Title: The Light That Gets Lost
Author: Natasha Carthew
Publication Date: November 5th 2015
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Rating: ☆☆/ DNF
Purchase: The Book Depository / Waterstones
A small boy hiding in a cupboard witnesses something no child should ever see. He tries not to look but he still hears it. And when he comes out, there's no mistaking. His mum and dad have been killed. And though he's only small, he swears that he'll get revenge one day.
Years later, Trey enters a strange camp that is meant to save troubled teenagers. It's packed with crazies, god-botherers, devoted felons and broken kids. Trey's been in and out of trouble ever since the day the bad thing happened, but he's he not here for saving: this is where he'll find the man who did it. Revenge and healing, salvation and hell are a boiling, dangerous mix, and Trey finds himself drawn to a girl, a dream and the offer of friendship in the dark.
When I requested this book from Bloomsbury a month or two ago, I was overly excited to get to it. Due to schedules and life, unfortunately this opportunity never arose, until now. From the synopsis, I was instantly drawn into the intrigue of the plot. Entering a strange camp for troubled teens after witnessing your parents being murdered? Sign me up! It sounded like a book that was going to target issues of possible mental illness and what traumatic events can do to people's minds. Alas, this book was not that, and I hate to admit that I marked this book as DNF after only 77 pages in.
I couldn't do it guys, I just couldn't. This book had so much promise, and I had heard some really good things about it, but it was just a total let down. First and foremost, the writing style was completely all over the place. I'm aware that I was reading a proof version of the book, but still, I expected the sentences to at least make sense. Following on, the dialogue in this book. Oh my days don't even get me started. For a novel set in Cornwall, yes Cornwall, the characters spoke like they were from a southern state in America. The portrayal of speech in teenagers was just completely unrealistic in my opinion. Too much slang to actually make sense, which really threw off my attention while reading.
Unfortunately, the plot of this book didn't really escalate in those 77 pages I read. Now I'm aware that obviously this is not a large amount of the book, and I may very clearly be missing some extremely detailed plot events later on in the book, but from where I read, nothing was really happening. Nothing excited me or incised me to read on. Actually, as I type this, I have spoken to someone about the plot of this book, and I am aware of the events that happen towards the end of the novel. Alas, it does not excite me, or surprise me in any way - which is a real shame because I really tried to love this book. I gave it so many chances. What strikes me is odd is that every time I put it down and told myself I was done with this book, there was still part of me that questioned whether I should just stay invested in the story. We will see what the future holds for this book, you never know, it may be given a final chance to surprise me in the future.
Character wise, there really isn't much I can say because I don't want to completely slate the book. For me, a main character has to be quite dynamic, and be able to form some sort of bond with the reader - this can range from something tiny to something quite large and impactful. For me, Trey just did not click. His revengeful nature, whilst understandable, had no real means of explanation. There was no build up to how he got this way, besides seeing the brief prologue. Now don't get me wrong, I am not stating that should you see your parents murdered, you wouldn't feel a bit revengeful, because in all honesty I think I would. However, this constant mention of the revengeful inner demon inside Trey just completely threw any hopes of him being redeemable out of the window and he lost all of my respect. Whether this was due to the writing of his character, or purely his motives, I do not know. All I am aware of is that I was not relating to him in any way. Such a shame. As for the rest of the characters, or the ones I had met so far in the 77 pages I had read, non of them stuck out to me. I struggled to remember who was who, their personalities blended into one big mess, and really I wasn't curious to find out more about why they were there.
Overall, I can't really say more about this novel than it had so much potential and it was just completely translucent. From what I have gathered, the author attempted to push a storyline much alike Holes by Louis Sachar, mixed with Lord of the Flies further on in the story. An odd combination if I ever saw one. I award The Light That Gets Lost by Natasha Carthew a 2 out of 5 star rating on my classification scale. I would give this a 1 star, easily, but I'm giving it 2 for it's bizarre ability to have me curious to pick it up again, even if at this moment it is completely undesirable of me. We shall have to see what the future holds.