In a nutshell
Riley Bloom crossed the bridge into the afterlife following a car crash – with her parents and beloved dog, Buttercup. In her afterlife, she has been assigned a job as a Soul Catcher, with Bodhi as her guide. Her first assignment takes her back to earth, where she must find the Radiant Boy, a spirit who doesn’t want to move on.
What I liked
The only thing I liked about Radiance is probably Riley Bloom and Buttercup. Riley is a strong character; confident, outspoken and spunky. And I liked Buttercup, the timid dog,for his name and he seems rather adorable especially when he closes his eyes to shut out some ‘evil’ sights.
And I think, that’s about it.
What I didn’t quite like…
I hate doing this part, but I want to be honest with my reviews. Well, overall, I didn’t quite like Radiance. (Dear author, if you’re reading this, please forgive me. I know writing is a tough job!) So. Here goes.
There weren’t any focus; no weight. The characters (except Riley), the plot and settings, felt like they were written without much purpose, like they were skimmed through, hence not giving it enough depth. Everything was given equal attention. The was no pull factor to keep me going. The only factor that pulled me through was that it’s a thin book.
There were too much stuff (the parents, the school, the students, Aurora and gang) in the beginning and too little at the end (the Radiant Boy and Mom’s story had hardly any depth). I felt that there should be more focus on Riley’s assignment and training, and her journey to maturity. (For example, how she gradually changes the way she looks at things, etc. In Radiance, it felt as though she changed in a blink of an eye).
There were too many words wasted on Riley’s thoughts. Some were just repetition – same message different words, which can get pretty annoying. It came to the point where I said, ‘Get on with the story, please!’
Oh and the cover – the girl at the front, hardly looked like Riley. This girl looked the opposite of what was described of Riley in the book. I do like the ‘look’ of Here & Now though (If that’s where Riley is on the cover).
I do wonder though, what ‘Summerland’ is all about. It was mentioned sporadically throughout the book but there were hardly anything really concrete about it.
There were however, a thing or two that a teenager could learn from here – about hope and about us being connected – that “everything is made up of energy, our bodies, our thoughts, everything.”
Note: This is a YA read.
My verdict? 2.5/5