Today marks the paperback release of A Trick of the Light, by Lois Metzger. I reviewed the book last year, and found it to be powerful story, with a unique twist. To celebrate the release, I am reposting my review, as well as offering one copy, courtesy of the author.
Category/Genre: Young Adult Realistic Fiction
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
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 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.
Open to US only; must be 13+ years of age to enter.
Ms. Metzger currently lives in New York City with her husband, writer Tony Hiss, and their eight-year-old son, Jacob.
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