Monday, 30 May 2011
Cold Light, Jenn Ashworth
The novel is a gritty picture of poisonous teen friendship and loss of innocence. Although too explicit for a Young Adult novel, it is far from being out of the realms of teen conversation and behaviour. The girls act older than they ought, confident to the point of arrogance in their own maturity, but ultimately out of their depth. I vividly remembered the cruelty of so-called friends, the conflict between fitting in and being true to ones self, and the horrible feelings of being ugly, hideous, greasy and a no-hoper.
Cold Light also explores the role of the media in piecing together the “truth” in a mystery with many gaps in what is known. We see the local media stirring sensation, subtly influencing people’s beliefs until theories become facts, and the story of Chloe and Carl becomes a Romeo and Juliet tragedy that everybody wants a piece of.
And then, with a subtle twist, you are forced to re-examine what you think you know. Along with the standard thriller plot, in which facts slowly emerge, one detail turns the story on its head. We knew all along what was going on – but then we look at it from another angle and it becomes much more sinister. Cold Light is a gloomy book, but despite this an excellent, atmospheric thriller and a fascinating examination of the dark side of being caught between childhood and adulthood.
I received Cold Light from the publisher, Hodder & Stoughton
You may also enjoy:
Sugar Rush – Julie Burchill
Hold Still – Nina LaCour
Eve Green – Susan Fletcher