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Cold Light by Jenn Ashworth

Cold Light (edition 2012)

by Jenn Ashworth

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1513279,164 (3.06)15
Title:Cold Light
Authors:Jenn Ashworth
Info:William Morrow Paperbacks (2012), Edition: Original, Kindle Edition, 355 pages
Collections:Your library

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Cold Light by Jenn Ashworth



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Cold Light by Jenn Ashworth is a psychological study of three teenage girls who have a history of jealousy, lies and perversion between them. These emotions eventually build into a tragedy. As events are slowly unveiled we learn the history of the friendship and how the secrets they held and the intensity of their relationship goes way beyond normal.

Told in a bleak, almost surreal manner, I had trouble getting into this book but eventually the hints the writer drops and the many questions that arose enticed me into the story. These are not likeable girls, they are mean, seem to have a sense of entitlement and no empathy to speak of. I can’t say I liked the story, but it certainly became one that was difficult to put down.

Cold Light seems to have left me with more questions than answers as I ponder the motivations of the characters. The story is told in flashbacks from 10 years in the future and in the end the strongest emotion I felt was one of sadness for the waste that their lives became by being shaped by guilt and shame. Not an easy or comfortable read but a memorable one. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Feb 24, 2016 |
Jenn Ashworth writes books that are so different to anything else. Quirky characters, and always something that's not revealed right to the end.
This follows Lola and what has obviously been the tragic death of her friend Chloe. We don't discover how tragic, and the shadows Lola has lived with until the tenth anniversary of her death and the ground-breaking ceremony for her memorial.
The uncurling of a great tale. ( )
  pamjw | Dec 9, 2014 |
A dark and compelling portrayal of lives gone astray. Ashworth is a gifted writer. I was especially impressed by the way the plot unfolded. Just as we think we understand what is going on, something new is revealed. Recommended. ( )
  DowntownLibrarian | Dec 28, 2013 |
Ashworth successfully elucidates the girls’ lives – especially Lola’s. They are fraught with the tensions and allure of dangerous older men, the peril of a flasher – whose crimes are escalating- on the loose, and their own semi-abusive treatment of one another. Lola’s life is further complicated by the delusions of her elderly father, hostile relationship with her mother, and a harsh mixture of guilt and defiance concerning her own actions the year Chloe died. With the mystery of the newly uncovered body in the woods, all the pieces are carefully placed for a tense read as the true nature of Chloe’s death is revealed. However the pacing is off, and the meandering plot of the novel exceeds plausibility, and proves too problematic to overcome. The transitions between past and present are frequently abrupt and confusing when overlapping each other. As interesting as the girls’ stories could have been, the sprawling narrative and numerous plot lines diffused interest in the fates of all involved. ( )
  daniellnic | Sep 25, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
When deciding if this was a book I wanted to read or not, I was torn, more than I've ever been before about adding to the To Be Read pile. The description promised an ominous tale of mysterious deaths in the recent past, told ten years later from the point of view of one of the survivors. Now that I've finally completed the book I'd categorize it as a dark young adult tale.

Had I known it was going to read like a young adult novel, I probably would have passed. I have no patience for the machinations and social cliques of self-absorbed teenage girls. Perhaps that says more about me as a reader than it does about this book, but I've clearly determined this is not a genre I can make myself care about.

Our narrator, Lola, is in her mid-twenties, watching the groundbreaking ceremony for a memorial to two of her friends who died ten years ago in what was determined to be a dual suicide pact. At 14 Lola was a social outcast - from a lower-middle class family whose parents had her late in life, thus making them much older than her friends' parents. Her father is losing his sanity, becoming obsessed with various projects he takes up then abandons. Her mother is devoid of any emotion.

When new-to-the-school Chloe befriends Lola, Lola's social prospects brighten. Chloe pretty and possesses a cocksure attitude which tends to get her anything she wants. Including a 19-year old boyfriend who is obsessed with photographing Chloe in various states of undress.

Pregnancy scares, pedophilia, flashers - all the tropes of those things your mother warned you about are here. Along with a rival for Chloe's attention who soon relegates Lola to the fringes of the school's social pecking order.

In the end, the mystery wasn't much of a mystery - you'll know whose body is found, you'll figure out what happened to the two dead lovers and you won't care about any of it because the characters are so off-putting, so narcissistic, that you'll find yourself wishing the surviving characters meet the same fate. ( )
  TheTwoDs | Jun 15, 2013 |
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"Lola's on the sofa, watching Chloe's family and the TV crews grouped round the pond. It's been ten years since Chloe and her boyfriend died, and they've finally decided what the memorial will be. The Mayor has a spade decked out in pink and white ribbon, and he's started to dig. She can tell from their faces that something has gone wrong, that a celebration has turned into something else entirely. But she's the only person who can be sure it's a body. She's the only one who knows straightaway who it is. Everyone thought Chloe's death was a tragedy, and they were right, it was a tragedy, but it wasn't as simple as that. Lola and Chloe were best friends. Lola knew everything about her. At least she thought she did..."--From publisher description.… (more)

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