Glow

Featured
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
1083 0
Glow
Genre(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
September 01, 2017
ISBN
978-0807529638

When thrift-store aficionado Julie discovers a series of antique paintings with hidden glowing images that are only visible in the dark, she wants to learn more about the artist. In her search, she uncovers a century-old romance and the haunting true story of the Radium Girls, young women who used radioactive paint to make the world's first glow-in-the-dark products—and ultimately became radioactive themselves. As Julie's obsession with the paintings mounts, truths about the Radium Girls—and her own complicated relationships—are revealed. But will she uncover the truth about the luminous paintings before putting herself and everyone she loves at risk?

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Must Read
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
'There's a certain kind of light that I should have been afraid of all along.'


Radium was discovered by Marie Sklodowska-Curie and her husband Pierre Curie on December 21, 1898. When radium decays it causes luminescence. With America's entry into WWI came a need for self-luminous aircraft switches and instrument dials.
Marie and Pierre Curie by André Castaigne
Soldiers involved in trench warfare were especially in need of watches that could be seen in complete darkness. The harmful effects of radium were not yet known. Factories that produced the luminescent dials were set up Orange, New Jersey, Ottawa, Illinois, and Waterbury, Connecticut. These factories employed young girls and women to paint the numbers and hands with radium. Enter the radium girls.
Watch hands painted with radium
The painters were instructed to point their paintbrushes between their lips to create finer details on the numbers and hands of the watches. Not surprisingly, soon many of the workers began experiencing sores, anemia, and bone cancer. Radium is treated as calcium by the body and is deposited in the bones. The dial painting companies tried to cover up the adverse effects of radium and insisted that their workers were suffering syphilis (let that sink in for a minute). The tragedy of the radium girls, impart, lead to the forming of the Occupational Disease Labor Law.





'Glow' is told in alternating past and present points of view. Glow's past point of view tells the story of Lydia Grayson and her two sisters, Charlotte, and Liza. Liza works in the Orange, New Jersey dial painting factory. Liza gets Lydia a job there when one of the other girls becomes ill (a bit of foreshadowing here). This POV is told through letters Lydia writes to her beau, Walter, who is an American soldier fighting in Europe during WWI.
Glow's present POV is told from the first person perspective of Julie. Julie is a high school senior who is hoping to go to art school. Her future becomes marred due to family issues. Julie becomes fascinated with paintings she finds in a thrift store. She is then pulled into the search for the artist and the paintings past.


I love historical fiction but I have found that just plain historical fiction can be a bit dry. I really enjoy historical-fiction novels that switch between past and present points of view. When this done well, the past and present POV weave together two seemingly unrelated storylines that come together seamlessly.


YA historical fiction is not a genre that is as popular as it should be. Young Adult historical fiction is often pushed to the side by the flashier fantasy and feel-good contemporary novels. There are so many pieces of history that can tell an engaging story.
I loved so much about 'Glow'. I loved the characters of Liza and Lydia. Both their stories and personalities really brought life to the novel. Their younger sister Charlotte's passion to become one of the dial painters, like her sisters, really illustrated why women would want to work in the dial factories at this time. My one and only complaint with 'Glow' is that I would have liked to know more about Liza, Lydia, and Charlotte's mother. She was mentioned a few times but not really part of the story. I found my self-wondering how she was feeling about everything.



At first, I wasn't sure how I felt about Lydia's POV being told through her letters to her beau Walter. As I read, I realized these snippets of her life lead to the build-up of finding out what happened to her and her family. Their story was definitely a tear-jerker.

Julie's story was equally compelling. Her difficulties with her family and her friend, Lauren, really shows how she was struggling to deal with her own issues. Her love of art and science gave her an escape and gave an explanation why she was so fascinated by the paintings she discovered. Luke as a character was wonderful. Luke had his own issues so he was able to understand Julie's family problems. He was funny and kind and his added knowledge of chemistry added realism to Julie's story. I liked the relationship that he formed with Julie. Julie and Luke's relationship progressed slowly as this type of relationship usually does.

I found 'Glow' completely fascinating. I had never heard about the radium girls before. The radium girl's story is so enthralling and tragic. I can't believe their plight isn't more well known. This is such an important part of history. I have since found out that a non-fiction account of the radium girls story has been published and I am anxious to find out how it compares to 'Glow.'
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Fowl Twins (The Fowl Twins, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
One week after their eleventh birthday, the Fowl twins--scientist Myles,...
Kai and the Monkey King (Brownstone's Mythical Collection, #3)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
When Kai grows tired of her bookish mum not being...
Astro Kittens: Cosmic Machines (Astro Kittens)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Greetings, my little Astro Kittens! Are you ready to take...
Astro Kittens: Into the Unknown (Astro Kittens)
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Greetings, my little Astro Kittens! Are you ready to take...
All the Things We Do in the Dark
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Sadie meets Girl in Pieces in this dark, emotional thriller...
The Rubicus Prophecy (The Witches of Orkney, #2)
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Abigail has just started her second year at the Tarkana...
Fancy Nancy: Camp Fancy
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Based on the Disney Junior TV show and inspired by...
Rules for Vanishing
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the faux-documentary style of The Blair Witch Project comes...
What Makes Us
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A viral video reveals a teen’s dark family history, leaving...
Harry Potter Origami
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ever wanted to fold your own Chocolate Frogs? Or play...
By Any Means Necessary
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Heart-wrenchingly honest, fans of Brandy Colbert and Nicola Yoon will...
Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution...
Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In 2001, audiences first met and fell in love with...
On the Come Up
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers...
Spin
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Paris Secord's (aka DJ ParSec) career--and life--has come to...
Leah on the Offbeat
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best...

Latest Member Reviews

The Fowl Twins (The Fowl Twins, #1)
 
5.0
"Witty, clever, and full of mischief, THE FOWL TWINS is a spin-off of ARTEMIS FOWL that easily stands on its..."
Kai and the Monkey King (Brownstone's Mythical Collection, #3)
 
5.0
"KAI AND THE MONKEY KING is an engaging and thrilling installment in the Brownstone's Mythical Collection series. In this book,..."
The Rubicus Prophecy (The Witches of Orkney, #2)
 
3.5
"THE RUBICUS PROPHECY is an engaging second book in the WITCHES OF ORKNEY series that follows the same friends on..."
Fancy Nancy: Camp Fancy
 
5.0
"When Dad tells Nancy stories about when he and Mom used to go camping, Nancy knows it's something she has..."
A Warm Friendship
 
4.5
"A WARM FRIENDSHIP is a story of friendship and loss, celebrating the time that you have together. Squirrel finds Snowman..."
Hilda and the Mountain King (Hilda, #6)
 
5.0
"HILDA AND THE MOUNTAIN KING is an engaging and thrilling children's fantasy adventure. This graphic novel tells the story of..."
Good Night, Santa: A Magical Christmas Story
 
5.0
"GOOD NIGHT, SANTA is a simple but elegant book that celebrates the Christmas season, perfect for bedtime. The illustrations are..."
Jolly Jingly Christmas: The Best Christmas Book Ever!
 
5.0
"JOLLY JINGLY CHRISTMAS is a cute rhyming, lift-the-flap, musical, non-religious celebration of the season. Each of the five full page..."
Dear Sweet Pea
 
4.0
"Sweet Pea is in her last year of primary school (K-7th grade) and will be starting at secondary school the..."
I Can Make This Promise
 
5.0
"I CAN MAKE THIS PROMISE is a moving middle grade contemporary fiction about trusting your parents, finding your heritage, and..."
Peppa Pig Festival of Mud
 
4.5
"What I Loved: The story is based off an episode of Peppa Pig, and definitely reads like one. It..."
Everybody Says Meow
 
N/A
"What I Loved: This is one of those books that you can't help but smile while you read, even..."
The Other, Better Me
 
4.0
"THE OTHER, BETTER ME is a contemporary middle grade novel that follows a ten-year-old, Lola, as she explores herself and..."
Goldilocks For Dinner
 
5.0
"What I loved: The illustrations in this book are unique and eye catching, engaging the children from the outset. The..."
Ember and the Ice Dragons
 
4.0
"EMBER AND THE ICE DRAGONS is a lush middle grade historical fantasy that follows Ember, a dragon who was transformed..."
Douglas
 
3.5
"DOUGLAS is the story of a mouse who lives at the theater. She often likes to eat the snacks dropped..."
Wild Honey from the Moon
 
5.0
"WILD HONEY FROM THE MOON is a story of boundless love and a mother's quest. Mother Shrew is worried about..."
The Halloween Tree
 
5.0
"Be prepared to start a new holiday tradition with THE HALLOWEEN TREE. On the Christmas tree lot, there is one..."
Wake Up, Farm! (Pop-Up Peekaboo)
 
5.0
"WAKE UP, FARM! is a delightful pop-up, lift-the-flap book that brings the farm to young readers. Beginning with Rooster who..."
Isle of You
 
5.0
"ISLE OF YOU is a beautiful picture book that contains words of encouragement and coping mechanisms for dealing with difficult..."