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BOOK REVIEW: The Light That Gets Lost by Natasha Carthew

| 28 September 2015 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: The Light That Gets Lost by Natasha Carthew

Bloomsbury Childrens
November 2015
Paperback, £6.99
Reviewed by Aly Locatelli




He wasn’t like these other boys. His life had been set upon by circumstances beyond his control. He wasn’t bad for the kick of things; he’d grown bad like bacteria on foul meat.

Trey was only a little boy when his parents were murdered, but he still remembers the night like it was yesterday, and his plans for revenge are the only thing keeping him going as he grows up without direction or support. Now sixteen, Trey is on the way to Camp Kernow, a place for troubled teens that claims to offer salvation for all the bad things they’ve done.

And, coincidentally, it is also the place harbouring the murderer of his family.

The place that all the bad kids got put and the only place in Cornwall for a boy like Trey: Camp Kernow. The place where his parents’ killer got to rule over the kids with an iron rod.

Once there, Trey realises that finding his parents’ killer and taking revenge isn’t going to be as easy as he imagined — most of the men in charge are bad people, hard to distinguish from the one man that ruined his life, and most of the kids are just as bad or even worse. Not only that, but it’s going to be even harder than he thought to escape once the deed is done, as the Camp is in constant lockdown and each kid is accounted for at all times. Dorm doors are locked every night, and each hour is dedicated to something different, with registers and eyes everywhere to keep the boys in check.

It’s with that desperation that Trey reluctantly befriends Lamby, a boy best known for constantly winding up the other boys — mostly Wilder, the Camp’s mini boss — and finding out information about people that are best kept secret. It isn’t long before the group of two becomes a group of five, and Trey finds himself settling in far too well and getting attached. Before he realises, he’s battling his inner demon: revenge, or life?

But Camp Kernow isn’t all it seems, and it is a far cry from the place of salvation it was advertised as. There are dark plans afoot, and Trey and his friends swear to find out what they are and put a stop to them before it’s too late.


The Light That Gets Lost is a unique book that hooked me from the very first page and refused to let go. I found myself far too emotionally involved with Trey’s life — his past as the son of “that family that was murdered”; his present as the brother of a boy locked forever in a care home thanks to surviving a bullet that was supposed to kill him on that fateful night; and his future as someone unsure of who he is and what he is going to do once he’s taken revenge for his family. Trey’s character was raw and real, the sort that made me cry and clutch at my chest in sorrow and the sort that made me root for him on every single level.

Carthew’s writing is also unique. It’s lyrical and poetic and brings the story to life better than any film. Readers will love every moment of The Light That Gets Lost and I couldn’t agree more with it being marketed as for fans of Siobhan Dowd and Meg Rosoff. This is a book that will stay with you a long time after finishing

If you love raw, emotional and heartbreaking stories of growing up, finding yourself and trying to forge a path in a life that has already been set out for you by society, The Light That Gets Lost is the perfect story for you.


Category: Book Reviews, Other Reviews

About the Author ()

21. A reader, a writer, a reviewer and a full-time sloth lover. I am addicted to coffee and my laptop, and love reading especially when it's rainy outside.

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