Monday, July 01, 2013

A new student review of Lighthouse Nights by Jake Vander Ark

CarissaH posted a new student review of Lighthouse Nights by Jake Vander Ark. See the full review.

Jake Vander Ark's Lighthouse Nights takes a very interesting look into the lives of people who you probably dont know anyone quite like, yet seem so familiar after the initial feeling of alienness wears off. It provides behavior, backround, and catch-22s, just in-depth enough to draw you in and answer your biggest questions, but still ambiguous enough to not destract from the plot. All topics are handled with blunt care, perfectly reflecting its most prominent characters while still maintaining a poignant poetry. It's a brilliant cautionary tale in many ways, while also providing some guilty indulgence akin to that of Bonnie and Clyde's story. The characters, even at their most depraved and disturbed, are very relatable, and as you get to know them better, you understand their plight. You feel righteous indignation where appropriate, yet you keep suporting your antihero protagonist. The reason I don't describe the more naive character is because he, by nature, is pretty standard for the most part, and providing much more informatin than that could get into spoiler territory. Suffice is to say, his characterization and arc are wonderfully done.
There are several scenes which could be considered the climax, all nail-bitingly engaging and unpredictable. There are quiet moments as well, which hold your attention with the same powerful grasp as the more active ones. Sexuality and romance in the book are both palpable and intriguing, yet not at all something you'd like to immitate. The people, places, and situations explored feel very true-to-life. The only reason I can think of to not finish the book is out of how much it upsets you. This novel is exciting, curiosity-inducing, heart-wrenching, sometimes sickening, but most of all, it is thought-provoking. If that sounds like the sort of thing you'd like to try out, I strongly recommend you read Lighthouse Nights.