Late Lights by Kara Weiss is a novella of interwoven stories following the lives of three teenagers, Monty, Erin and B.J., with three very different backgrounds. It's set in the Brookline neighborhood of Boston. A little background: Monty is an only child with an abusive father, and finds himself in and out of juvie. B.J.'s brothers are also trouble-makers, with her oldest having served time in prison, where her other brother will undoubtedly end up one day as well. Erin is the only daughter of a well-to-do attorney couple, and grows up best friends with B.J. and Monty, until they inevitably drift apart during adolescence. Still, their underlying bond is never fully broken, and each is fully capable of making some serious mistakes.
I found B.J. to be the least fleshed out and most perplexing character for me, perhaps because she was only the focus of one story, while the other two characters each get two - I would have liked to have had a little more insight into how she dealt with the issues brought up in her story.
Overall, Late Lights is very tightly written, its vivid descriptions fully bringing the reader into the lives of the three characters. It is not a pretty world, and nothing is sugar-coated, but it is a realistic world not without hope for the future.
I'd recommend reading this if:
- You have a 2-3 hour plane ride and want something you can read start to finish - this will engage you from the beginning.
- You enjoy stories told in snapshots.
- You like characters you can imagine as real people.
- You appreciate books that are not afraid to talk about the baser aspects of life, and that are explicit in a realistic way - not for shock value.
Don't read this if:
- The slightest bit of violence or sex offends you.
- You'd rather not know what your teenager might be up to.
- You're looking for a light and fluffy read.
- You have triggers to do with rape - there's one small scene that could bring things up.
*I received this book courtesy of the author and TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review. See what others have to say.