ABOUT THE BOOK:
by Emily Ziff Griffin
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: September 5th, 2017
Genre: Young Adult
As a mysterious virus infects the world’s population, a girl embarks on a quest to find a cure in this thrilling debut from Emily Ziff Griffin.
Luisa is ready for her life to start. Five minutes ago. And she could be on her way, as her extraordinary coding skills have landed her a finalist spot for a fellowship sponsored by Thomas Bell, the world’s most brilliant and mercurial tech entrepreneur. Being chosen means funding, mentorship, and most importantly, freedom from her overbearing mother. Maybe Lu will even figure out how to control the rare condition that plagues her: whenever her emotions run high, her physical senses kick into overload, with waves of color, sound, taste, and touch flooding her body.
But Luisa’s life is thrust into chaos as a deadly virus sweeps across the globe, killing thousands and sending her father into quarantine. When Lu receives a cryptic message from someone who might hold the key to stopping the epidemic, she knows she must do something to save her family—and the world.
Suspenseful, lyrical, and thought-provoking, Light Years features a remarkable heroine on an intensely physical and emotional quest for hope and existential meaning.
I was beyond excited to receive an advanced copy of this book for review! The synopsis of this book was very inviting for a fan of dystopian novels. I knew this was going to be not only a fun read but an intense one. I have to admit that at times, it may have been a little too intense though for some fans of YA.
I say that because of the language. Griffin has a way with words that makes you sit back and think while your reading, which I thoroughly enjoyed. However, the cursing, especially in the beginning of the book just seemed unnecessary. I supposed cursing seems to be incorporated into more and more YA but I am definitely not a fan, especially of the F word. Luckily, the cursing seems to dissipate as the story progresses.
Letting this go, I was able to move forward and enjoy the story and the character development of our main character Louisa. I loved this character. I loved that she has a Spanish heritage, I loved that she seemed to have a neurological condition that is rare, though I do wish it would have been named. Some type of sensory disorder definitely, and I think there would be a lot of people with different types of sensory disorders that can relate very easily to this character. I think Lu's character is very grown for her age, and rightfully so, considering the pandemic the world is facing, but as I read, I loss track that she is indeed, just a 17 year old girl.
Lu's love interest, Kamal is a fantastic character. I imagined him to be the tall, dark, rugged, handsome British, Arabic, that he is. Exactly as Griffin had intended him to be. I loved the diversity in this book. I wasn't too fond of Lu's brother though. Where in moments he seemed to be brave and protective, other times, I found him to be annoying. Maybe I was supposed to feel this way.
Also, I feel that I need to add that there were quite a few religious references throughout the story. However, instead of just one religion, there were many. Christianity, Hinduism and Islam. I think Griffin is a genius for weaving all of this into the book. A true and intense handle for many to grab a hold of in the instance that the plot of this story were to come to fruition.
Light Years is a remarkable debut for Griffin. I felt like the story was real and raw and that it hits close to home for a lot of us. The ending definitely had me guessing, which I still have mixed feelings about so I won't go into too much detail there. All I can end with, is that I hope Griffin writes again soon!
My Favorite Quotes:
"The world is everyone's oyster, if they step up to crack it open."
"We are born of love, love is our mother. I read that on a teabag."
"You know a single image being a true record of anything is an impossible idea, right?"
"We are united by the surreal pain of existing in a life that is still familiar but indelibly altered by loss."
"Religion and spirit are two very different things," she says. "You have a spirit. Therefore the Bible is our story. Read it like a childhood favorite and God will find is way to you."
"Like the sun, like the oceans, this land does not need us. It will soak in the rain. It will freeze over in winter, then thaw again in spring. Like an orphaned child, it will manage to survive on its own. But unlike me, it won't know the difference."
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Emily Ziff Griffin lives in LA where she writes, produces, teaches, daydreams, and mothers two young kids. When she was 25, she co-founded Cooper’s Town Productions with Philip Seymour Hoffman and produced the Academy Award-winning film, ‘Capote,’ along with Hoffman’s directorial debut ‘Jack Goes Boating,’ and John Slattery’s ‘God’s Pocket.’ She's run three marathons, slowly, and holds a degree from Brown University in art-semiotics, the study of how images make meaning. She believes children are way more sophisticated than adults typically give them credit for and writes for the teenager who is ready to claim their own worldview and be grounded in their own power. ‘Light Years’ is her first novel. Find her at www.emilyziffgriffin.com.