Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L'Engle

Series: Austin Family #5
Genres: Magic Realism, Contemporary, Young Adult
Release Date: May 1st, 1980
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, Giroux (BYR)
Source: Library

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After a tumultuous year in New York City, the Austins are spending the summer on the small island where their grandfather lives. He’s very sick, and watching his condition deteriorate as the summer passes is almost more than Vicky can bear. To complicate matters, she finds herself as the center of attention for three very different boys.
Zachary Grey, the troubled and reckless boy Vicky met last summer, wants her all to himself as he grieves the loss of his mother. Leo Rodney has been just a friend for years, but the tragic loss of his father causes him to turn to Vicky for comfort—and romance. And then there’s Adam Eddington. Adam is only asking Vicky to help with his research on dolphins. But Adam—and the dolphins—may just be what Vicky needs to get through this heartbreaking summer.
A Ring of Endless Light is one of my all-time favorite books. I first read it many years ago and when I got the opportunity to re-read it, I was terrified. I worried that even though I had loved this book so many years ago, I wouldn’t feel the same way years later. I was wrong. I feel like I need to bang my head on a wall for ever underestimating this book but there it is. This is one of the best books I’ve ever read and upon re-reading, I can reaffirm that conviction.

I want to keep this short because I have already fangirled enough to last a while but let me just say that this is such an important coming to age novel. Given that it’s set in the 80s, some parts of it may strike some readers as odd but for me, it is still relatable for the 'modern day' reader.

It deals with common issues teenagers have to deal with growing up but it also deals with bigger issues of life and death.

Vicky is a young girl who, during the particular summer this book is set in, is surrounded by death. What she needs, is to find hope amidst all the death and learn to let go and look at the brighter things in life. She needs to rise from her despair and grow as a person but also cross that awkward bridge between teen and adult. It's so great to experience the journey with her because it is so realistic and so relevant but also Vicky is also just a great female lead. I love that she isn’t perfect and sometimes hides from the truth but she is also just fantastic.

This book also comes with an entourage of great family members and great secondary characters (INCLUDING DOLPHINS).

This is a powerful book and one I will continue to recommend 20-30 years from now because it will still be relevant and  will still be important. I  just want to shower the book with all the love because it's so special to me. Definitely a book I’d recommend for ALL readers. So you know, check it out? 

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