Thursday, November 15, 2012

review: cold light by jenn ashworth


When Lola was 14 her best friend, Chloe, died.  The authorities determined Chloe and her older boyfriend killed themselves after Chloe’s parents found out about the relationship, but Lola always knew the truth.  In the decade that passed, Lola and Chloe’s other friend Emma went their separate ways while the community romanticized Chloe’s story.  With the community having raised funds for a memorial, a local TV station broadcasts the groundbreaking which leads to the shocking discovery of a body.  But Lola isn’t shocked as she watches on TV; she knows all the details and begins to reflect on what happened all those years ago.

Cold Light is told in both present time and Lola’s reflections of what happened when she was 14; thus, the story is partly a mystery, but primarily a story of the dynamic between three teenage girls.  The mystery is by far the weaker plot.  The ending, which revealed all, struck me as far-fetched and reframed my entire opinion of Lola who turned out to be quite the unreliable (or at least not very forthcoming) narrator.  However, I entirely enjoyed the story of the teenagers who fought with each other and their parents, who broke the rules and sometimes suffered the consequences, and who sought love and approval in the wrong places.
4/5
Review copy from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

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