Sunday, 17 October 2010

Book Review: Drawing With Light by Julia Green

This cover is one of my favourites
out of the books that I have read this
year. Not only is it vibrant and pretty
but it looks just like I imagine
a photo that Emily would take (you will see
why if you read the book)
I don't think that I would ever have found this book to read if I hadn't been sent it by Bloomsbury so a big thankyou to them!


'I'm on the edge of something and I can hardly wait for it to unfold.'

Kat and Emily have grown up without their mother for almost as long as they can remember. And now Dad is with Cassy and they all muddle along together well enough - even though they are living in a cramped caravan while their new house is being renovated. Then Cassy and Dad tell them that Cassy is pregnant, and everything seems to shift. Emily feels a new urge to find her own mother. How could she have left them the way she did? Never writing to them? Not communicating with them? And as Emily begins her search, not knowing what she will find, she is at the same time embarking on a new relationship of her own, that of her romance with Seb. This is an evocative and finely drawn novel about family relationships, in particular that of mother and daughter, and the shifting emotions of a teenager trying to make sense of her family and her world.

My review and thoughts

The way that this book has been written is just so beautiful and truly convincing. After a few chapters I fell in love with the main character Emily, the narrator of the book. With all her struggles, Julia Green captured the voice of a teenage girl perfectly and made it one that is very easy to relate to. Emily could be quiet and a little awkward but at other times with her friends and family she is very loud, much like many other girls her age. Her feelings are very real and in depth, the way she bottles up her curiosity and pain about the mother she has never met, has to cope with living in a small vintage caravan with her Dad and step mum Cassy and her experience of first love is something that every teen girl can understand.

I loved her relationship with Seb, the handsome son of the builder of her Dad's dream house, it was wonderfully and sensitively written because it showed the anxieties as well as the magic of first love. The chemistry between the two of them jumped of the page and made my heart beat fast. You could tell that they really cared about each other and it was so touching and adorable. Seb was also the person who helped Emily with coming to terms with what has happened in her life and to do something about it and both of them helped each other develop in different ways.

Another aspect that I love about Emily is that she is a photographer, which gave the book its title as Emily says that taking the best photos is like 'drawing with light.' I imagine that the image on the cover us like one that she would take because of the careful set up of light, colour and angles that makes it so pretty.
 It is also a remark by her photography teacher at school that sparks a fresh curiosity and longing to fill the void in her heart of her mother so it is very important in the story. Photography becomes a way of capturing emotion for Emily and the description of the light and angles in the scenery in the photos is lovely, It made me realise that contemporaries can have just as much intricate description at appropriate places as in historical fiction, which has made me want to read more of its genre.

The plot of this book is one that has been used many times before but what makes this story different is the characters, who are just normal people who are made believable because of their flaws. It is not a pacy action book that gets the pages turning but I couldn't stop reading because I was attached to the characters and wanted to find out what would happen to them. It is really a coming of age story that deals with raw human emotions and growing up to find out who you are.

The only weak part of the book was the ending, which I felt was slightly rushed because the whole book is leading up to it and it is quite short. I liked the way it was resolved and was left satisfied but it could have been developed more.

Verdict: Drawing With Light is a beautifully written and poignant coming of age story with believable characters and vibrant and colourful descriptions. It is a light read but deals with heavy subjects, perfect for curling up with in the Autumn and Winter months when the story is set!


  1. Sounds like an interesting read. I liked your review of it :)

  2. Thanks for your comments on my Plain Kate review! :D The cover of Drawing with Light is pretty in an understated way and sounds like it really suits the book. Great to hear that the characters in this one are flawed and realistic – it's always wonderful when an author manages to make their characters believable!


I love comments, they make me smile! So thank you for taking the time to write one, I read all of them.
I try my best to reply here or on your blog :)

Stephanie x