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The Taste of Blue Light by Lydia Ruffles - Review

Friday, January 26, 2018

Where did I get it? Netgalley, so thank you to Hodder Children's Books. 

What's it about? I read the first chapter of this book via Maximum Pop last year, and was intrigued by it. As I said in this post, we first meet Lux when she's looking back on the Leavers Ball she attended at the end of her first year of 6th form. She's then back at her school, a bohemian school full of artists and writers, and she's suffering from amnesia and terrible migraines. She's also got synaesthesia, which means that she tastes colours and feels the colour red too much. She knows something happened on her last day at an internship in an art gallery, but can't remember what. All she knows is that she woke up in hospital. 

She's fallen out with her parents and is relying heavily on her friends Olivia and Mei. She has to have therapy at school with Dr B, and she's also getting close to new boy Cal. 

This book took me ages to read and to begin with I thought it just wasn't grabbing me, but I couldn't put my finger on why. I didn't like Lux to begin with, but I did by the end, and I think it was her character that salvaged the book in its entirety for me. I felt like more depth was needed, and some bits were skated over when I would have liked more detail. But, this is a decent book and I would definitely pick up something else by the same author. 

What age range is it for? 16+, some of the subject matter is pretty harrowing. 

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? She's not exactly a main character, but Lux's friend Georgia is. 

Are any main characters people of colour? I assume that Mei is Chinese, given her name, but it's not explicitly said. Also, Lux's parents live in Singapore and I wasn't sure if she was Singaporean, but I'm pretty sure she was white and she just lived there. I would have liked to see more representation here. 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? Yes, I'm going to say Lux is due to her memory issues and other mental health problems. 

Is there any sex stuff? Yes, and it's quite explicit. 

Are drugs mentioned or used? Yes, both prescription drugs and illegal drugs are used and mentioned. 

Is there any talk of death? Yes, and it's quite gory in places. 

Are there swear words? A few 

What criticisms do I have? I think I've outlined them above. I didn't dislike the book, but I thought it was a bit inconsistent. 

Would I recommend the book? Yes, despite my criticisms. 

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? It downloaded to my Kindle and I remembered I'd liked the first chapter, so started it. 

What other books is it like? It's been compared a lot to We Were Liars by E Lockhart, which is honestly a very apt comparison. 

How many stars? I was thinking I would give it six out of ten, but then at the last minute decided it's more like seven and a half. This is mostly due to Lux herself, who I really warmed to, and also to the epilogue which I liked. 

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