Title: The Brilliant Light of Amber Sunrise
Authors: Matthew Crow
Published Date: March 10th, 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
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A poignant and unexpectedly funny novel about Francis - one of the best and bravest teenage boy narrators since Adrian Mole. This is an emotionally honest story about wanting the very best from life, even when life shows you how very bad things can be.
Francis Wootton's first memory is of Kurt Cobain's death, and there have been other hardships closer to home since then. At fifteen years old he already knows all about loss and rejection - and to top it all off he has a permanently broke big brother, a grandma with selective memory (and very selective social graces) and a mum who's at best an acquired taste. Would-be poet, possible intellectual and definitely wasted in Tyne and Wear, Francis has grown used to figuring life out on his own.
Lower Fifth is supposed to be his time, the start of an endless horizon towards whatever-comes-next. But when he is diagnosed with leukaemia that wide-open future suddenly narrows, and a whole new world of worry presents itself.There's the horror of being held back a year at school, the threat of imminent baldness, having to locate his best shirt in case a visiting princess or pop-star fancies him for a photo-op . . .
But he hadn't reckoned on meeting Amber - fierce, tough, one-of-a-kind Amber - and finding a reason to tackle it all - the good, the bad and everything in between - head on
In Bloom is 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. It is a novel about how to live.
My first thought walking into this book was "OH, let this not be a remake of FIOS" and shockingly, it was not.
We are thrusted into the perspective of this 15 year old boy, who you can clearly see is struggling to come to terms with his cancer and the people the people he meets along the way. Francis is witty and incredibly funny but as mature as he may sound at times, he is in fact just a kid. We witness him sometimes being selfish, contradicting and infuriating but this just serves to remind us that of his age. I'm sure most people who have read this book have the same complaint about the character. To me though, it felt real because we aren't in the head of a full grown adult, we are in fact reading in the view of teenager.
Amber was quirky and just as witty (if not more) than Francis. Her character most of all was likable, and Amber develops wonderfully throughout the book. I think, the important part when going into this book, is that they aren't perfect.
One thing that really bothered me though, was that the story line for Francis's sister was just awkward. I felt almost like it wasn't really fully thought out and randomly thrown in there. Besides that, I absolutely love the writing style in this book! Overall I give this 3.5 (Almost 4 stars)