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Drawing With Light is an outstanding book. Seriously, I could just stop there becuase it was amazing! So many things to gush about!
It was a fantastically told, Julia's writing style riveting, convincing and truly magical. Emily was fab! She was so reserved an quiet, but so LOUD!! A photographer. That's what she was. And, wow, I felt like I was there with her, looking at all the beautiful imagery! You don't get many cool photographers like this around the Teen/YA category, so this was just an added bonus!
Emily's emotions were really intense, like how she is quite upset about her step-mother being pregnant, I mean, who wouldn't? Especially since Francesca, her arty birth mother, ran away with a French (I think?) man when she was only two, and Cassy has always been like a Mum to her, but she wasn't her Mum really, and that's why things became so raw, and older sister, Kat made her realise that it wasn't all about them anymore. Their Dad and Cassy wanted their own family now. In their stupid little caravan in the middle of a field. (Well, the real house is being renovated, and will be gorgeous when it's finished!)
Through the days, Emily liked to go visit the house, and that's where she meets mysterious Seb. First when she went exploring with Kat before she went off to her university, and then again on her own.
The romance between the two was quite sweet, as he takes her breath away, literally! He likes to run! :D And I loved the whole tree connection with her Mother, trees were what they had both captured so intensely :)
So much passion and depth here, you need to go out and buy it! A fab novel which will leave you crying and displaying a huge cheesy grin on your face :)
Emily is used to not having her mother around. She left when she was only two years old and she hasn't seen her since. Her father and his wife, Cassey have done a fantastic job raising her though and she has a close relationship with her older sister Kat.
But now Emily is sixteen and everything she knows is changing. Kat has left for university and the rest of the family are living in a caravan while her Father builds a dream house. And then Cassey announces she is pregnant, leaving Emily feeling pushed out and unsure of her place in the world. A throwaway comment has Emily wondering about her mysterious Mum and the secrets surrounding her. At the same time she is flushed with first love, as her relationship with the intense and serious Seb grows. Emily sets of on a journey to find out who she really is.
I picked up Drawing With Light after reading a very positive review and being intrigued by the blurb on Amazon. I'm very glad I did as from the gorgeous cover to the beautiful story inside, this book is an absolute joy.
Emily has been brought up by her father and stepmother Cassy, after her Mother, Francesca, left when she was a baby. She has no memories of her mother, but as her family changes from the one she is used to and a teacher compares her photography work to the mysterious Francesca, she starts to feel a desperate need to find her mother. With a first person narrative, Julia Green gets the voice of a confused 16 year old just right. For the most part Emily is shy and quiet and mature, but occasionally the feelings of jealousy and abandonment erupt, making her a very real but likable character.
The developing relationship with Seb is beautifully written, filled with all the anxieties and worries of first love. It has that heart pounding intensity that will surely have anyone sighing dreamily, but at the same time doesn't shy away from the painful awkwardness of a brand new relationship. Both Seb and Emily are written with flaws, but it's these flaws that make them all the more appealing and believable.
The way Julia Green writes is almost poetic at times. The way she describes things, such as the trees Emily loves photographing for example, is wonderful. Drawing With Light is a reference to Emily's photography and I think it's a beautiful and clever way to think about it.
This is truly a lovely book. It isn't really the kind of story that will have you gripped. The blurb on the back suggests there is more of a mystery surrounding Emily's mother than there really is. But it's not the mystery or secret that the book is about. It's about a young girl coming of age and needing to find herself. It's about family and first love and working out who you really are. I didn't find it to be a book I couldn't put down and raced towards the end, more a comfy and cosy read I looked forward to savouring. At 256 pages it's a quick read, or a nice size for the teen who find it difficult to concentrate on longer, more drawn out books. Drawing With Light reminds me of the Judy Blume and Paula Danzeigar books I read as a teen, that tackled teen emotion and family dynamics, only with a modern and updated voice that will appeal to girls aged 12-16 years old.
~ Other Information ~
Drawing With Light by Julia Green
Published by Bloomsbury in March 2010