I first flipped through Laura Whitcomb's 'A Certain Slant of Light' (2005) in a cafe in Thailand. Was intrigued and bought the e-copy without doing much research into it. Big mistake. The story started off strong. But at some point, I groaned because I thought it was going to turn into a cheesy love story. (Reviews here, here and here.)
Protagonist Helen is a ghost. She's been dead for 130 years, remaining at age 27. She has to attach herself to a human host (who's unaware of her existence) in order remain in the Light, so to speak. She picks very literary-inclined hosts who love literature, reading and own books. Then one fine day while at school with her current human host, schoolteacher Mr Brown, she met and fell in love with James, another ghost who remains at age 29.
James has taken over 17-year-old eleventh grade student Billy Blake's body because his spirit went wandering when he overdosed on drugs and had to be sent to hospital. So to the world, Billy Blake's alive and okay, except with some odd changes to temperament and doing much better academically. Helen found a body to sit in in 15-year-old Jenny Thompson who's Billy's schoolmate, so that she and James could be together in flesh. At that point, I groaned. It's essentially YA. Oh dear. What happened to that super promising plot?! This is not going to end in the way I think.
Mid-way, this book turns excruciatingly painful. Even tone changes. Almost died when I got to the end. 😐 Wasted my bloody time reading. No wonder I finished it over coffee. The supernatural elements are negligible. Apparently, this book might be made into a movie. Riiiight. It's 'Twilight' all over again. 😱
All this I observed from the corner of the ceiling above them, but now I was passing out of the room, right through the roof. I felt my heart fold out like a blossom not only because Jenny had saved herself and Billy had found her but also because I was being drawn to heaven at last. I was sure I could see some light ahead and then James smiling at me as if through a hole in the sky no bigger than a cat.