by Matthew Crow
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse (March 10, 2015)
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Life threatening cancer brings two teens together in this funny, honest, and heartwrenching novel in the tradition of The Fault in Our Stars.
Francis is determined to forge his own way in school and life despite his loony, awkward, broken family...and noticeable lack of friends. Then he is diagnosed with leukemia. It wasn’t part of his strategy, but there are moments when he can see the upside. After all, people are nice to you when you’re sick.
While in the hospital, Francis meets Amber. She’s outspoken and sarcastic, and Francis falls for her almost immediately. Hard. Together, they take on the other cancer ward patients, overbearing mothers, and treatments with lively wit.
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…
Thank you Andye from readingteen.net for your Review My Books program!
If you've read the synopsis, you'll know that Francis, our main character, is diagnosed with leukemia. If you managed to read past that line in the summary, you'll find that he falls for a fellow patient. If you're like most literary analysts, you'll have made an immediate connection to The Fault in Our Stars. But let me be the 31st person to tell you: not every book that deals with cancer and love is automatically a copy of Hazel and Augustus' story. Just like how not every dystopian has to be called "The next Hunger Games" or whatever. Point made. Right, moving on :D
Maybe it's a British people thing, or maybe Matthew Crow just has a fantastic way with words, but he has some brilliant lines in this book. Maybe I just have a weird sense of humor (most likely), but I was just smiling so often because of the clever things Crow wrote.
"This was because boys like him were, essentially, pasta. Everyone thought they loved him because they had never been forced to experience the true blandness of him on his own.”
"'Okay, I suppose. I think I'm misunderstood, though, like van Gogh was.'”
"'Your fly's undone,' Kelly said eventually from across the room, pointing to the white patch of underwear that had begun to poke throught the lowered zip of Amber's old jeans. Amber didn't blush. She barely even moved. She just glanced down at her crotch and then back up at Kelly, 'Yeah, I know, supposed to be. It's mating season,' she said, and then carried on unpacking.”Francis was a great main character. He may just be one of the most dramatic male protagonists I've met, so naturally, I loved it. His family was a masterpiece of hilarious banter and melodrama. Crow did a splendid job of creating them.
My main fault with it was I felt it was sort of insta-lovey. Now, I understand that Francis is an extremely passionate boy, so it was understandable, but I'm all for the angsty, tension filled build up between the shippees. Given my fondness for Francis, I let it slide. Amber made him happy. So I was happy.
All in all, I thought The Brilliant Light of Amber Sunrise was a quick and fun read. Yes, there were serious moments, but no, it wasn't a tear jerker (maybe I just have a heart made of stone. JK You should've seen me at the end of Clockwork Princess). Though, I'll admit, still not sure why the title says Amber Sunrise. Her last name was Spratt. I don't know. I'd say it was an entertaining read, go give it a go! Happy Reading!!!
All quotes taken from an ARC