Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Review: A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger

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I received this book for free from FSB Associates in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: A Trick of the Light by Lois MetzgerA Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger
Published by HarperTeen on June 18th 2013
Source: FSB Associates
Buy on Amazon

Mike Welles had everything under control. But that was before. Now things are rough at home, and they’re getting confusing at school. He’s losing his sense of direction, and he feels like he’s a mess.

Then there’s a voice in his head. A friend, who’s trying to help him get control again. More than that—the voice can guide him to become faster and stronger than he was before, to rid his life of everything that’s holding him back. To figure out who he is again. If only Mike will listen.

Telling a story of a rarely recognized segment of eating disorder sufferers—young men—A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger is a book for fans of the complex characters and emotional truths in Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wintergirls and Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why.

What a strange little book this was. Narrated by anorexia, A Trick of the Light is a lightning fast story about a boy who’s has a run-in with this illness. I felt it was a little like an afternoon special on fast forward, but I did enjoy the book nonetheless. It touches on a topic that is so often misunderstood, told in the unique voice of the illness itself. Because for someone with anorexia, it becomes exactly that: an entity that takes over your thoughts, your life.

This choice of narrator is excellent as it shows the aggressive nature of the disease. It puts in the forefront how brutally insistent it becomes and I appreciated the ugly truth of it all. Mike, like so many teenagers, has problems with his self image which quickly turns unhealthy when he meets a girl who tells him her secrets: how to eat as little as possible, and how to hide this habit from others. Finally, getting through to him at last, anorexia exclaims. As quickly as this book moves, the narrator makes it easy to understand how this illness can take over your thoughts so thoroughly and dangerously. It’s incredibly sad to understand how someone can lose themselves to such a treacherous disease. I also liked that it was a boy dealing with it, as society can make it sound like it’s only girls who have critically distorted self-images.

This plot goes from point A to Point B to resolution in under 200 pages, thus it doesn’t go very in-depth in regards to the emotional and physical consequences the disease evokes. It’s more a quick foray into the life of someone who briefly succumbed to it. While it’s not unrealistic, it doesn’t bring us into the abyss that Mike is trapped in. I instead felt like I was simply reading a recap.

A Trick of the Light does raise an important message, now more than ever in this Photoshopped media world we’re living in. It’s a moving, uniquely told story about a highly destructive disorder. 


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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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20 Responses to “Review: A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger”

  1. Melanie

    I saw Maja’s review just recently and totally got pumped up that this was written in ther POV of anorexia. Unique, eye catching and just overall making me interested. I love YA novels that have messages within them.

    Fantabulous review as always, chick! <33

  2. Amy

    I have this on audio and I am really looking forward to it. I think that it’s interesting that it’s told in the POV of the illness itself. I also like that it is a male that is affected, and not a female. I don’t think that there is enough attention to the fact that it can affect anyone. Great review hon!!

  3. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    I only read the first paragraph of this one because after you mentioned it to me the other day I am super excited for it. I think this one is going to rock my world. Happy that you enjoyed it so much overall.

  4. Christina

    Anorexia is the narrator? This explains why I was really confused when I tried to listen to the audio. I may give it another try now that I know what the heck is happening, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do it. The writing style was coming off as really strange.

  5. Katie @ BlookGirl

    This sounds really interesting and certainly worth reading, especially given its length. It’s so rare that boys are featured in these types of stories, which is unfortunate, given that girls are certainly NOT the only ones who struggle with these issues. So glad this book was written and hope that it helps someone!

  6. Jesse Burgoyne

    I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this short little book. You’re right about it just being a glimpse into the world of anorexia and I would have liked to have maybe a little more follow up on Mike’s recovery, but for what it was it entertained me.

  7. Candace

    I have this on my tbr and I’m not sure if I’m excited about reading it or not. I guess its short enough that its not a big commitment. I also like that it doesn’t go TOO deep just cause I haven’t been wanting to read books that are too heavy recently. Thanks for the review, now I have a better idea of what to expect.

  8. Nick

    This is quite intriguing! I wonder if the writing style would put me off. There aren’t too many books dealing with anorexia, so it always makes me happy to see new ones. It’s too bad that the book doesn’t go into the depth of the situation though.
    Lovely review, Giselle!

  9. Christianna Marks

    I just won this one and can’t wait to read it. I think it’s such an interesting story telling idea to tell it through the eyes of the disease. I’ll have to see what I think, but I’m glad you liked this one. Great review!

  10. Shooting Stars Mag

    nice review! I enjoyed this one too– I’m glad there is a novel that focuses on the boy’s plight with eating disorders. The point of view was also super unique and interesting. I also wish it was longer, though.

  11. Eileen

    Fantastic review, Giselle! this is the first time I’ve heard of this book, reading your review but it looks really interesting, especially with the anorexia issue. I agree, anorexia is a really misunderstood disease, and I’m really happy that this one really focused on his disease, even though the brevity of the entire thing made it feel like a summary. I’m glad you enjoyed this one!

  12. Alexa Y.

    It’s always tough to read books that feature issues that are REALITIES in this world we live in. I’d be interested in reading this one, if only because it features a MALE dealing with anorexia, which I’ve never encountered before.

  13. vivalabooks

    Whoa A book with the POV of anorexia sounds really interesting. I’ve heard how anorexia can take over one’s thoughts and I think this book really gives us a glimpse into anorexia. Great review!

  14. vivalabooks

    Whoa A book with the POV of anorexia sounds really interesting. I’ve heard how anorexia can take over one’s thoughts and this book sounds like it really gives you a glimpse into anorexia. Great review!

  15. Jennifer Messerschmidt

    This is about eating disorders?! I thought it was paranormal. I read the synopsis I think when there was only two paragraphs not three so I was kind of confused what it was about. It is a good subject to address. A girl from my school had an eating disorder and died the summer before we started high school. Was very sad. I think it is very unique for the book to be narrated by the voice itself. Also great that it is addressing males.