this impossible light | review

Are you a Button Poetry fan? Do you sometimes come accross their videos? Have you ever seen Shrinking Women by Lily Myers? I am. I do. And I have. Shrinking Woman has had more than 5 million views and Lily has now written a novel in verse called “This Impossible Light”. And guess what? The book is just as great (if not better)! If you love slam poetry, there’s a great chance you’ll like this! 😊

This Impossible Light

Title: This Impossible Light

Author: Lily Myers

Publisher: Philomel

Publication date: June 6th, 2017

N° of pages: 352 pages

Genre: Poetry, YA


From the YouTube slam poetry star of “Shrinking Women” (more than 5 million views!) comes a novel in verse about body image, eating disorders, self-worth, mothers and daughters, and the psychological scars we inherit from our parents.
Sixteen-year-old Ivy’s world is in flux. Her dad has moved out, her mother is withdrawn, her brother is off at college, and her best friend, Anna, has grown distant. Worst of all, Ivy’s body won t stop expanding. She’s getting taller and curvier, with no end in sight. Even her beloved math class offers no clear solution to the imbalanced equation that has become Ivy s life.
Everything feels off-kilter until a skipped meal leads to a boost in confidence and reminds Ivy that her life is her own. If Ivy can just limit what she eats the way her mother seems to she can stop herself from growing, focus on the upcoming math competition, and reclaim control of her life. But when her disordered eating leads to missed opportunities and a devastating health scare, Ivy realizes that she must weigh her mother’s issues against her own, and discover what it means to be a part of and apart from her family.
This Impossible Light explores the powerful reality that identity and self-worth must be taught before they are learned. Perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson and Ellen Hopkins.”


Rating | rating.pngrating.pngrating.pngrating.pngrating

Review | It’s not very easy to review a book that ended up affecting you more than you thought it would. I have nothing but positive things to say about this book.

The Impossible Light is a novel in verse that follows a 15 year old girl named Ivy. She just went through what could be the worst summer of her life where her parents’ divorce made her see another version of her mom -silenced and ready to crumble-, which is a very sad thing. She also lost her best friend that came from Paris a totally different and changed person and her brother Sky moved out on top of it all. So she was left all by herself to face all of this, alone. Poor Ivy just wanted to get back the “Before” version of her life but she knows that it can’t happen and that it’s not really up to her. She knows she has no control over what’s happening to her and so try to imagine the aftermath of losing this much so fast and not being able to do anything about it. Horrible, right?

I couldn’t put it down aside from the times where I needed a pause to retrieve myself, to feel and to think. (No, you’re the one who’s been crying!) It was very captivating from start to finish. This book is definitely not your go-to light read. It tackles lots of difficult subjects such as the relationship between us and our body image and how it could deeply affect us, eating disorders, depression, broken families and friendships and the scars we inherit from these last two.

Before getting into this book, I didn’t understand eating disorders that much. Of course, the book didn’t deliver a textbook definition of what an eating disorder is but at least, I got a little bit more familiar with it and I got to know what it’s like and how it can destroy a person. I haven’t personally experienced suffering from an eating disorder so I can’t really say whether it’s accurate or not but I am familiar with depression and anxiety and I know what It’s like to lose control and to try to get it back by controlling a very specific thing that will give you the illusion of control but in real, is just breaking you. It’s probably why I felt a lot for Ivy and a great part of this book felt very relatable. It happens to be a great sign because my main problem with novels written in verse is the fact that I can’t get attached to the characters and therefore can’t feel empathy towards them. But let me tell you, Lily Myers just knows how to choose the right words to describe in a very realistic way the mind of a 15 year old teenager going through divorce , an ED and a need of control. And this is what the novel is all about: Ivy’s journey.

This wasn’t my first novel written in verse but this is definitely one of the very few that I loved so I was pleasantly surprised. It is divided into six “chapters”: Unknown Variables, Compression, Half-Life, Limits, Discontinuous Function, Exponential Growth. I love how these chapters were given titles related to Ivy’s favorite class: Calculus. I know that Compression and Half-Life are more related to Physics but I guess Smart Girl must’ve had a thing for Physics too or Science in general. I also love how at the end of the book, a list of additional resources were given about eating disorders along with body-positive blogs and websites. It’s genuine.

This book was provided to me by Philomel Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


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