Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: 6/18/13
Source: Received from publicist for review
Rating: 4 stars
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/
A Trick of the Light was a very tough story for me. Very tough. I didn't have a hard time because I didn't like it, I did. It was hard because it struck just a little too close to home. So well that I kept putting it down, looking at my husband, and saying "I'm scared, because I have had these same thoughts swirling around in my own head."
Mike Welles's life is out of control. His dad is absent, his mom is emotionally absent, and he has no control over anything. Except for his body. Mike finds a way to regain power over his life, an eating disorder. Anorexia, that voice in his head that promises control, is the narrator of A Trick of the Light, and as odd as that seems, it works. This disease tells the story of how it waited, put thoughts into Mike's vulnerable mind, and struck when it sensed his weakness. Feeling bad about yourself? Run more laps. Upset with your mom for not being dependable? Do more pushups. Don't listen to your friend or teacher when they tell you that you're too thin. They're just jealous. And always, always deny.
A Trick of the Light is a shockingly accurate depiction of a life consumed by an eating disorder. I have my own personal issues with this subject; it's one I've battled for most of my life. What makes me sad is that I never considered this subject from a male point-of-view. As a wife, I am working on being more sensitive about male body image. As a mom, I am adamant about being just as aware of what is going on in my son's life in this respect as I am my daughter's. I have many years of experience that came into play while reading the story. What I am most curious about is what a teen's thoughts would be after reading this.
A Trick of the Light is a very imaginative and strong take on the psychological aspect of eating disorders. And while I felt uncomfortable and stressed while reading it, I do believe that it is a powerful story that needed to be told.
Purchase A Trick of the Light at:
About the author
Ms. Metzger currently lives in New York City with her husband, writer Tony Hiss, and their eight-year-old son, Jacob.
Connect at her website