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Set in the UK, these years-olds kids drink, smoke, stay out at all hours. Is this what they do across the pond??

Cold Light by Jenn Ashworth - review | Books | The Guardian

Chloe has a year-old boyfriend, and they get up to no good. The two kids who made it into adulthood are haunted by the events that happened in the past, and as another secret is discovered and broadcast on the news, they come to terms with what really took place. I was really impressed by this! The writing was clever, and the characters were so tragic! View all 5 comments.


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Jan 08, Sid Nuncius rated it it was amazing. I thought this was an excellent book - very readable, extremely atmospheric, insightful and memorable. The book begins with the discovery of a body and the circumstances of how it came to be there gradually emerge in an extremely well-told story. It is not a detective story of any kind, but is concerned with the lives of the narrator and two of her school friends and how they came to be involved in the story.

It switches easily between the present day and descriptions of events when they were al I thought this was an excellent book - very readable, extremely atmospheric, insightful and memorable. It switches easily between the present day and descriptions of events when they were all thirteen in , and I found myself gripped and enthralled throughout. I don't want to give away any plot details, but I found the story very plausible and the characters extremely well drawn.

Jenn Ashworth is excellent at evoking the relationships between teenagers, and I thought truly brilliant in showing the life of a child in a family with a father with mental health problems. The atmosphere of a small City never named, but with a striking resemblance to Preston also seemed completely real to me, having spent my teenage years in a comparable city. The book has important things to say about teenage life, families and the effect of guilt both real and imagined, and is also very acute about the public and media response to tragedy.

My one reservation about this book is that I am not sure that someone of the background and education given to the narrator would be able to write so well or make such penetrating observations, but the book was easily good enough to make this seem irrelevant.

Cold Light by Jenn Ashworth - review

It's very good indeed and recommended very warmly. Mar 20, Una rated it really liked it. I may be going against the majority of reviews on this book, but I actually liked it and enjoyed the style of writing. By 'like' I mean that I found it an interesting study in teenage life. It brought out the sometimes nonsensical way teenagers view the world, where they themselves and their feelings are paramount.

It shows a point at which teenagers haven't yet developed that ability to necessarily look at the wider picture or take a helicopter view of life to see the ramifications of their act I may be going against the majority of reviews on this book, but I actually liked it and enjoyed the style of writing. It shows a point at which teenagers haven't yet developed that ability to necessarily look at the wider picture or take a helicopter view of life to see the ramifications of their actions. I am not saying ALL teenagers are like this but it was an interesting study. As a child who had 'older parents' compared to my peers I found the comparisons the author made between the families poignant.

I would say that this is not just a teen book but one that adults can take certain nuances from as a study of emergent adults. I think it reflected the era well and the prejudices that existed. It was also a thought provoking profile of a family dealing with a loved one who had dementia. An easy read with plenty to think about.

Dec 29, Elizabeth rated it liked it Shelves: This is an odd book. In fact I sat on reviewing it for several days. And maybe it is 3.

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I wish I could give half stars. This book is a bit confusing because it jumps back and for from present day to like 10 or 11 years ago when the 3 girls concerned were 14 when one of them committed suicide for love apparently. She ends up being somewhat unreliable. Because when a lot of things happened she was only 14 and didn't have the maturity or experience to understand a This is an odd book.

Because when a lot of things happened she was only 14 and didn't have the maturity or experience to understand all that was seen. And due to a lot of things, she didn't have someone on her side helping her to interpret these things. And I think she kind of got stuck at that developmental place.

Having said that, Ashworth is fairly repetitive and slow moving until we get to the end.

cold light

But I think have a week to think about this, I'll give the book at least an extra half star and more appreciation for what Ashworth did give us--a sometimes confusing and challenging story that reveals itself in unexpected ways. Aug 08, Brian Centrone rated it it was amazing. Move over James Patterson, Jenn Ashworth has come to take your place. In her second novel, Ashworth showcases her talent for dark, suspenseful, detailed writing once again, reminding her readers exactly why we love her. Ashworth captures the nuances of teenage girls with perfection. Every secret, every doubt, every biting remark sucks you into this world, leaving you on the edge of your seat wondering what is going to happen next.

And that, I must say, is the genius of Cold Light. Ashworth teases you, dropping bits of information, just small enough to intrigue us, just small enough to keep us guessing until the end. When the end comes, Ashworth's darkness is really revealed. Nothing is as expected.

Cold Light will leave you speechless. I had a hard time getting into this one at first. The writing and language were different than what I was use to, however once I got into the story and got use to the flashbacks and got a real feel for the story and characters, it did get better and I found myself getting drawn into the story. This definitely isn't your typical innocent YA novel. This one slowly draws you in and piece by piece, memory by memory lets you into the real story.


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  4. What the characters were really like and what really hap I had a hard time getting into this one at first. What the characters were really like and what really happened that fateful day. Nothing is quite what it seems and no one is an innocent as they appear. Truly this was cleverly done. This is an interesting book, it's less a crime novel and more the deconstruction of a crime. The book is about events that happened 10 years before the book takes place. It's about how what we know is a lie, and it's about blame.

    Above anything else it's probably mostly about growing up or not growing up. I don't want to say much else abo if I ever cried because of books this book would have made me cry. I don't want to say much else about it, but there it is for what it's worth Feb 17, Ginny rated it it was ok. I wanted to like this book but didn't. The idea of the story held some promise but it never came to fruition. I seldom give up on a book but at some point I thought about it; however, I wanted to get to the reveal out of a slight curiosity about the secrets.

    Nov 08, Carol rated it liked it. What can I say about this story? I guess the best description is that it's the sad story of teenage friendship gone wrong in the most devastating way. How well can we really know a person?

    cold light

    Annie convinces herself that her neighbor is in love with her. Following the death of a teenager, a reconstruction process is under way to work out exactly what happened. The search for the truth peels back so many layers that What can I say about this story? The search for the truth peels back so many layers that the reader finds themselves asking "is there a real person inside?

    Nov 14, Steve F rated it really liked it. I thought there were a few loose ends and odd character behavior in the last third of this book. I kept expecting the biggest loose end to factor in some how but it never even came up again - a little unsatisfying, that. If you liked the TV series "Misfits" Hulu you'll probably like this book. Aug 24, Fiona Frank rated it it was amazing. As always with Jenn ashworth I couldn't stop reading it. Love love love a book set in my home town , very much a part of the place it's set. It adds so much to my reading , never realised that before as she's the first writing novels set in Preston that I have read.

    Liked this book a lot, dark and sad but a page turner too. Well, I agree with many of the comments on the book's cover: May 30, Jackie Vazquez rated it it was ok. Ashworth's Cold Light is difficult to get through, and only part of that is because of the subject matter. The writing is stilted and awkward and the plot is pretty predictable. I wanted to put this book down several times, but my mama didn't raise a quitter. Very well observed and described, haunting and uncomfortable. Aug 02, Ana rated it it was ok.

    It was a depressing book for me. Because the characters are just sad little humans, both kids and adults. I did not enjoy the characters and tye mistery was not a mistery for me. Oct 10, Michelle added it. Told in flashbacks, Lola not only shares the truth behind the terrible events, she inadvertently seeks redemption, or at least a sense of peace, ten years after the events occurred. Two parts murder mystery and one part coming-of-age story, Cold Light shows how dangerous the line between childhood and adulthood can be, especially for those not ready to cross that line.

    Unfortunately, the synopsis makes Cold Light sound much better than it actually is. The story itself slow, and Lola is not the best of narrators. In fact, she is fairly pathetic. Due to either a guilty conscience or an inability to move on from that infamous summer, she hides behind her anonymity and becomes a depressing adult.

    What is worse is the fact that she realizes her life is in a holding pattern but is not willing to do anything about it. The flashes back in time are jarring, made worse by the mocking tone in which adult Lola tells the story of her last summer of childhood. Everything about them, from their appearances to their actions to their thoughts and discussions, has the appearance and experience of girls much older than they truly are.

    While this is easily explained as girls trying desperately to act older than they are, in a hurry to grow up as kids this age always are, it does little to endear them to the adult reader. Perhaps a younger audience would better appreciate the dangers they willingly embrace, but more experienced readers can only roll their eyes and groan at the truly awful decisions made.

    It creates a dichotomy between the reader and the characters that is difficult to overcome.


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    Another difficult point to overcome is the presence of the adults. In Cold Light adults are not shown in the best of lights. They are easily lumped into three categories and none of them flattering. There are the creepy, stalker types with illicit designs towards young women. There are those that are power-hungry and too eager to manipulate details to capture the spotlight and fame.

    "Cold Light" by Operators (Official Audio)

    Then there are the rest — the sheep that fall prey to the machinations of the latter and blindly ignore the former while easily duped by sassy teens. Of course, all three categories of adults cannot possibly understand what it means to be a teenager and are only trying to make their lives more difficult. These words, then, were my glimmer of light; it was here I found my sole outlet; and in truth, though the cold light roused, it did not cheer me; nor did the outlet seem such as I should like to pass through.

    Then, seating himself opposite to me, he looked at me long and fixedly with his strange, twinkling, reckless eyes--eyes of a cold light blue, the color of a glacier lake. In its cold light I saw beyond the trees a broken fringe of rocks, and the long, low curve of the melancholy moor. The first cold light of dawn is just stealing into the room, and everything is grey and mournful. The eyes, too, were hard, though blazing with a cold light. How we chose 'justice'. And is one way more correct than the others? How to use a word that literally drives some people nuts.

    The awkward case of 'his or her'. Identify the word pairs with a common ancestor. Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way. Definition of cold light. Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with: More than , words that aren't in our free dictionary Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes Advanced search features Ad free!