Well hello there, friends, and welcome to my stop on the LIGHT YEARS Blog Tour! For those of you tuning in who aren't sure what that means: basically, Emily Ziff Griffin's YA debut LIGHT YEARS releases Tuesday, Sep. 5, and in the days leading up to it several excited bloggers (myself included) will be posting interviews, reviews, and more! Exciting, right? So read on for my REVIEW of the book, then follow along with the rest of the tour, and make sure to pre-order the book and enter the giveaway!
Onwards with my review!
Luisa is a young girl who feels as though she's stifled and can't wait for her life to begin. She applies and interviews for a prestigious fellowship that, she hopes, will be the first step on the road to actually going somewhere in her life. Unfortunately, right around the time of her interview, a mysterious virus begins to infect the world, including people close to her. Add to that the fact that she's beginning to get cryptic messages insinuating she might have the key to stopping it, and you've got the makings of Luisa going off on an adventure to, well, save the world.
It's a book with a huge scope; namely, exploring how the world will react to a deadly virus, one like, say, AIDS...which affects some and not others, which seems impossible to cure, which is tearing the world to pieces. And Emily has taken on a huge task for herself in grappling with things like empathy, disease, family bonds, romance and even spirituality, all in a book aimed at teenagers. It's a book that deals with the soul of the person as well as the body, that deals with how to choose between two difficult options, and that shows teenagers stepping up to the plate.
While there are places where I felt LIGHT YEARS fell a little flat — for instance, Luisa is set up as a brilliant visionary, but other than being told this is what she is, we aren't given much reason for believing it — overall I found it entrancing and powerful.
And that twist! I won't ruin it for you, obviously, but I will say that the ending comes with flair and makes everything leading up to it just...click into place. The ending, which is somewhat of a cliffhanger, leaves me both satisfied with how LIGHT YEARS concludes but also willing to read more, should Emily feel so led as to give me another book.
I think, in the end, my favorite thing about LIGHT YEARS is that it's a young adult novel. That the protagonists, the ones with the keys and the heart and the vision to save the world, are teens. I'm into YA because it shows just how amazing teenagers really are, and this book does not fall short in that way.
It's a book I will definitely recommend (as I'm doing right now!), one that isn't perfect but is still very good, one that makes you think in a way that, at least personally, I'm not used to.