Book Review: The Light That Gets Lost by Natasha Carthew

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Title: The Light That Gets Lost
Author: Natasha Carthew
Release Date: April 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Overall Rating:  5/10
Genre: Adventure, Thriller, Action, Coming of Age

“He promised the demon that was forever watchful inside,”
Natasha Carthew, The Light That Gets Lost pg8

I recently read The Light That Gets Lost by Natasha Carthew but much to my surprise, I have mixed feelings upon finishing the novel. When I first picked it up the title and cover caught my attention, I loved the name of the novel and the blue colors splashed across the cover won me over- I couldn’t wait to read the book. However, after three chapters my heart sunk because it turns out this book wasn’t as good as it seems, in fact, I didn’t like it at all. There were bits that I thought were still somewhat well done and so lets begin with that.

I enjoyed how Carthew began with a really exciting prologue. The scene in which Trey’s family was in danger sparked lots of questions in me which caused me to really want to continue the story. I wanted to find out what happens to Trey, why his family was killed and many more questions. However, when Trey set foot in the camp the story began to tumble down for me.

I think a huge issue with this book was that I found it extremely hard to connect to the storyline and its characters. For one, I have never experience or been through the issues many of the characters faced and the character’s background and personalities weren’t quite like mine. For example, I couldn’t connect to Trey at all, his actions annoyed me and his decisions were nothing like what I would do. He was reckless and angered which got on my nerves during many situations. With Kay, I couldn’t quite connect with her either. I think that because I had couldn’t click or relate to the characters, I found it difficult to enjoy the book. I believe relatable characters or characters which pull you in are vital to creating a good book but there was a lack of that in this novel. The dialogue between the characters was also quite hard to understand the jargon and slang used by the characters made it pretty difficult to follow.The storyline was also quite hard to follow there were issues and problems here and there

The storyline was also quite hard to follow there were issues and problems here and there that added layers of confusion. I think there were too many loose ends in the book- the demons that lived inside of him was extremely confusing. There was no mention of demons in the first quarter of the book and they suddenly came into the story about 60% of the way through the novel. It made the story seem unrealistic and childish. I understand that it was a metaphor for his evil nature but I did not like the idea at all. In addition, the relationship development between Kay and Trey was quite poorly done. I didn’t see much romance or development between them and they didn’t even get together in the end. It felt like puppy love to me and I was really disappointed at the end of the book.

I wouldn’t say this book was a disappointment because I had high expectations, there were some things here and there that were enjoyable to read but overall, I didn’t quite enjoy it. I thought there were two many loose ends and I found it difficult to relate and connect with the characters. Perhaps, it was because I have never really experienced what had happened in the novel, which caused me to dislike the book. However, I have to say that I didn’t like it. Have you read The Light That Gets Lost? What did you think?

book + song:

if you liked these books you will love natasha carthew’s the light that gets lost

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Caramel Hearts by E.R. Murray Guest Post + Mini Reviews

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Hello!!

I recently finished E.R. Murray’s Caramel Hearts and I have such an action packed post for this novel. E.R. Murray will be guest posting today and I’ll also be featuring a mini review. Have you read Caramel Hearts yet?

dsc_0331_fotorTitle: Caramel Hearts
Author: E.R. Murray
Release Date: May 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Retail Price: $16.99
Overall Rating:  7/10
Genre: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Romance

E.R. Murray’s Caramel Hearts was exactly like salted caramel- sweet with a tinge of salt. This novel was such an adorable read but it was also filled with a roller coaster of an adventure. I’ll admit it took me a while to get through but upon finishing the book I realised that this book was actually a pretty fun read. The character development was one of the highlights of the book, I love seeing how Olivia “bloomed” from this young, immature 14-year-old to one who had become more mature and had a grip on reality.

However, something that did let me down was how annoying the main character was at times. I know that it was part of the plot to do so but at times I was really pulling my hair out. 🙂 Some of the actions and thought processes she went through reminded me of a spoilt little girl. Nevertheless, her development was really something I enjoyed reading.

I also love the idea of integrating sweet, desert recipes! I thought that was so cute and I loved reading about how Olivia bakes them and also reading the delicious recipes in general! I thought what made this novel so different was the fact that it dragged me into this life I have never explored before. The Bloom family had its issues and reading it from a younger perspective really made me realise the effects  addiction and bullying had on a child. Overall, I thought Caramel Hearts was an easy read filled with sweetness but had undertones of serious and important themes.

book + song:

guest post from the author of caramel hearts: e.r. murray

Favourite Caramel Recipe

I don’t have a sweet tooth, but I do love salted caramel – in ice cream or truffle form. Unfortunately, I don’t have a recipe for either, so I’ll have to go with my Caramel Hearts recipe from my book. They’re spongy & gooey & tasty & versatile, so they can be made cupcake-style instead if you prefer! Scroll down for the recipe:

Advice for high school teens

Ooh, this is a tough one… I wrote Caramel Hearts because I wanted to explore certain issues; bullying, the effects of addiction on a family unit, sibling relationships, poverty and friendships. These are all issues that affect us throughout our lives, but what we experience as teens burns brighter, deeper, more destructively. I think one of the main reasons is that as a teenager, we’re ready for our voices to be heard, but very few people are willing to listen. And so, the advice I’m giving is what I wish someone told my teenage self …

You’re not alone: whatever you’re feeling – be it tired, stressed, embarrassed, angry, ugly, pressured, unloved, friendless, fake, mortified, helpless, horny, bullied, misunderstood, disgusted, crazed – trust me, there’s someone nearby that’s feeling the same. It’s just that no one will admit it, because they’re too busy trying to deal with whatever it is they’re going through.

Dare to dream: seriously – dream big. If you love art, think about where it can lead. If sport is your thing, go for it. Want to write a book? Do it! I was a grade A student in a rough area and I remember being told I could aspire to working in a supermarket! I’ve travelled the world (there’s still more to see) and now I write books! So dream big – then make it happen. The path might not be easy, but it’ll be your own.

Hope is your weapon. If you have hope, you have a way out. Hope gives you wings – it means you can see another way, something to reach for, something to strive for – and when you get there, you’ll enjoy it all the more because you and you alone managed to get there.

Help others: in any small way you can and you’ll find you’re probably helping yourself too. We all know what it feels like to be on the periphery, or even too much in the centre of attention at times – if you see someone struggling, go help. Just a kind word or a smile or helping them move away from an uncomfortable situation can be enough.

Do it your way: adults think they have all the answers, but inside, they’re still just as uncertain and messy. If you have an idea, you go for it. It’s called progress. You’re the future.

These days will end: If you’re having an awful time, school is not the rest of your life. It is a part of your life for a small(ish) period of time, though it may not feel that way right now. Once school is over, you never have to see those people or think about it again – it can only follow you afterwards if you let it.

To learn more about E.R. Murray visit her website www.ermurray.com or connect with her on twitter @ERMurray or instagram elizabethrosemurray.

Caramel Hearts Recipe

No matter how spiky people seem, they’re always softer on the inside than you expect. Melt even the coldest of hearts with these golden, caramel treats and wipe your tears away.

Ingredients:

125 g/41⁄2 oz golden butter

125 g/41⁄2 oz light brown sugar

150 g/51⁄2 oz self-raising flour

2 eggs

1⁄2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp sweet vanilla extract

70 g/2 1⁄2 oz of your favourite nuts (pecans, almonds or hazelnuts are best), finely chopped

For the ‘Salty Tears’ Caramel Sauce

200 g/7 oz caster sugar

70 ml/2 1⁄2 fl oz water

50 g/2 oz butter

150 ml/5 1⁄2 fl oz double cream

tsp chunky sea salt

 

How to Make the Magic Happen

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 oC/350 oF/Gas mark 4. Place all the cake ingredients into a bowl and beat rapidly until well combined and creamy (plenty of elbow grease required).
  2. Line a baking tray with silicone heart-shaped cases and split the mixture equally between them. Bake for 20 minutes until risen and golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
  3. Now make the caramel sauce and wash those tears away. Add the sugar, salt and water to a small pan and place over a gentle heat. Stir occasionally until all of the sugar and salt has melted.
  4. Turn up the heat and keep watch as the mixture boils – stir constantly to make sure it doesn’t burn. After 8–10 minutes, the mixture will thicken and turn a pale almond brown.
  5. Remove from the heat and carefully add the butter and cream. Return to the heat, stir, and as soon as the sauce thickens, pour lashings of it over the heart-shaped cake and serve to whichever prickly person you need to soothe.

Thank you so much to E.R. Murray for guest posting on my blog today! I really enjoyed her novel and if you haven’t read it yet, you have to give it a try!

#lovebooks