The Light Fantastic by Sarah Combs – Review

May 16, 2017 | Book Reviews, Books

Have you ever read a book that leaves you feeling completely confused, not even sure what’s going on, but you can’t stop reading? That was this book for me. I tried my best to formulate my thoughts into some kind of review…

Have you ever read a book that leaves you confused, but you can't stop reading? That's how I felt about The Light Fantastic by Sarah Combs.


Seven tightly interwoven narratives. Three harrowing hours. One fateful day that changes everything.

Delaware, the morning of April 19. Senior Skip Day, and April Donovan’s eighteenth birthday. Four days after the Boston Marathon bombing, the country is still reeling, and April’s rare memory condition has her recounting all the tragedies that have cursed her birth month. And just what was that mysterious gathering under the bleachers about?

Meanwhile, in Nebraska, Lincoln Evans struggles to pay attention in Honors English, distracted by the enigmatic presence of Laura Echols, capturer of his heart. His teacher tries to hold her class’s interest, but she can’t keep her mind off what Adrian George told her earlier.

Over in Idaho, Phoebe is having second thoughts about the Plan mere hours before the start of a cross-country ploy led by an Internet savant known as the Mastermind. Is all her heartache worth the cost of the Assassins’ machinations?

The Light Fantastic is a tense, shocking, and beautifully wrought exploration of the pain and pathos of a generation of teenagers on the brink—and the hope of moving from shame and isolation into the light of redemption.

The Light Fantastic by Sarah Combs

The Light Fantastic is told through so many different perspectives. Every POV is written differently. Some are first person, some are third, and one of them uses #hashtags in random sentences. I guess that character is supposed to be edgy and cool, or something. I liked how the POVs were told differently, mainly because it was easy to distinguish between them, but also because it was just interesting to read!

I didn’t really feel for many, if any, of the characters. With a book like this, I don’t know if you’re supposed to. We get a very brief snapshot into the lives of these characters, and we don’t actually know very much about them. All we know is that they’re all troubled in their own ways, ranging from a bit lost to full-on suicidal. I’ll warn you now, if you choose to read this: it’s not a happy book.

The plot is still confusing to me, even after I’ve finished it. I’m not particularly sure what the story is, or what happened when, or anything. But I couldn’t stop reading. I don’t know what it is that made me stick with it till the end, but something pulled me in and I couldn’t put it down.

Reading back on what I’ve written, this is probably the vaguest book review I’ve ever done. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that’s left me so confused! Not only confused about what happened, but confused about why I liked it so much! It’s weird because it’s not even a highly-rated book for me – I probably wouldn’t read it again – but I’ve really enjoyed reading it. It was written so well it was almost poetic, and I’ve never read anything like it.

Thank you, Sarah Combs, for making me so confused with your book. Clearly you have some kind of mystical charm that kept me hanging on to every word, even if I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on.

You can buy a copy of The Light Fantastic on Amazon* or find out more about it on Goodreads. Thanks to NetGalley for my review copy!

Have you read this book? Were you as confused as I was?

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*Affiliate link used. See sidebar for details. 🙂

I'm Charlotte: media graduate, virtual assistant and avid reader. I'm a Hufflepuff, a space fanatic, and I love to write about books. More about me...

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