In Bloom

In Bloom

Large Print - 2016
Average Rating:
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A bright, funny, painful and refreshing novel about wanting the very best from life, even when life shows you how very bad it can be. Francis is a fifteen-year-old poet manque and possible intellectual, and as far as he is concerned, his subtle genius is wasted on his family and pretty much everyone else in his hometown of Tyne-and-Wear. His mum has run off her feet ; his dad has just run off; his older brother Chris moved out ages ago ; and he is not sure he even likes his best friend Jacob. So Francis stumbles over the obstacle course of adolescence alone. Then he is diagnosed with leukemia. And it just might be the making of him. Funny, poignant and unerringly genuine, this is a warm and exuberant story of an awkward adolescent boy trying to navigate his family, his future, his feelings and his human frailty.
Publisher: Leicester, [England], Ulverscroft ,, 2016
Edition: Large print edition.
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9781444827217
Characteristics: 329 pages (large print) ; 24 cm.

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samcmar Jul 11, 2016

Comparing The Brilliant Light of Amber Sunrise to John Green's The Fault in Our Stars would be doing the book a huge disservice. While both books focus on similar topics, offering an emotionally engaging reading experience, The Brilliant Light of Amber Sunrise is far more of a subtle reading, something that I graciously appreciated.

I first want to say how much I loved that music was a huge influence on this story. A lot of the artists mentioned throughout the novel provide an added layer to the story, especially if the reader is familiar with the songs. I found myself listening to Tracey Chapman and Nirvana over again, though I feel like these are artists that either young readers will know because of parents or pop culture, or sadly, won't know at all. Still, I loved the choice of songs, and it was as though the novel was running its own soundtrack over top of the story being told.

Amber and Francis are great characters, even if they are reminiscent of characters you may have seen before. Amber is snarky, aggressive, and crazy, and to some she may seem a bit one dimensional. However, I think what I enjoyed about her characterization is she knows what her fate is going to be and she is attempting to live her life to the fullest before it ends -- that being said, I wish their had been a bit more in her development beyond those character traits. I thought Francis was quite wonderful, and the reactions his family felt throughout the story were wonderful and realistic. Part of me wishes the book had been a bit longer simply because I wanted more from both Francis and Amber's characters, but I also get how this book is portraying a whirlwind of a romance.

I feel like The Brilliant Light of Amber Sunrise is a good book, but it's one that wants you to feel emotionally invested. Oddly, I didn't feel sad read this book, nor did I feel like it played with my emotions. I enjoyed the way the book ended, and I felt like Crow gives a good enough reason as to why the book is the way it is, even from the start of the story. Admittedly, I wanted more from the story, even if it was just a bit more background information. This is a good book, and it certainly leaves the reader with a hopeful feeling.

a
adyglesias1
Oct 26, 2015

I wanted to like this book- I really did. Amber Sunrise had moments that were good and I stayed open minded till the very last page, but the characters fell flat and the plot felt contrived. If you want to read a book about teens with cancer, don't read this one. John Green did it better with The Fault in Our Stars. But Amber Sunrise has the most gorgeous cover art- I love it.

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