Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Cold Light by Jenn Ashworth

I'm sitting on my couch, watching the local news. There's Chloe's parents, the mayor, the hangers on, all grouped round the pond for the ceremony. Its ten years since Chloe and Carl drowned, and they've finally chosen a memorial-a stupid summerhouse. The mayor has a spade decked out in pink and white ribbon, and he's started to dig.

You can tell from their faces that something has gone wrong. But I'm the one who knows straightaway that the mayor has found a body. And I know who it is.

This is the tale of two fourteen-year-old girls, best friends, and one terrible summer when lies, secrets, jealousy, and perversion ended in tragedy more tangled and evil than a tight-knit community can possibly believe.

A dark tale with a surreal edge, Jenn Ashworth's gripping novel captures the intensity of girls' friendships and the dangers of a predatory adult world they are just grown up enough to think they can handle. And it shows just how far that world will go, sacrificing truth in the name of innocence.


When I first read the synopsis of this book, my interest was piqued. Cold Light is a gritty and thought-provoking novel that is told through the eyes of the main character Laura. It is a dark and sad story that dips from present to the past as Laura recounts the events that lead to the recently found body ending up in that location.  In the present Laura is a 24 year old woman who cleans a shopping center for a living. She is not very happy sounding with her life, but accepts it. Flashbacks to the past, has Laura as a fourteen year old who has befriended Chloe at her school and then later on Emma. 

It seemed like neither one of the girls were good influences for anyone.  They liked to drink, smoke, shoplift, and talk/act older than their teenage years.  They didn’t appear to have anyone that great to really depend on or look up to growing up.  Pretty soon a boy becomes the object of attention, rumors and lies begin to form, and something bad lurks ahead.

The characters felt real and the story genuine...something I felt could have actually occurred.  Jenn Ashworth created a well written novel about what could happen when teenage girls are filled with insecurity, petty jealousy, and cruelness.  I wasn’t immediately drawn into this story when I first began reading it, but once I got a few chapters in I was able to get into it and enjoy the story.  It wasn’t my favorite, but it was still a good and interesting read.

Rating: 3 out of 5

You can buy Cold Light at these locations:

** I received this ARC from HarperCollins/William Morrow in exchange for nothing, but my honest review. Thank you.** 


  1. I also recently read this book. It was much darker then I expected, but I enjoyed it quite a bit, especially a couple chapters in. If you want to check out my review here's a link:

  2. I ran across your blog on Book Blogs. This book sounds really interesting. I'll have to get one.
    Take a look at my blog and follow if you'd like (http://conqueringbookmountain.blogspot.com). I look forward to reading more of your reviews.

  3. Thanks for checking out my blog you guys. If you get the book Shontrell, I hope that you enjoy it!

  4. I added a link to your review in my post! If you see any other books on my blog that you have reveiwed as well just leave a comment and I'l link to your review!