Monday, October 5, 2015

Review: Light of Day

Title: Light Of Day
Author: Allison Van Diepen
Release Date: November 24th, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 320 pages
Rating: 4 Cows

Goodreads Description: Like any other Saturday night, Gabby Perez and her best friend, Maria, are out dancing. But this isn’t just another night. When a mysterious stranger warns Gabby their drinks have been drugged, she hurries Maria home. Sure enough, the next day, Maria can’t remember a thing. Gabby’s shaken by their close call. And she’s not going to stay quiet about it.

She opens up the airwaves on her radio show and discovers an even worse truth: the guy who drugged them was going to force them into prostitution. Then Gabby’s friend Bree never makes it home from a party, and Gabby fears the worst.

Gabby reaches out to the guy who saved her, the gorgeous stranger she knows only as X. As they dive into the seedy underworld of Miami, searching for Bree, they can’t ignore their undeniable attraction. Until Gabby discovers the truth about who X really is and the danger that surrounds him. Can their love survive the light of day?

            You heard it here first: I am finally willing to profess my actual and fictitious love for bad boys.   Real life, books, movies, it doesn’t matter.  I am ALWAYS drawn to the bad boys or troublemakers, and X from Light of Day by Allison Van Diepen was no exception.  Initially, X seems like a good guy and even saves Gabby Perez when she has a run-in with some trouble at a club with her best friend Maria.  The more she finds out about X though, the more she discovers he isn’t the person she thought he was.
            First thoughts about Light of Day was that the cover reminded me A LOT of Simon Elkele’s books, which I love!  Once I started reading it, I also noticed some similarities in Diepen’s writing that reminded me of Elkele’s writing.  Specifically, this book reminded me of Elkele’s book Perfect Chemistry. Think: good girl meets bad guy from a gang and they try to work it out against all odds. 
            This is not to say that each book does not have it’s own defining characteristics.  Despite them having a lot in common, Light of Day is a much different story than Perfect Chemistry.  One of my favorite aspects of this book was Gabby’s internship at a local radio station and how it tied into everything that happens in the book.  For me personally, I found the radio show she does each week for WKTU fascinating because I just started working the soundboard for the radio station at my University for a show once a week.  Plus Gabby has a fun and sassy side to her personality that make for a great show and it was interesting to read the conversations between her and some of the callers who dialed into the station. 
            Since Gabby has started the school year she was forced to find a new group of friends.  While her new group of friends are quirky and amiable, I didn’t connect with them that much or the storyline with them and the zombie club they formed.  Sorry, zombies just aren’t my thing, but since this was a relatively minor element in the story it didn’t ruin my rating of the book overall.
            Light of Day is a provocative and hard to put down read that deals with some pretty serious issues, such as prostitution.  When it comes down to it though, while some parents might not be ok with their teenagers reading a book that deals with teenage prostitution, I think this book is fantastic.  It deals with serious problems in our society, but not so much that it’s content is too mature for YA readers.  I think Diepen’s book will do a great job informing young readers about the dangers of prostitution as well as give girls good information on how to stay safe and avoid putting themselves in dangerous situations such as the ones seen in this book. This book would be a great resource for high schools and middle schools to put in their libraries or assign for class readings.  



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