and i am back for quite a while with another book review. this novel is one that is close to me in the emotional, spiritual, mental way. quite honestly as well, i hadn’t expected in to grow on my like it did, but here we are–here i am–trying to piece words together to tell you how much i adored this book.

anyway, [here’s wonderwall] the light fantastic by sarah combs.


28814848title: The Light Fantastic
author: Sarah Combs
series: none; standalone
publisher: Candlewick Press
pub date: September 16, 2016
genre: young adult, contemporary fiction
format acquired: eARC; for review

Seven tightly interwoven narratives. Three harrowing hours. One fateful day that changes everything.

Delaware, the morning of April 19. Senior Skip Day, and April Donovan’s eighteenth birthday. Four days after the Boston Marathon bombing, the country is still reeling, and April’s rare memory condition has her recounting all the tragedies that have cursed her birth month. And just what was that mysterious gathering under the bleachers about? Meanwhile, in Nebraska, Lincoln Evans struggles to pay attention in Honors English, distracted by the enigmatic presence of Laura Echols, capturer of his heart. His teacher tries to hold her class’s interest, but she can’t keep her mind off what Adrian George told her earlier. Over in Idaho, Phoebe is having second thoughts about the Plan mere hours before the start of a cross-country ploy led by an Internet savant known as the Mastermind. Is all her heartache worth the cost of the Assassins’ machinations? The Light Fantastic is a tense, shocking, and beautifully wrought exploration of the pain and pathos of a generation of teenagers on the brink—and the hope of moving from shame and isolation into the light of redemption.


before anything else, allow me to express some feelings of guilt first. i read this novel in more than a month for several inexcusable reasons i won’t even bother to discuss anymore. either way, i acknowledge existing feelings of such because goddamn, this novel is amazing.

get this, amazing is an adjective i use quite freely, but let me tell you, i mean this adjective in its extreme in this sense. the light fantastic made me chuckle, feel butterflies, cry, and feel alive. that’s what matters to me the most; the fact that it made me feel like i truly am alive.

i haven’t read and written properly for a time so long i can’t specify anymore, and this is the first novel i picked up during this time of my life. while i regret no finishing this sooner than i did, i think i read its end in perfect timing as to how my life is going right now. the light fantastic felt like the novel who empathized with me. it felt like the novel who made me feel it’s okay to not be okay; that i’m not alone in this world; that there are other humans whose age range near mine who experience all this but still find strength, and adults and other people and the universe who are eager to help us out, to do anything, whatever it takes to keep our flames alive.

at this point, i think it’s safe to say that this review is going to be so much personal than i wish it to be, but that’s the point of novels, right? it’s supposed to make us feel alive, and cared for, and not alone; the light fantastic certainly did that for me, but before i get any further, here are the things i love about this novel:

  • its relatability
  • its characters
  • its values
  • its poignancy
  • its eloquence
  • the fact that it’s a novel with a heart

a couple of things that bothered me a teeny bit:

  • the slowness of its pace during the first half
  • the fact that i didn’t feel like i got answers to everything (but then again, maybe i just did not pay enough attention but oh well)

regardless of those two little bullets up there, i hold the light fantastic close to my heart. it’s taught me so much, and made me think so much, and made me feel so so much. and that is what matters.


this doesn’t even count as a question


  • a million times yes. yes yes yes yes.

  • featured image/header photo taken by myself
  • for more reviews, visit obviously reading

ps. if you’re reading this, please know that you matter and i may not know you personally, but i know for a fact you’re here for a beautiful reason.

pps. if you need someone to talk to and trust me enough, you can reach me via either the comments section or tumblr


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