A Certain Slant of Light (Light #1)

 
0.0
 
4.6 (25)
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A Certain Slant of Light (Light #1)
Genre(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
September 21, 2005
ISBN
061858532X
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In the class of the high school English teacher she has been haunting, Helen feels them: for the first time in 130 years, human eyes are looking at her. They belong to a boy, a boy who has not seemed remarkable until now. And Helen--terrified, but intrigued--is drawn to him. The fact that he is in a body and she is not presents this unlikely couple with their first challenge. But as the lovers struggle to find a way to be together, they begin to discover the secrets of their former lives and of the young people they come to possess.

User reviews

25 reviews
 
52%
 
28%
 
12%
 
4%
 
4%
Overall rating
 
4.6
Plot
 
4.2(25)
Characters
 
4.5(2)
Writing Style
 
5.0(2)
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A very beautiful, haunting story
(Updated: November 15, 2012)
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Cover: It looks so creepy… *Shudder*

Helen:

Basically, the story is told from Helen’s POV… I can really feel her emotions from the very start of the book… I felt her loneliness, her confusion as to why she is still here on earth and why can’t she remember her old life and her desire to go to the afterlife…

I’ll just skip to the more exciting part… When Helen went to Jennifer’s body, her life seems to be more dangerous (and monotonous) than when she was a ghost… Her (Jennifer’s) parents were very strict… They do every little thing on a certain time… For example, before Jennifer (Helen) sleeps, she must say her prayers; she must do her assignments with her mom on this time and etc (No wonder, the real Jennifer was an empty shell)… And to top it all, Helen must act like she’s Jennifer but she doesn’t have Jen’s memories that’s why adapting to her new life was hard for her… It was very fortunate that James was with her…

In the end, Helen’s memories came back and it was really a sad one but I think if anyone will be put in that situation, she/he will do what Helen did…

And lastly, the thing I like most about her is her unwavering love for classic literature… No matter where she is or what era she landed in, her love for reading is still there…

James:

Sometimes I think James is a little bit modernized than Helen… Modernized because if he was born during the time when coupling was not allowed until you’re married, what he did with Helen is accepted in the modern times not during his time… He didn’t have any control over his biological desires… He’ll just kiss Helen and poof, they did it… But at least, he really loves Helen until the end…

Story:

It was fascinating… The emotions were really felt throughout the book and the plot itself was very beautiful… When I was reading the story, by the way Helen told it, I felt I was in the olden times and at the same time in the modern world… I say this because the words used were contemporary but the structure of the sentences, paragraphs were akin to the structure of the poems of the classic literature (I’m not a big fan of them but I know enough)… It gave me the idea that the speaker lived in the past and Helen really did in the past… I really can’t say anything anymore… Just read the story… Overall, it’s a hauntingly beautiful heartbreaking story…

Reminder:

Oh, and one last thing… The book contained some sexual scenes but they were not really described… They were written just to give the readers an idea on what the characters are doing… Don’t worry, you will not find obscene words there…

Happy Reading!!! Thank you!!!
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Dark, Enthralling, and Beautiful
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
This book has a lot of mystery to it. As Helen struggles with being stuck on earth as a spirit or Light she will have you pondering questions about life, the afterlife and the meaning of it all. More so though, the book looks at grief and the power that tragic events can have on people even after death. This book starts out rather dark and oppressive, but the depressing moments are resolved in the end in a way that makes everything feel complete and right. The last few chapters will have you on edge, and it's not a happy, everything is fixed, this seems to easy kind of ending; it's one that when you read it you feel like it couldn't have ended any differently.

Good Points
-I loved the way this book made you think about life. The honesty in discussing adult themes, and the author's ability to make me think about life, religion, and the afterlife were all written beautifully.

-This book deals with real issues like violence, drug abuse, sex, death, depression, and it's character's handle them like real people. Laura Whitcomb has written these themes perfectly and is able to show them without glamorizing them or belittling their effect.

-I loved the relationship between Helen and James, but also between James and his brother Mitch, and between Carol and Dan. All of the characters are well written, and their relationships believeable.
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A beautiful ghost story
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Meghan

Helen is a ghost, who attaches herself to "hosts," although she doesn't know why. She doesn't haunt her place of passing, or someone she once loved. No, she haunts people she doesn't know. When one dies, she haunts another. She doesn't even remember how she died, just that she's been dead for more than 130 years.

When she attaches herself to a high school English teacher, Mr. Brown, things change drastically for her. One of the boys in his class can see her. And not in the way that he just happened to look in her direction. He can see her and is perfectly aware of her. 

Helen, who is uncomfortable at first by this new turn of events, finds out the truth about this new boy, and with his help, she goes on a quest so they can be together. In flesh.
This book is amazing, with some minor bumps in the road that are flattened by the sheer awesomeness of the rest of the book. Laura Whitcomb gave a fresh take on the ghost cliche, that I loved.

The characterization was beyond phenomenal. I knew these people. Laura Whitcomb wrote their personalities and fear and hopes so well, that you feel like you know them. You ache when they ache. I loved the romance between James and Helen. It felt so real. It did, however come way too fast and that is one of the minor bumps that I was talking about. But the realness of the romance flattened this bump out right away. All the other minor characters had personalities too, and depth not normally received from minor characters in other books. 

The plot was awesome. The way Whitcomb described "Light" and "Quick" was effortless, and you pretty much instantly knew what she was talking about, once she explained. She described things so wonderfully and it makes me not want to take for granted the small things like the way things taste and smell and being able to touch people. The twists were well thought out and placed, keeping my attention to the final page. The writing in this novel was fantastic. The other minor bump in the road didn't bother me, but it might bother other people. There are swear words and teenage sex (not graphically written, just the bare basics). Like I said, that fact didn't bother me, so it does not effect the score I gave this book. 

The ending was one of the best endings I've read in a novel. I actually got tears in my eyes and was smiling as I read. It was a beautiful ending to a beautiful book.

Overall, this book stands high and proud. This was a wonderful first book by Laura Whitcomb. If I didn't know better, I would have assumed she had years of experience by her excellent writing. I am now a fan of hers and will pick up any new and/or old books of hers in a heartbeat.

I give this book a 5 out of 5 (obviously).
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Good Read
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by T.T.A

An overall good read. This book has an interesting take on ghost stories and love stories. Beautifully written but the plot is alright. The book is very different but it could've been much better in my opinion. This novel was still intriguing and a good read. I'd recommend it for anyone looking for a book with a fresh perspective on ghost and love stories. 
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One of the best books of all time!
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Crimin

Helen is Light - a spirit who cannot find peace and, in a desperate attempt to stay far away from her hell -chilled water, churning mud, the sensation of choking, drowning - she attaches herself to a series of human hosts, hovering around them unseen and unheard.   That is, until one day, someone does see her and changes her life (if itd be called as such) entirely.

What took my breath away was Laura Whitcombs intricate storytelling, as it left my heart aching, brought tears to my eyes, and made me love Helen and her consort, James.  I loved it so much, that I wished for it to never end - but, alas, it did, as all books must.  Although, the ending was perfect - I feel that there is no need (or rather, no point) in a sequel, as it ended so perfectly.

Now for the recommendation?  Took care of that already (sorta)!   One of my friends noticed I was reading it one day, and when I had put it down to go and fetch something to eat, she sprung on it, intrigued by the cover.  She read the back and the first couple of pages before I returned and caught my wrist, holding the book up to my attention. Youre letting me borrow this, right? After youre done?  Because it sounds amazing!  That same night, I went over to her mothers house and she saw the book and begged me to let her borrow it as well.

Its that amazing.  So, yes, I recommend this book to any and all who want to read one of the best romances of all time.

I daresay that Helens and James love for each other blows a certain vampire couple out of the water!

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A Certain Slant of Light
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Misty

A Certain Slant of Light is the story of a ghost who attaches herself
to human hosts to avoid going to what she assumes is hell, for a crime
she does not remember. While attached to her current host -- a high
school english teacher -- she realizes that a boy in the classroom can
see her. She eventually learns he too was once a ghost, and is now
inhabiting the body of an overdose victim. This begins their romance
and her realization of herself.
I liked this book for its breezy style and interesting premise,
which was handled nicely and thoughtfully. I wasnt too pleased with the
heavy-handedness of the religious aspect at the end, but overall would
recommend this as a fun, somewhat thought provoking read, with the
caution to parents that there is sexuality in the book, and a not
always pleasant view on religion (for those of you whom that concerns).


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Riveting, don't even think of putting the book down!
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Suzanne

Very surprised by how the book turns out. At first your not sure what's going on, but as you get deeper into the book, your dizzy(in a good way)with all the different directions. There's deep and dark thoughts that pass through the main characters mind, and only her will power to survive helps her. Amazing !
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Mild ghost story
Overall rating
 
1.0
Plot
 
1.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Kaycee Joy

 Helen has been Light for 130 years. For
those 130 years she has attached on to several hosts, never being able
to speak or be spoken to. She has went unseen for those 130 years,
until finally someone sees her. His name is Billy, but its really
another ghost named James in Billy's body. James gets Helen to find a
body she can take, which ends up being a girl named Jenny. Helen and
James fall in love but they body's they took are people with complicated lives, which they make more complicated.
They have to find a way to be together but return the bodies. They also
struggle with why they are still on earth and were not aloud to go to
heaven.
 It sounds weird like demonic possession or something but its not like that at all, its pretty gracefully
done. I enjoyed the ending with the real Billy and Jenny. There is a
good deal of religion in this book (Jenny's life), ( Im not a religious
person and dont like reading about it) but this was okay to deal with. 
I would recommend it for someone who likes very mild ghost stories and
passionate romance with a mix of teenage life. Very good book, absolutely not what I expected though.

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Absolutely Beautiful
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Natalie

AMAZING!
This is the best book I have read in my lifetime, and it's only followed by Boy Meets Boy and Breathe my Name!
I love this book, I love Helen, and I love James, and I love everyone else!
It's great, there isn't anything wrong!
The only issue younger kids may have is some of the sex is a bit...much. But other than that this book is great for everyone!
Read it!
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A Great Read.
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
0.0
Writing Style
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Kelsey

Helen died many years ago as a young woman, yet she was unable to enter Heaven because of a certian guilt she carried with her through death. She clings to people so she can stay on Earth and enter a place she can't stand; No one can see her, until one day she senses someone looking straight at her. The boy ends up to be James and he is just like her, but inhabitating a body. Helen, herself, finds a body to live in, and she develops a relationship with James. I recommend this book for highschoolers only for it has parts in the book which aren't suitable for young readers!

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