarding school for artists. She loves to write and party too hard, and take recreational drugs. Lux lives the kind of life a lot of teenage artists dream of. She's been looking forward to her final year before she gets to go out into the real world but a little sad to leave everything she knows behind. She loves her life.. until she wakes up in the hospital with no recollection of what happened. Her memories are erased. What's left is a Lux who is empty and lost, who gets migraines, her sight and dreams are sometimes filled with red, and she has no idea why or how her life took such a huge turn. My mother used to say my problem is that I can’t decide whether I’m whiskey or chamomile. It’s actually more like I don’t know whether I’m the lamb or the slaughter. This story was so beautifully written, if a little pretentious. But I really did love the writing and reading Lux's story so much. It was sad, damn right heartbreaking but it was also filled with love and understanding as well as, in my opinion, a very good representation of PTSD. Lux when we first meet her is fun loving, running a muck at a boarding school while her parents live in Singapore. She's lighting backyard fireworks, experiencing sex for the first time and feeling melancholy that she only has one more year left of all of this. But then she wakes up and red is where her memories should be. She remembers that she went out one night but nothing else. She thinks she's partied too hard, taken too many drugs, but this nagging feeling keeps nipping at her mind that something happened, something awful and now all she feels is lost. Lux sees all sorts of professionals to try and remember, her parents are back living with her before she starts school again but all they do is fight and Lux convinces them to let her go back to school because she'll find old Lux in the halls, she'll be fixed. Life is never that easy though. She turns to pick up her bag and then turns back to me, holding out an origami bird."It's a swan,' she says. "Serene on the surface but paddling like hell under water. Like you.""What?""Takes one to know one." Her friends Mei and Olivia are so understanding and supportive of her, weathering the storm of nightmares and the ghost of their friend, and they're not the only ones. She makes another friend in Georgia and her school therapist Dr Baystone is patient and not at all pushy of her recovery. Allowing Lux to rediscover what happened mostly on her own. She also meets Cal, the new kid and they quickly fall for each other and start a relationship. Cal is kind and sensitive and without being the 'guy who saves the girl' he walks along side Lux in her recovery without trying to 'fix' her which is a breath of fresh air from the same old trope I have seen too many damn times in books that battle any kind of mental illness. It hurts. The way only the truth can: completely. When it's revealed what happened to Lux I was genuinely surprised, it wasn't something I was expecting. This book already was dealing with the sensitive subject of PTSD and then addiing more to that could have easily been too much for the the author to handle but Ruffles handled both sensitive subjects very well in my eyes. After the reveal the recovery process isn't rushed. Lux doesn't find her memories and then goes straight back to normal Lux, the recovery is a long process before and after the memories come back. Lux isn't fixed by the end either its very clear at the end of the book that she still has a long way to go and I really loved that it wasn't all tied up neatly in a bow at the end. That's not what happens with trauma, even when you think you're better and healed, even when you think you've dealt with all the feelings and have locked it up in a cupboard to never have to deal with again. Trauma slips under the door, it hides in place you never knew it affected, it affects how you talk, behave, the way you are with others. It's always there, it changes you. No matter how hard you try to go back to the old you, you never really get there and I think in a lot of ways that's a good thing. The writing is so beautiful and has such keen commentary on the world we have found ourselves in recently that I thought I would include a few of my favorites. I'm not sad. That's too mall. A tiny word.'And see if you can find something else to wear - you look like you're going to a funeral. Shit, sorry, Lux.""That's OK. I didn't have a funeral."(view spoiler)[We're dropping bombs on people to encourage them not to bomb us anymore. (hide spoiler)]I know it will hurt when I miss him, but I choose not contaminating him.Jack is a human grenade with a propensity for pulling out his own pin.If you're looking for a book that tackles tough subjects well, or just want to read a beautifully written contemporary novel then I highly recommend giving this book a go!___│Blog│Instagram│Twitter│Tumblr│
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  • Alannah Clarke
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley.co.uk for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review. In all honesty, I picked up this book because in the email I had received about this book, it appeared to be marketed at fans of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar which I had enjoyed. I was expecting to be left disappointed by this novel because I have found if you compare a book to The Bell Jar the novel ends up falling short of expectations. Early on in the book, I had forgotten about the comparison, I Thank you to NetGalley.co.uk for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review. In all honesty, I picked up this book because in the email I had received about this book, it appeared to be marketed at fans of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar which I had enjoyed. I was expecting to be left disappointed by this novel because I have found if you compare a book to The Bell Jar the novel ends up falling short of expectations. Early on in the book, I had forgotten about the comparison, I could see why this novel was compared to Plath's work, but this changes as the book goes deeper into the mystery aspect of the storyline. I loved the main character and the fact she is such an unreliable narrator, this adds to the wonderful mystery of the overall plotline, the character wasn't portrayed as perfect, but to me, I think that is excellent writing and just made want to carry on with the novel. I do have to say, the only reason I haven't given this book the full five stars is that there were problems with the pacing of the novel. Around the halfway point I found the story to be dragging slightly, and I was a little bored, but I am glad I persevered for that beautiful ending.
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  • Tiffany Anne
    January 1, 1970
    I feel personally attacked by how fantastic the writing is. The way Ruffles has written Lux Langley’s mental state throughout this novel is very jarring and potentially extremely triggering—-it hurt to read this. But I adored it and there is an underline of hope and recovery.
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  • Karen Whittard
    January 1, 1970
    I would like to start by saying thank you to Netgalley, the publishers and Lydia Ruffles for the opportunity to read this book for an honest review. This is an all consuming book of massive proportions which will leave all readers breathless. The book tells the story of Lux a art student. Who is trying to uncover what happened to her over the summer. She remembers nothing but she knows something isn't right. She keeps suffering from intense pain and she has nightmares but when she goes to the do I would like to start by saying thank you to Netgalley, the publishers and Lydia Ruffles for the opportunity to read this book for an honest review. This is an all consuming book of massive proportions which will leave all readers breathless. The book tells the story of Lux a art student. Who is trying to uncover what happened to her over the summer. She remembers nothing but she knows something isn't right. She keeps suffering from intense pain and she has nightmares but when she goes to the doctors they declare her fit and well. As you go in the journey with Lux through her paranoia, anxiety, depression, confussion and pain. The reader is as much in the dark as Lux is. You can try to piece together the puzzle pieces but o had no idea what was going on until Lux discovered the truth. Lux is such a vulnerable character who lays everything out in the open. You can't help feeling for her and waiting to take her under your wing. To try and help her piece together what has happened and give her the support she so desperately needs. This is a moving story that had me moved to tears at the ending of the book. If I have a small criticism it's that at times I felt that it was a little slow and that the last section of the book was a little rushed. But all in all a beautifully written book.
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  • Ana (wildflowersbooks)
    January 1, 1970
    „I remind myself that villains are just victims whose stories haven‘t yet been told.“When Lux wakes up in a hospital bed after a big party, she can‘t remember anything that has happened before. Bits and pieces of her summer are lost in her memories and while she tries to find a way back to her old self and the lost days, she slowly feels like she‘s going crazy. Okay. I am so unsure about this book. There were parts I really liked and then there is the fact that I somehow lost interest in the st „I remind myself that villains are just victims whose stories haven‘t yet been told.“When Lux wakes up in a hospital bed after a big party, she can‘t remember anything that has happened before. Bits and pieces of her summer are lost in her memories and while she tries to find a way back to her old self and the lost days, she slowly feels like she‘s going crazy. Okay. I am so unsure about this book. There were parts I really liked and then there is the fact that I somehow lost interest in the story about 80% in. I liked the writing and the description of Lux‘s symptoms. I felt like all of this was very well done. It was confusing sometimes but then again, Lux was confused all the time so to get the reader to really feel this confusion made it feel real. I am no longer a teenage girl, and I didn‘t go through the things Lux experienced, but I also felt lost and confused and like nobody really understood me, because that‘s what growing up is like with all the hormones and stuff. The reveal was also something I hadn‘t expected at all, so that was a great „plot twist“ - but for me, it came a little too early, considering that there was still almost a third of the story left. At first I didn‘t really get why there was so much left of the book once we got to know what Lux went through and then, sadly, when the second part of the book starts, I already had lost most of my interest, which made it a little harder to follow the rest of the story. But I do get why we need to see what Lux does and how she heals and deals with her memories. I don‘t know. It was a good book, the theme was new (at least to me) but the pace and the revealing etc was not right sometimes. „Sometimes, I want to be the kind of person who makes life easier for other people. And sometimes I wish everyone I love would die so I wouldn’t have to worry about them hurting any more.“
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  • Breakaway Reviewers
    January 1, 1970
    “Thinking about all that colour and sound now makes my skull tighten and my brain shriek, but at the time it just made me certain of who I was and who I was going to be”The brain is one of the most complex organs evolution has ever created. It converts signals from our senses into a virtual reality world where we exist whilst having a fantastic ability to protect itself from trauma. However, trauma takes many forms. What if something happened so terrible that your reality broke down? How would y “Thinking about all that colour and sound now makes my skull tighten and my brain shriek, but at the time it just made me certain of who I was and who I was going to be”The brain is one of the most complex organs evolution has ever created. It converts signals from our senses into a virtual reality world where we exist whilst having a fantastic ability to protect itself from trauma. However, trauma takes many forms. What if something happened so terrible that your reality broke down? How would you know what was real or even who you were?This is the very real situation Lux finds herself in, with her world broken into a whole series of meaningless events punctuated by endless migraines and panic attacks. Join her on her quest to navigate this alien world where sounds have colour, nothing is as it seems and as she tries to rediscover what’s lost and hopefully finds herself and stop her world falling to pieces. This wonderfully inventive book written by Lydia contains enough of the real world. It’s easy to forget it’s a piece of fiction, at the same time providing such a novel experience to the reader that one can’t help but want to explore forever through the eyes of someone with psychological problems. that reveals itself as the book progresses in the style the journey she must go on to find herself. The main protagonist, Lux, is given a wonderfully deep and complex character, whose background, which is initially hidden from her, reveals itself as the book progresses. The other characters all play vital roles but their personalities are confined to a two-dimensional level of complexity as Lux associates with them only so far as they help her on her journey, but are also developed to highly complex characters as Lux progresses on her journey and gets better. The world that is built is beautifully described in all its strangeness, although sometimes the descriptive power (while always a delight to read) does begin to become a bit taxing, this is a balancing act all authors must master in time.This book is truly the first book in a long time that I find hard to describe or to adequately do justice. What Lydia has done is a masterpiece of fictional writing that so expertly immerses the reader. It’s hard to put down from start to finish.AlexBreakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review
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  • gem
    January 1, 1970
    A beautifully written YA novel focusing on Lux's search for the truth. Set in a boarding school for art students, the creativity element comes out in the descriptions of both characters and setting. The plot is full of tension and throughout the story it tackles issues such as memory loss, trauma, mental health and numerous other things in such a sensitive and original way. The reveal, when it comes, will seriously have you gasping out loud and immediately telling all your friends to read it.Per A beautifully written YA novel focusing on Lux's search for the truth. Set in a boarding school for art students, the creativity element comes out in the descriptions of both characters and setting. The plot is full of tension and throughout the story it tackles issues such as memory loss, trauma, mental health and numerous other things in such a sensitive and original way. The reveal, when it comes, will seriously have you gasping out loud and immediately telling all your friends to read it.Perfect for fans of E.Lockhart and John Green.
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  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    The Taste of Blue Light is set around Lux a student and her memory loss and the mystery surrounding what has her brain blocked out so she can't remember. This book was very slow paced to start with and took until about 70% through until it all started to pull together. Lux is a very complex character but I didnt feel emersed in the book at any point and I have been left feeling that it never quite fulfilled its potential.
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  • ambsreads
    January 1, 1970
    Putting this down. I’m not in the right head space to read it.
  • Emily Ross
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to the publishers for providing an ARC of this book through NetGalley.I don’t even have the words to describe this book. It started off promising; Lux, the main character, suffers from amnesia after a traumatic event. Lux is probably the hardest character to connect with. She treats her friends and family awfully, nothing she does makes sense and the trauma that occurs doesn’t even fit with the book. As a heavy partier, hard drinker and recreational drug user, you’d expect the twist to Thank you to the publishers for providing an ARC of this book through NetGalley.I don’t even have the words to describe this book. It started off promising; Lux, the main character, suffers from amnesia after a traumatic event. Lux is probably the hardest character to connect with. She treats her friends and family awfully, nothing she does makes sense and the trauma that occurs doesn’t even fit with the book. As a heavy partier, hard drinker and recreational drug user, you’d expect the twist to be something along the lines of what happened at a party, but the trauma is completely removed from everything in the novel, and it comes straight out of the blue. I just don’t think that this book made much sense.And Richdeane, being set in the UK, just wouldn’t work. They literally just teach art. Even at the most artistic of secondary schools, they still have to be taught English and Maths. None of this book made sense.
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  • Sara Oxton
    January 1, 1970
    The taste of the Blue light by Lydia Ruffles a four-star read that will bring a light in your life. This is a YA novel, but don’t allow that to pigeonhole this story, I’m almost 40 and I could identify with Lux Langley, she is just a young woman who has something happen that changes her whole being. Maybe I identified as I had two major life changes at a similar age, I moved to a different county alone at 17 and lost a parent soon after, so I understood the journey of discovery and how life chan The taste of the Blue light by Lydia Ruffles a four-star read that will bring a light in your life. This is a YA novel, but don’t allow that to pigeonhole this story, I’m almost 40 and I could identify with Lux Langley, she is just a young woman who has something happen that changes her whole being. Maybe I identified as I had two major life changes at a similar age, I moved to a different county alone at 17 and lost a parent soon after, so I understood the journey of discovery and how life changes can affect you. The mental health aspects of the book also intrigued me and were well written but did lack a tiny bit in places. Overall this was a great story and I couldn’t believe that this was a debut novel, the writer has a great talent that you don’t usually see in a debut.
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  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this book. It was raw and deep and so passionately real. I can't wait to see what Lydia Ruffles comes up with next.
  • Rhia (rhiareads...)
    January 1, 1970
    This review first appeared on my blog, rhia reads.While there are several good points about this book, I had a few issues with the story. The writing is fantastic, even if I did go into it expecting something more fantasy than contemporary – maybe I’ve read too much fantasy but the description of Lux as an “Artist” suggested some kind of segregated fantasy/dystopia to me, so to discover that actually, she is merely a student of art at a pretentious boarding school was a minor let down.The story This review first appeared on my blog, rhia reads.While there are several good points about this book, I had a few issues with the story. The writing is fantastic, even if I did go into it expecting something more fantasy than contemporary – maybe I’ve read too much fantasy but the description of Lux as an “Artist” suggested some kind of segregated fantasy/dystopia to me, so to discover that actually, she is merely a student of art at a pretentious boarding school was a minor let down.The story flowed really well and I thought the supporting cast of characters were really well done, especially Lux’s closest two friends who stuck by her in her darkest times.My first issue was Lux herself – I appreciate she’d had this big trauma but I just couldn’t connect with her as a character. I definitely felt a “poor little rich girl” vibe even though she actually joked about that herself and tried to be aware of her privilege.The other issue was the “big trauma”. I won’t give it away, but I was expecting some kind of personal trauma and it turned out to be a massive thing and I don’t understand how her friends and family were able to hide it from her for so long. Surely it would have been all over the news and social media and she would have been surrounded by it? Unless her amnesia effect thing was wiping her memory of seeing it every time? I think that could probably have been explained better.Considering this book was absolutely not what I was expecting I did enjoy it.Pick this one up on Book Depository now!
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  • Kate Southey
    January 1, 1970
    I found it hard to get in to this book initially but once in to it, I found it fairly engrossing. We begin the book aware that ‘something’ has happened to Lux and that she may have witnessed *something* but we aren’t told much more. Lux becomes more and more angry with the way others have treated her ‘since the blackout’ especially her own parents. She feels disconnected to the world and her own body at times and is frustrated that Drs can not give her any answers or help her to feel connected a I found it hard to get in to this book initially but once in to it, I found it fairly engrossing. We begin the book aware that ‘something’ has happened to Lux and that she may have witnessed *something* but we aren’t told much more. Lux becomes more and more angry with the way others have treated her ‘since the blackout’ especially her own parents. She feels disconnected to the world and her own body at times and is frustrated that Drs can not give her any answers or help her to feel connected again. Having previously been a user of recreational drugs at her private creative arts school, she worries that this is the cause. Gradually through flashbacks we learn of the previous year at school and how it led up to ‘the blackout’ about her relationship with her best friends, staff at her school and her parents and her own relationship with her talent and her permissive school. At the end of the book we learn what ‘the blackout is’ and it isn’t what we think (or at least, what the author was leading us to believe and the reason why Lux thinks she is being treated differently by everyone is very different to Lux’ imaginings. I felt a bit flat when the big reveal came. Personally I would have handled the subject matter in a different way than the author did but that is my personal preference. I found that I wanted a lot more detail about the story such as a better understanding of the schools ethos, methods of grading their pupils, pupils directions after leaving the school but I am a very nutty gritty details led reader! Not bad, but not great.
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  • Tim
    January 1, 1970
    Lux wakes up in hospital and she can’t remember what happened. As she wrestles with what happened and struggles to remember the events her mental health deteriorates. Is it something to do with her parents? Is the art school she attends sinister? Are drugs involved? Is she the person to blame or do her friends have anything to do with it?The book is beautifully written. There’s depth to it but whether this book is a positive experience or not hinges on one key question – what has actually happen Lux wakes up in hospital and she can’t remember what happened. As she wrestles with what happened and struggles to remember the events her mental health deteriorates. Is it something to do with her parents? Is the art school she attends sinister? Are drugs involved? Is she the person to blame or do her friends have anything to do with it?The book is beautifully written. There’s depth to it but whether this book is a positive experience or not hinges on one key question – what has actually happened to the main character? Thankfully I found the reveal to be satisfying and unexpected making this an excellent and compelling read. Indeed, the few intense chapters where Lux discovers what happened makes the rest of the book more insightful.This is the debut book from Lydia Ruffles and I am impressed with her ability. In particular I enjoyed the way she uses colour to paint vivid pictures and bring an imaginative and thoughtful look at mental health.The plot after the main reveal meanders occasionally but in an almost necessary way – it feels real. It's real life. Just when you’re wondering what else can happen, you are drawn back in with a tender moment.Read this book – allow yourself to get caught up in Ruffles’ rich writing, allow yourself to feel the chaos and panic that Lux faces. In my opinion it is an important and relevant book that I wholeheartedly recommend.A copy of this book was provided for review by the publisher via NetGalley.
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  • bsbookbuzz
    January 1, 1970
    I was strapped on an emotional roller coaster that didn't stop till the words were nothing but a full stop, halting me. That is what the book was like. I feel so drained and not quite complete. I want to start this review by saying it was a long draining book and I feel like I was lost in the motion for the first few chapters and in the next few I found my pace. The plot was quiet like We Were Liars by E.Lockhart, if you haven't read that book yet then I suggest you go check that book out.So we I was strapped on an emotional roller coaster that didn't stop till the words were nothing but a full stop, halting me. That is what the book was like. I feel so drained and not quite complete. I want to start this review by saying it was a long draining book and I feel like I was lost in the motion for the first few chapters and in the next few I found my pace. The plot was quiet like We Were Liars by E.Lockhart, if you haven't read that book yet then I suggest you go check that book out.
So we follow a girl who has been through some hefty trauma and her brain is like a computer who is denying her entry and from there we unfold how her friends and family deal with it then to goes on to speak about her recovery. Now I want to point out that the sentence you just read is NOT a spoiler because most book have a resolution or a slither of hope that in the end it will get better and that was the novel's lesson to the readers.

I found the plot a bit jumpy and the character at times annoying but overall I enjoyed the book because it was set in the world of today with a problem that may occur or has occurred to people and I find that this hit's closer to home because it's almost scary how real it could be. I recommend this book for 16+ because you deal with heavy issues and it was a long bumpy ride. The ending was quite calm and it was like a semicolon, where it was finished but you as a reader created some sort of end for the character.
4.5/5
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  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    I knew absolutely nothing about this book when I went into it. I'd heard no online chatter about it either which surprises me really because it is such an intriguing and mind-blowing book. It is also a book driven by its plot more than the characters. The mystery surrounding Lux's blackouts and her current health state is one you want to keep exploring, and you don't necessarily care if you don't feel connected to any of the characters as the mystery is what matters. Saying that, I liked the sup I knew absolutely nothing about this book when I went into it. I'd heard no online chatter about it either which surprises me really because it is such an intriguing and mind-blowing book. It is also a book driven by its plot more than the characters. The mystery surrounding Lux's blackouts and her current health state is one you want to keep exploring, and you don't necessarily care if you don't feel connected to any of the characters as the mystery is what matters. Saying that, I liked the support network Lux had with Mei and Olivia. They weren't afraid to do what was best for Lux, even when she didn't want it, and they didn't back down. I love reading about strong friendships and that is one of the strongest I've seen in a while. What really struck me the most was that I never knew the direction of the plot and the twists were well calculated, planned and weaved in at the right moments. It made for a refreshing read, and one I'm certain I'll have to reread. All I can say is thank goodness for YALC because I don't think I would have picked this book up otherwise. It is a gem and one I hope gets more attention in the coming months.
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  • Jessica M
    January 1, 1970
    http://jessjustreads.comThe Taste of Blue Light by Lydia Ruffles is a young adult novel about a young woman’s search for the truth. Lux has to search deep into her mind to remember what happened last Summer, and find out why her mind is so fractured.This book is incandescent and at times, heartbreaking. The reader is kept in the dark — just like Lux — so with every new development and memory, we’re desperately trying to piece it all together to find out what happened to her over the summertime. http://jessjustreads.comThe Taste of Blue Light by Lydia Ruffles is a young adult novel about a young woman’s search for the truth. Lux has to search deep into her mind to remember what happened last Summer, and find out why her mind is so fractured.This book is incandescent and at times, heartbreaking. The reader is kept in the dark — just like Lux — so with every new development and memory, we’re desperately trying to piece it all together to find out what happened to her over the summertime. “Since I blacked out, the slightest thing seems to aggravate my brain and fill it with fire.”Lux is not in control, and her friends struggle to help her. This book is as much about trauma and memory loss, as it is about self-discovery. Following a traumatic event in the summer that Lux can’t remember, she suffers from terrible migraines and short bursts of rage throughout the day. Sometimes she’s verbally aggressive, and sometimes she’s physically aggressive. And she has no way of stopping it or controlling it. She also doesn’t sleep too well, and when she does, she has nightmares and wakes up screaming. The Taste of Blue Light examines the relationship between Lux and those around her — her family and friends and also a new boy that enters her life. This book explores what it’s like for someone who is suffering mentally, and how that can have a ripple affect on the people around them. “My stomach is chewing on itself when I wake up, as if I’ve had a fight with someone but can’t remember who.”I found the novel to be a little slow, my concentration waning. For a long time, I wondered where this book was going, and despite the fact that Lux is intended to be an unreliable narrator with cloudy memories, I found myself lost in the plot a fair bit. Additionally, I found it unrealistic that Lux wouldn’t have found out what happened to her (no spoilers) considering the rest of the country would’ve known. I find it hard to believe that she wouldn’t have accidentally found out.In saying that, the opening couple of chapters are really strong and draw the reader in. We come to understand Lux’s ‘voice’ and her characterisation, and the characters and their interactions with each other are definitely the strongest part of this book. I recommend this book to fans of young adult literature, and perhaps mystery novels. This is not a thriller but it does feel a bit like a guessing game because the reader is trying to piece together all the information to find out what happened to Lux. Thank you to the publisher for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Pamela Scott
    January 1, 1970
    (copy from publisher via NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed)The Taste of Blue Light is one of the best YA novels I’ve ever read. I cried like a baby when Lux recovers her memories.I struggled to put this book down every time I picked it up. Lux’s story was so compelling and well-written I had to find out what happened to her. Why did she end up in hospital? What do her migraines and nightmares mean? Why are her dreams red? Why can’t she remember?Lux narrates the story. First person POV is one of (copy from publisher via NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed)The Taste of Blue Light is one of the best YA novels I’ve ever read. I cried like a baby when Lux recovers her memories.I struggled to put this book down every time I picked it up. Lux’s story was so compelling and well-written I had to find out what happened to her. Why did she end up in hospital? What do her migraines and nightmares mean? Why are her dreams red? Why can’t she remember?Lux narrates the story. First person POV is one of my favourite’s when it’s done well and Lux is spot in. I loved her voice and being on a journey with her as she tried to work out what had broken inside her and why.Lux recovers her memories and life sucker-punches her. She realises how many people she has in her life who love her. She realises it is possible to recover from trauma but it can take a long time. I loved being in her head as she comes full circle and really starts to heal.The Taste of Blue Light is amazing.
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