Title: A Trick of the Light
Author: Lois Metzger
Release Date: Available
Upon beginning A Trick of the Light, Lois Metzger’s new novel, I was instantly intrigued and sucked in to the life of main character Mike Welles. Mike is a normal fifteen year old boy who plays baseball, has a best friend, and gets good grades – that is, until he is visited by a voice in his head, which appears just when his home life begins disintegrating. The voice assures Mike it will “help” him through the struggle, and Mike succumbs to the suggestions of his constant companion, believing that this voice will help him improve himself and provide a way to cope with his unpleasant situation at home.
The facet of this engaging and poignant novel that I found most interesting was the voice in which it was written. Rather than writing the story in the omniscient third person or from Mike’s point of view, Metzger’s choice for narrator is the voice inhabiting Mike’s head. This unique twist renders an eerie, mysterious tone over the book, very fitting of the feeling that will entangle in readers’ stomachs as the voice gets stronger, and the illness it promotes becomes increasingly serious.
Metzger’s novel is a moving, original exploration of a problem plaguing today’s adolescents. By making the protagonist male, readers are reminded that young men can also be plagued by issues of self-consciousness and physical insecurities. Metzger’s writing is intense, creative, and touching; it serves as a reminder of why it is important to love and take care of both one’s body and mind, and the devastating consequences that can result from listening to the negative voices in one’s head.
Review by Katie
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