Sunday, August 4, 2013


A Trick of the LightCategory/Genre: Young Adult Realistic Fiction
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: 6/18/13
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 208
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
Lois Metzger is the author of three previous novels and two nonfiction books about the Holocaust, and she has edited five anthologies.
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



  1. Wow. You never consider what goes through a guys head because women's body issues are so widely talked about. I want to read this. Fantastic review! (p.s. You are the hottest thing on two legs!)

  2. Fabulous review hon!! I had not really ever thought of it from a male point of view either, though the topic of eating disorders is something that I know a lot about. (Being a gymnast from a young age on a competitive level unfortunately exposes you to a lot of it.)I thought that using anorexia as the voice was a great choice. I listened to it on audio, and I thought it didn't translate well to out loud reading, but I did thing the actual story itself was great.

  3. Well, you know this would likely be a tough read for me. I know both males and females, including myself that have suffered with this. You nailed it. It's crucial to recognize that men can suffer from eating disorders as well. Great review.

  4. I have read a lot of mixed reviews on this, I'm not sure I would like it or not. But I agree, it's an important subject and story. I have a copy of it, so I'll probably give it a try once I'm ready for some more emotional stories again.

  5. speaking as a mom who has raised three teenager..they all go through periods of bodily issues and concerns ..kudos to you for realizing boys/men worry too. I want to pick this up.

  6. Wonderful review. I do think this one was tough to read in a way, because the thoughts are something many can relate too. I love that it deals with a male though because many people don't realize it's more than a "girl's disease."

  7. I honestly feel as if teenagers would find it very hard to understand what the main character is going through. But, I think at some point in high school, I've dealt with severe eating issues, so on the other hand, for me personally, I would love to read this and see how Metzger brings the issue to the forefront and if I at all felt what the main character feels. I am very intrigued by this now! It sounds like an emotional read, and one I would enjoy. I'm glad you enjoyed this, Andrea! Great review! :D

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 

  8. Great Review! I love it when as a reader, I can connect to a story is some way. I like that the author decided to tell the story from a male's perspective. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and personal experience with us :)

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

  9. This sounds really different. You rarely hear about guys with eating disorders. Sounds like an intense read.


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