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The Brilliant Light of Amber Sunrise by…

The Brilliant Light of Amber Sunrise

by Matthew Crow

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Have I ever hated a main character so much? This kid had his head so far up his own ass he was talking out of his asshole but the sound came out his mouth. Look - I'm all for smart kids. What I can't take is the 'better than thou' attitude that Francis had throughout the whole book. He called himself a sophisticate, an intellectual, which is annoying, but then Matthew Crow would give him an "impressive array of literature" and make him like Romantic poets and then go ahead and put down Kelly and Paul, making them caricatures of teenagers. He didn't even have any redeeming qualities either. He whined a lot. Like, actually whining.

And Amber - typical Manic Pixie Dream Girl. She dies at the end to change Francis's life. It's typical and annoying and unsurprising. Bad trope. She's a Cool Girl who Changes The Boy's Life and Gets Him Into Trouble and shit like that.

This book was trying too hard to be The Fault in Our Stars, too, but at the same time ... cancer really wasn't a huge part of the book? There was no explanation of treatment. It was very badly written. Oh, and it was romanticising a terminal illness as well. Yeah. Not good all around. ( )
  jwmchen | Nov 4, 2017 |
Francis comes from a broken family. His twin sister was killed accidentally when they were children and his father left his mother for another woman. His older brother and his friends became his best friends because he was not the most popular kid in school. However, his life totally changed with a leukemia diagnosis. In the hospital he meets Amber, his polar opposite. Their story is a wonderful one but heartbreaking as Francis gets better while Amber does not. This is a wonderful story of love, heartbreak and continuing to live on, even though one never forgets. ( )
  Susan.Macura | Nov 26, 2015 |
Francis Wootton has just been diagnosed with cancer, while in the hospital receiving treatment he meets Amber, Amber is everything he wants to be, vivacious, sarcastic, lively. But she is also sick. Add in Francis's wise older brother, his slightly over protective mother and his cranky grandmother and you've got yourself somewhat of a story.

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I gave this book three stars because I did finish it but truthfully I feel like three is a little high.

As much as I was looking forward to reading this book I found it to be a rather large let down.

The characters were all so flat and one dimensional and the story dragged on and on for chapters at a time without anything really happening.

It lacked any real emotion and while I'm all for 'the feels' the only feeling I had while reading this book were total and complete boredom.

Unfortunately I don't have anything else to say about this book, I obviously didn't love it but I didn't hate it either. To me it was one of those books you read and then a week later can't remember a single detail about it.

Until next time,

In compliance with FTC guidelines I am disclosing that this book was given to me for free to review.

My review is my honest opinion. ( )
  Ginger_reader22 | Apr 4, 2015 |
3.5 stars
I wanted to read this one because I love a story that tugs at my emotions. It is reminiscent of McDaniel and of course compared to Fault in our Stars because it is about two cancer kids and their romance.

It was a nice surprise though that Francis starts out in the before and I got a good sense of who he was and his family dynamics. Francis is a loner, he only has a handful of friends and likes it that way. He is close to his older brother Chris and I liked that this was a focus. His dad is absent but they have their mom. Francis had a sister that died so their mom is dealing with that grief and holds Francis and Chris at somewhat of a distance, which they figure is because she is afraid to lose another one and deal with all the pain again. But she provides for them and tried to give them a good life. We see her get closer to Francis and Chris as he gets his diagnosis. Its awkward at times, but I love that she is making the effort.

When Francis finds out he has cancer he is not overwhelmed at first. He tests it out and works it and possibility of death around in his head. His mom and Chris deals with their feelings behind closed doors and for a while Francis thinks he wants sine kind of huge breakdown and then when he sees his mom and her heartbreaking sobs with Chris squeezing her tight he feels guilty witnessing it and changes his mind.

The relationship was sweet at times, and unique because of the nature of their meeting. Also, Amber was always bold and quick tongued, a joke for everything. Francis felt understood by her and they had kindred spirits, where usually Francis only talked and hung out with his brother and the occasional friend. It was tough when their illnesses got the best of them and the other was anxious at not hearing from the one sick and then the days where they were the one not returning calls or texts.

The ending is foreshadowed in the beginning, but it didn't take the focus there, The main plot is their learning to live with the cancer they didn't ask for. How they made the best of their good days. They also focused more with their love and relationships. They spend the most time with their family and each other. You realize the importance of unity and being there for the other in family. I enjoyed how close Francis finally got with his mom, and how his bond with his brother is strengthened.

It was sad, but there was also positive moments, funny times, intensity with their relationship, and the bond of family as themes.

Bottom Line: Emotional cancer kids story. ( )
  brandileigh2003 | Feb 24, 2015 |
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Life threatening cancer brings Francis and Amber together. But Francis's recovery is taking a different path from Amber's. He's actually getting better. And although he knew who he was before cancer, before Amber, now he has no idea how to live--or how to let go.… (more)

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