Saturday, June 12, 2010

Supernatural Saturday: Review of A Certain Slant of Light

After benignly haunting a series of people for 130 years, Helen meets a teenage boy who can see her and together they unlock the mysteries of their pasts.
[from Goodreads]

Rating:   2.5 out of 5 boxes
Target Audience:  Ghost (story) hunters
High point:  The Quick
Low point:  Helen as a modern teen
Reader maturity:  15+

A Certain Slant of Light really surprised me. I was expecting something along the lines of Wait Till Helen Comes or Time For Andrew, except in YA form. What I got was...well, not what I expected.

I enjoyed the novel but didn't connect with it on any level other than entertainment. Helen, the main character and a ghost, is of unknown age (but very old), living the life of a teenager. So many things about her life as the teenager didn't jive with her speech and the purported morality of her ancient self. Helen's devotion to the human (males) she attached herself to also made me squirm a little at her single-minded intensity. The love interest, on the other hand, was a believable portrayal of a long-dead ghost in a new body;  he made a lot of mistakes but didn't exhibit the stilted behavior of Helen.

The idea behind A Certain Slant of Light is brilliant--the interaction between the Quick (the ghosts) and the Living was, pardon the pun, otherworldly, but I was more interested in discovering the secrets of the Quick (especially Helen's secret--which she doesn't know herself) than finding a way for Helen and her fellow ghost to be together. Though only mildly impressed by A Certain Slant of Light, Laura Whitcomb has a strong writing style and a great hand for painting pictures with words. I look forward to reading more from her.

Title:  A Certain Slant of Light
Author:  Laura Whitcomb
Genre:  Teen Fiction -- Romance & Friendship
Year:   2005
Book Source:  Purchased


  1. I felt the same way about this book. I read it my sophomore year in school and still remember it, so at least it's not forgettable. I thought Helen's secret was so predictable though.

  2. This is on my list. I'll still be reading it though, the interest is still there. Thanks for the review!!

  3. I don't think I'll be picking this one up, but I have to say: That title's pretty awesome. :D

    Thanks for the review!