These are the things Lux knows:
She is an Artist.
She is lucky.
She is broken.
These are the things she doesn’t know:
What happened over the summer.
Why she ended up in hospital.
Why her memories are etched in red.
Desperate to uncover the truth, Lux’s time is running out. If she cannot piece together the events of the summer and regain control of her fractured mind, she will be taken away from everything and everyone she holds dear.
If her dreams don’t swallow her first.
The Taste of Blue Light by Lydia Ruffles is a young adult novel about a young woman’s search for the truth. Lux has to search deep into her mind to remember what happened last Summer, and find out why her mind is so fractured.
This book is incandescent and at times, heartbreaking. The reader is kept in the dark — just like Lux — so with every new development and memory, we’re desperately trying to piece it all together to find out what happened to her over the summertime.
“Since I blacked out, the slightest thing seems to aggravate my brain and fill it with fire.”
Lux is not in control, and her friends struggle to help her. This book is as much about trauma and memory loss, as it is about self-discovery.
Following a traumatic event in the summer that Lux can’t remember, she suffers from terrible migraines and short bursts of rage throughout the day. Sometimes she’s verbally aggressive, and sometimes she’s physically aggressive. And she has no way of stopping it or controlling it.
She also doesn’t sleep too well, and when she does, she has nightmares and wakes up screaming. The Taste of Blue Light examines the relationship between Lux and those around her — her family and friends and also a new boy that enters her life. This book explores what it’s like for someone who is suffering mentally, and how that can have a ripple affect on the people around them.
“My stomach is chewing on itself when I wake up, as if I’ve had a fight with someone but can’t remember who.”
I found the novel to be a little slow, my concentration waning. For a long time, I wondered where this book was going, and despite the fact that Lux is intended to be an unreliable narrator with cloudy memories, I found myself lost in the plot a fair bit. Additionally, I found it unrealistic that Lux wouldn’t have found out what happened to her (no spoilers) considering the rest of the country would’ve known. I find it hard to believe that she wouldn’t have accidentally found out.
In saying that, the opening couple of chapters are really strong and draw the reader in. We come to understand Lux’s ‘voice’ and her characterisation, and the characters and their interactions with each other are definitely the strongest part of this book.
I recommend this book to fans of young adult literature, and perhaps mystery novels. This is not a thriller but it does feel a bit like a guessing game because the reader is trying to piece together all the information to find out what happened to Lux.
Thank you to the publisher for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
The Taste of Blue Light
Hachette Book Publishers