Review: The Way The Light Bends by Cordelia Jensen


So, I’m not big on books about art students. The problem starts because art student characters tend to have this pretentiousness that other characters don’t and I’ve never seen an art student character thats different from the rest of them. Despite that, the adoption factor of this story really made me want to read it so I picked it up anyway.

Linc and her “twin” sister Holly were very close as little kids but not so much anymore. Holly was adopted from Ghana and is perfect in every way possible whereas Linc, who is biologically related to her parents, has a lot of trouble in school. This is until Linc finally gets the chance to prove herself.

I usually don’t like the writing in poetry-poetry novels but this as an exception. Jensen is an amazing writer and I was engrossed in her words (if not the plot) as soon as I started. Everything smoothly transitioned from one place to another and I didn’t find it choppy like I usually do with books like these.

As for the characters, I didn’t like them. Linc was your cookie cutter art student who wasn’t good enough for her family and constantly berated them for not liking her art. Here’s the thing, Linc was in a very rigorous school. Rigorous schools have a rigorous academic program. Her parent didn’t hate her photography, she was just bad at all her other classes which are needed to do to graduate high school. I don’t really know why it was such a big deal about her dropping out because she definitely wasn’t flourishing in her academic space. Holly and the mother were very interesting characters but weren’t as fleshed out as I’d like them to be. I spent a lot of this book being discontent with Linc.

As for the plot, it was initially intriguing but the narration threw me off. Linc made a lot of poor decisions that were not at all justified so I truly felt no pity for her. The book tried to introduce some racial tension but most of the time it was weird and unrealistic. The way the book talked about race sort of felt like it was being explained to a kindergartener. The love story was forced and unnecessary. There were a lot of plot twists but they were so overshadowed with Linc’s perpetual angst that I couldn’t give them the attention they needed. This novel could have had a better execution.

Final Thoughts: Read for the nice prose.



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