The Taste of Blue Light sucked me in straight away & I was totally enthralled in the book right until the last word; the mental illness representation in this book was incredible & Lydia Ruffles deserves an award for it. This book is really educational & I want everyone to read it.
I was sent an eARC of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.
Trigger Warning: this book contains discussion of mental illness & trauma in great detail.
Some minor spoilers.
This isn’t an easy review to write because the book is more intense & wonderful than I could ever demonstrate in one of my reviews – Lydia has written the internal workings of PTSD better than I ever thought someone could & it’s made me even more determined to work with PTSD patients one day.
Lux’s story is incredibly believable, but also very relevant to the world we’re currently living in. The writing in this book was done messily, but like I said in my review about Hope by Rhian Ivory, messy writing & mental health stories fit together incredibly well; by using a messy writing style Lydia manages to help the reader get inside Lux’s head & helps us to understand some of what Lux is experiencing. The messy writing style also means that the book is very emotionally draining, & despite me not being able to do much for the rest of the day after I finished the book, I think this is a good thing because it, again, gives the reader an understanding of what Lux is experiencing.
Yet another reason why the reader is able to get inside Lux’s head is the fact that we aren’t told what trauma Lux has experienced (I did work out that she had PTSD though); the not knowing in this book hasn’t been done to create a plot twist though – it’s been done so that the reader is better able to understand Lux’s emotions & confusion about what is wrong with her. The reader is able to share Lux’s journey & that’s something really special. I really appreciated that we were kept in the dark until the moment Lux realised what had happened to her; it reminded me of when I found out what illness the main character in Bone Gap by Laura Ruby was experiencing & I think, when done in the right way, this is a really effective way of writing about mental health.
In my GoodReads review I said that beautiful was a strange word to use to describe this book, because of its themes, but I have to use that word because that’s what it was to me – utterly beautiful, unforgettable & mesmerising. Lydia has flooded so much love, care & consideration into this story & its main character, & that means so, so much to me. The Taste of Blue Light is a seriously important book & it makes me so emotional to know it’s going to be in the real world very soon.
You should also follow Lydia on Twitter so that you can wait impatiently for news of another book by her, just like I am.