Monday, May 13, 2013

Teen Pick: A Trick of the Light

A Trick of the Light
by Lois Metzger
Balzer + Bray
208 pages

Available June 18, 2013

Stunning, heart-wrenching, and painful, yet uplifting and hopeful, A Trick of the Light is an important book for teens. Mike Welles is an intelligent teen who loves stop-action cinema and classics like the original 1933 King Kong film; he and friend Tamio spend hours discussing cinema and playing video games. Things at home are...sad and different. Suddenly, there's a wedge between his family.

As Mike's mom falls into despair and depression, sleeping all day and not working, Mike's dad strays from the household. Mike begins to hear a voice in his head that controls him. To control his situation at home, Mike listens to the voice and turns to Amber. She knows everything about food and what foods to avoid--Mike stops eating and begins to run for miles, the voice grows stronger--urging him to stay strong and lose weight. The voice controls Mike, but he's getting weaker.

People start to notice. Mike has a fight with Tamio and won't return his phone calls. Mike's mom and dad both think he's losing too much weight. Mike resorts to tricks to keep them off his back. He's hiding his food intake and weighing himself with extra weight in his pockets.

Told from the male point of view, A Trick of the Light addresses negative body image and weight issues for boys. Recommended for readers who liked  Halse's Wintergirls.

Recommended grade 7-up. Amazon and the publisher says for readers 14-up, but it has no profanity and no mature content other than eating/purging/ anorexia discussion.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at

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