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Worth buying. View all 9 comments. May 03, Meredith rated it did not like it Shelves: supernatural. So many things I hate about this book. Newsflash, Helen: the reason you didn't get into heaven is because you suck! It's not a badly written book-parts of it are actually quite beautiful.

But the plot fills me with so much rage!!! For example, right after you and your ghost boyfriend have sex during your free period at school, you tell your mom that he's a gentleman. First of all, gentlemen don't skip class to do it with you in the auditorium. Second of all, those aren't your Ugh. Second of all, those aren't your bodies!!! And the stereotypical hypocritical Christians were so lame that I wanted to die to escape them.

Definitely not a book I'd recommend. This book has about a billion good reviews, but I honestly don't know why. Shelves: pn-ghosties , ya , romance , recs-wendy. I wish I could sing of you here in my cage. You are my heart's hidden poem. I reread you, memorize you every moment we're apart. For one, this has been on and off my TBR shelf several times as I would occasionally decide that this is simply not for me and I have no plans to read it. But go figure a few months later it pops up on my Goodreads timeline, I take another glance and de 'That I am your heart's secret fills me with song.

But go figure a few months later it pops up on my Goodreads timeline, I take another glance and decide it may be worth a shot. Thanks, Wendy, for giving me that final push. Helen had been Light a spirit for well over a century and not once spoke to anyone that entire time and had never quite realized how desperately she craved the company of another. Their feelings for each other were instantaneous yet it thankfully managed to not feel akin to every other insta-love situation these days in YA literature.

Helen and James have their own special situation and instead of calling it insta-love I would consider it more of an extreme fascination with one another as they are the only ones of their 'species' as they called it. I know that I should have been repelled by the whole concept of human's walking around 'empty' just ripe for the taking for deceased spirits.

That their soul can be absent, drifted off to a new place, while their body remains living its life. Before Helen came along, she watched Jenny for some time as she simply went through the motions of life without exuding any sort of emotion. Being so constricted by your family, being forced to obey and follow such rigid rules, and forcing their religion into every facet of your very being? Now that's scary. This is one of those books where the writing truly took my breath away. It flowed so beautifully and was a real delight. I loved how she kept Helen's speech true to form considering she wasn't from this day and age.

That type of extra little touch really helped make this a very special book. This is a novel about love but it's mostly about learning to forgive yourself for the very reason Helen and James were still on Earth to find each other was because they hadn't relived their final moments in order to forgive themselves for the actions they made. This was a wonderful, mature, YA novel with hints of romance, paranormal, and learning to find peace.

View all 7 comments. Oct 02, Heidi rated it really liked it Shelves: teen , supernatural-fantasy. Oh my, this book was good. I only meant to read it during my lunch hour, but I found myself engrossed. Needless to say, I didn't get much work done yesterday. It's a ghost story, but not a scary one. Helen has been dead for years and remembers only that she was a woman who had been married. She finds herself stuck between earth and hell, knowing that something about how she died is keeping her from heaven. She attaches to "hosts" who don't know she's there but still feel her influence somehow Oh my, this book was good.

She attaches to "hosts" who don't know she's there but still feel her influence somehow. She's happy with this existence, until one of the students in her host's high-school English class sees her. She finds out that it's not really the student who sees her but James, the ghost inhabiting the student's body.

For some reason the student's spirit had chosen to leave his body, but the body hadn't died. So James, who was 29 when he died, jumped in and took over. James also finds himself stuck. Of course the two ghosts fall in love, and James helps Helen find another abandoned body to inhabit. This causes complications in the lives they've adopted, and they learn more about why their adopted identities abandoned their bodies, as well as more about the circumstances of their own deaths. I'd hesitated picking up this book because one of the reviews on Amazon said something about "graphic sex," but I found that it was neither graphic nor gratuitous nor titillating.

Still, with what is there and the few non-gratuitous uses of the f-word, I know some people Jessica wouldn't like it. It does leave some "what now? And some elements of the ending were so tender that I found myself tearing up. Apr 23, Malanie rated it it was ok Shelves: contemporary-romance , tragic , magical-realism , great-audiobooks , creepy. This was one of the weirdest books I've ever read, I am now terrified of ghosts. May 25, ivana18 rated it really liked it Shelves: romance-old-school-written , contemporary , paranormal. There's so much to say about this book that I fear that my words will not be good enough.


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A Certain Slant of Light is unconventional in so many ways. First of all it is labeled as a YA but it is not a YA book. The main character is 27 year old Helen who died years ago and she's been haunting people ever since. She wants to go to Heaven, wants to cross over, but something mysterious and painfully terrifying is keeping her in between worlds.

So in order to keep the pain at bay she clings to peo There's so much to say about this book that I fear that my words will not be good enough. So in order to keep the pain at bay she clings to people, her hosts. All of her hosts are artistic. Brown who holds a special place in her heart. When she's near them she doesn't feel pain. Helen coexists with them in kind of a symbiotic way, she feels safe with them, and the loneliness is tolerable because the hosts she's with are good people, people she cares for very much. And she feels like she's giving something back to them by whispering ideas to them, by being their muse.

No one knows Helen exists and no one can see her. She feels like she's the only one of her kind in the World, the only Light , so she's bewildered when a teenage boy in Mr. Brown's class not only sees her, but is like her himself. James is a young man who died at the age of 29 and has been dead for 85 years. He's not haunting people but places actually one place in particular and one day he sees a teenage boy, Billy Blake, whose soul has left his body, so he enters him and starts living his life as Billy. In order to truly be together they need to find a body for Helen, so they find Jenny's body, and Helen enters her.

I found the body snatching quite disturbing. It felt wrong, not just because they are using their bodies, but they are taking their places in the real world. I mean, I really do understand their need to be seen and heard again after so many lonely years, and to breathe and taste food, and to touch and be touched by another person They have secrets that drove them away from their bodies.

James and Helen slowly learn what those secrets are, but they don't now how to deal with them And after a while they realize that the body snatching has an impact on other people in Billy's and Jenny's life. They are trying to pick up the peaces of their host's lives, while trying to come to terms with their own pasts and the reasons why they have not crossed to the other side. Whitcomb's writing is beautiful and the book is beautiful, it has so many layers The reason I gave it 4 stars and not a 5 stars is because, at one point I found Helen a bit childish and irresponsible.

Her reactions to some of the stuff that were happening to Jenny's family and to Mr.

Book Review: A Certain Slant of Light

Brown were cowardly and childish reactions. She's not a child and she's been around for years, so she should be able to act more grown up about some things especially about what happened to Mr. James was much more responsible while dealing with Billy's life and family.


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  • He did the right thing much sooner then she did actually, she didn't do much and, in the end, it felt like she failed Mr. But the ending was beautifully done. Whitcomb really knew what she was doing when writing the ending. It was liberating. Like I said, this is not a YA book. When Helen went into Jenny's body it felt a bit more like a YA book, but it was still an adult book. It's almost like an adult book has snatched a body of a YA book Do publishers think that just because the main characters are teenagers or should I say adults occupying teens bodies that this should be labeled as a YA book?

    But it's suitable for younger readers. I should warn you that it has some sex scenes, but they are not graphic. I really hope that the sequel is good, I really want to know more about what's happening to Jenny and Billy. View all 12 comments. Sep 26, Kat Lost in Neverland rated it liked it Shelves: i-dont-really-know-what-to-think , eh. Helen had been dead for over years, moving between human 'hosts' who she follows around and lives with.

    ‎A Certain Slant of Light on Apple Books

    If one dies, she must find another host or be dragging into a dark, frightening hell-like existence underground. She is on her fifth host, an English teacher named Mr. Up until recently, no one has been able to see or hear her, except a boy in Mr. Brown's class. The boy's name is Billy, but he tells her his real name is James. He is also dead, and he had found an 'empty' human body t Helen had been dead for over years, moving between human 'hosts' who she follows around and lives with.

    He is also dead, and he had found an 'empty' human body to take over and live in. They begin to spend time together and Helen needs to find an empty body of her own in order to be with James. But when she finally succeeds in entering one, it is of the daughter of strict, religious parents. How can James and Helen be together is the human girl's parents restrain her from doing anything she loves, and Billy's own family is falling apart at the seams?

    I thought the spirit and 'empty' bodies concept was very original and interesting. At times a bit confusing, the story is quite dull in the beginning but gradually picks up as it goes on. I found the ending utterly magnificent. It almost made up for the rest of the book, which was decent but not great.

    The biggest thing I hated with this book was the religion. It constantly got in the way of the story. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against religion, people can believe whatever they want, but what Cathy and Dan were doing and saying made it hard to keep my calm. It is meant to be not good to have overbearing religious parents and saying everyone who isn't Christian is going to Hell.

    The author made that clear, thankfully. But it continued to drag on when I just wanted to get back to the spirit-ghost stuff. It was too big a part of the story when it really didn't need to be. I didn't like how Helen and James were 27 and 29 years old. They were basically adults in children's bodies and repeatedly having sex in these bodies with Jenny, who was only 15, it was her first time. And second. And third.

    And fourth. It was just I did understand the relationship between James and Helen, even if it did move too fast sometimes. Example; view spoiler [the day after Helen takes Jenny's body, the first time she sees James they immediately start making out and have sex in the auditorium.

    I get it, you're both dead and you've never met your own kind before and you're adults, but GEEZ. These are kids you're inhabiting here! I liked it, especially the amazing scene in the end, but there were parts where I wanted to stop and go; " What in the world?! I would recommend it to people who aren't disturbed by adults having sex in children's bodies and religion being a big part of the book. I ship them more than James and Helen. View all 18 comments.

    Aug 23, Penny rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Anyone wanting to read a.

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    Shelves: reviewed-books , paranormal-romance , ya-fiction , penny-s-favorite-books. I was told it is a modern ghost story. But really, it is so much more then just a ghost story. Yes, the main character, Helen, is dead. And yes, I will admit Helen haunts people, or rather, attaches herself to certain people. But the people she "haunts" are, for the most part, unaware of her presence. She doesn't go around scaring people. So I want to make it clear, this isn't a spooky ghost story. When all is said and done, this story is about love, self-discovery and forgiveness.

    A Certain Slant of Light

    Laura Whitcom I was told it is a modern ghost story. Laura Whitcomb does a fantastic job drawing the reader in right from the beginning. It doesn't take much to like Helen, she's kind, sweet and has a love of literature. However, it is clear that she is stuck on earth and cannot move on for some reason. Helen doesn't even know why because she is only able to remember a few small details of her life here on earth. And, as far as she knows, no one can see her until, one day a young man stares at her and not through her.

    This is when things get truly interesting Anyway, I highly recommend this book, it's a quite good. Also, even though I'm not a huge fan of romantic story lines, I really like the one in this book. May 31, Rachel rated it it was amazing Recommended to Rachel by: Tatiana. Shelves: , kindle-and-e-reads , faves , friendly-recs , perfection. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.

    To view it, click here. What a beautiful, compelling, and unique story. Definitely one of the better young adult novels I've read. The best part is it was almost like getting two stories in one. You've got Helen and James' super natural story, then you've got Jenny and Billy's more grounded one. I found myself caring greatly for the outcome of both sets of characters. The author did an amazing job at keeping the two story-lines separate. There was never any confusion as to who was who, yet they were also so closely int What a beautiful, compelling, and unique story.

    There was never any confusion as to who was who, yet they were also so closely intertwined and connected that you never really had one without the other. The concept of the story, in my opinion, was truly original. You have two lonely, wayward spirits, Helen and James, who coast through decades maybe even a century or two of never being seen or heard. Forced to be observers in the game of life that, since their deaths, they are no longer allowed to play. Until one day they miraculously connect and find each other only to inhabit the bodies of two high school students who couldn't more opposite if they tried.

    Billy, a drug-abuser from a broken home, and Jenny, who's family is rigidly strict in their religious practices. The term star-crossed comes to mind here. The emotion in this book was so well established and represented. I could really feel Jenny's loneliness and despair living in a religiously oppressive household. I couldn't help but find myself feeling a little stifled while following alongside Helen as she was forced to go through the motions of portraying Jenny while she was with her family.

    I have to admit, Helen's emotional journey of finally letting go in the end actually had me reaching for the tissues. A very endearing read that was beautifully done. Mar 02, Angela rated it it was amazing Shelves: library-book , romance , fantasy. There are a few reasons why I decided to give this novel a 5 star rating. They are as follows: 1.

    I cried at the end. I cannot say that about many books. It's just different. The story is unique. The characters are as well. Overall, I've never read anything like it. I adore the main character Helen and her James. I enjoy Ms. Whitcomb's writing style. It's poetic and lovely to read. Brown, a high school English teacher. It is while Mr. Brown is teaching class that Helen feels someone looking at her but how is it possible for that young student to notice her? No one has ever noticed her. I found this YA novel so engaging not just because of the romance between James and Helen, but also for its portrayal of the two teens who were hurting emotionally and actually preferred not to be here.

    An intriguing premise with some interesting approaches to the ghost story. Dark Sister by Joyce Graham. It was so good, I ended up reading only Joyce Graham books for weeks after. Oooh, I like stories like this! And I love RIP! I am out of control. I just loved this book. It was one of my favourite reads last year. I thought the whole concept was quite unique. And in other news i just found out that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is made into a movie!! I have had this book on my TBR list for a while. It certainly sounds good every time I hear about it! I listened to this one on CD back in or I liked the premise quite a bit, although parts of the book had me eye rolling a little, I enjoyed it!

    Its mysterious with hints of danger lurking around the corner. The girls position in the water also leads to more questions. Is she dead? Was she killed? Or is this the only position that allows her to think? Font needs work. Author name is much to small. But in hindsight the overall feel might be misplaced. Considering it is just a regular romance and the actual supernatural part is light. Comment below what you think? Since the book is from a ghosts pov, most of the book is exposition. But not in away that makes reading it a hindrance. I was excited for this one.

    Some cute things and some not so cute things. In this story ghosts also sleep. Unnecessary feature, but okay. Cutely, I found myself wanting to read books in the park more. If only to help out bored ghosts lol. Very cute. Lets talk not so cute. Im not particularly attached to either character.