Monday, September 22, 2014

Review and Giveaway: A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger

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.

A Trick of the Light
Category/Genre: Young Adult Realistic Fiction
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Rating: 4 stars

GoodReads  |  Amazon BN
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.

Open to US only; must be 13+ years of age to enter.


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.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  GoodReads

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  1. This sure does sound like a powerful read Andrea. I don't think I've come across a book which has dealt with this from a guy's perspective, but I'm glad that the author decided to go about it this way. Thanks for sharing your honest review with us! :)

  2. The imaginative take on it sounds great. I have this and need to get a hold of it

  3. I was scared of this book because of how honest and raw it sounded. I've struggled with weight issues for the longest time, so I think I would really feel this book. At the same time, I don't want to go through this in fiction too.
    Lovely review, Andrea.

  4. Wow! This sound like a very intense read, I don't think I've heard from this author before, and now I'm super curious. I don't have a son, but in any case will be interesting to read about this subject although I can imagine it won't be easy.

  5. Thank you so much for the introduction of this book. I have a 46 yr. old son who is morbidly obese. I am anxious to read this book!

  6. I'm glad to see your review for this one. I've had the book on my radar but was still leery of it. I've either gone through - or had friends that have gone through - so many of these things and you know that I get irritated by how they are handled so I'm happy to see this was a good one.

    I will go ahead and take the plunge and buy it.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

  7. Wow, it does sound like a powerful read. I don't think I've ever read a book dealing with anorexia from a male's perspective but it must be equally intense. I'm really interested in how the story plays out with that kind of narration though. Wonderful review, Andrea.

  8. This really sounds like a moving story. Thanks for reminding me I wanted to read this!

  9. But you are such a beautiful woman, Andrea! I'm sorry to hear you've gone thru something similar and I hope that you're keeping your demons at bay.

    Telling this story from the male POV is refreshing and powerful. We take diseases like this and limit it to women but actually everyone can get affected. Thanks for sharing something personal, againyou are beautiful babe.

  10. Oh goodness. That does sound like it would be a hard one to get through seeing your experience with the subject. It is interesting to see it from the male pov. So often that's overlooked with certain issues.

  11. Oh, *HUGS* honey!! I'm so sorry you've had to battle this. It's a terrible, challenging disease. And I haven't really thought about it from the male POV, either. Just as difficult, but in a different way.

  12. Thanks for sharing your review again. I really loved this book too, and I can understand the pressures of trying to look like "society" says is beautiful. I've never been 100 percent happy with the way I look, but it was definitely worse as a teen. I think it's great the author is showing how boys deal with the same issues too.

  13. Oh yeah, I remember this book when it first came out. I'm glad you take notice of your son's body image as well. My son is tall and skinny, so I've always made it a point to be positive about his body type. And he has when people have made comments. He's a distance runner, so seeing guys in the Olympics have similar body types has helped. It's just important to help them feel confident.

  14. Wow! This definitely seems like an intense read, Drea, especially since you were able to relate with the character on such a level. All the best to you and thanks for the honesty. I haven't read many books depicting the disease aside from Stone Girl but this one makes me curious as to how the main character uses it to gain control of his life. Thanks for the review.

  15. I have this book. I bought it because it was about a boy. I admit that I've been too scared to read it. Sounds really good though it may be a rough read.

  16. I'm sorry to hear you've had similar issues, Andrea! Body image is so difficult, especially for woman, and it's hard not to defined by our looks. Great review! :)

  17. This sounds intense. I think it is great that the book is about a boy. You don't hear about that too often. Awesome review!

  18. I remember your review of this one, Andrea. It sounds so powerful. I'll have to check it out.


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