Monday, October 29, 2012

My thoughts on: Cold Light

It's happened again. I have to write a post about a book I didn't like. The premise of Cold Light by Jenn Ashworth was great, but for me the overall execution just wasn't my taste. I also did not finish the book. I was about to start chapter 14, and just thought to myself, "do I really want to finish this?" If I'm forcing myself to read a certain book, is it really worth it to finish? For me to read a book in its entirety, the book has to hold my attention from start to finish. I kept waiting for the suspense, and it just wasn't there for me.

Two 14-year-old girls, best friends, and one tragic event change their lives. One is murdered and the other is in turmoil. I was definitely intrigued. Chloe is the typical popular girl at school. People always want to be around her. People want to be like her, but know they can't. Whenever Chloe opens her mother, people latch onto the words coming out of her mouth like she is a celebrity.  She acts like nothing phases her. Being around Chloe is a welcome distraction for her best friend Lola. Even though a lot of their friendly exchanges occur while Chloe is shoplifting at the local mall, Lola still values their friendship. At home, Lola feels suffocated by her odd-ball parents, Barbara and Donald. Rarely does she call them mom and dad. Lola spends more time trying to avoid them. Donald is consumed by his various science projects. Barbara would rather he focus his attention elsewhere. As long as they're not focusing on Lola, she can tolerate life at home.

Chloe didn't seem like much of a friend to me. Chloe is only Lola's friend when it's convenient. She wants to hang out with Lola, but only if Chloe's boyfriend Carl is around. She confides in Lola, but only if she can get her full attention. If it looks like Lola isn't concerned, Chloe will lay a guilt trip on her. She's not really her friend if she doesn't pay attention completely. When Lola isn't around she turns to Emma, another girl their age. Is Emma the replacement friend? Does Chloe actually like Emma or does she like using her to make Lola jealous? Chloe was just a straight up mean girl.

Right off the bat, Jenn Ashworth lets you know who is murdered. Chloe is dead when the book opens, and I don't think that's spoiling anything by saying so. I like that the author got to the mystery right away, but after just a few pages I was confused. The words on the pages seemed to be a mashup of the character's thoughts. The thoughts also seemed very random. It took me awhile to connect the dots. I didn't realize right away that the chapters alternate between the past and the present. Lola seemed so sullen in the past and present, I didn't have a good grasp on the timeline right away. The writing style takes some getting used to. I also kept waiting to find out how and why Chloe died. I was waiting for the thrilling and suspenseful part of the book, but it just wasn't there for me. This seemed more like a book about teenage angst.

Rating: Meh (based on what I did read)

Note: I received a copy of the book from the publisher (HarperCollins) as part of a blog tour with TLC Book Tours.

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