Book Review: In The Wild Light by Jeff Zentner

Life in a small Appalachian town is not easy. Cash lost his mother to an opioid addiction and his Papaw is dying slowly from emphysema. Dodging drug dealers and watching out for his best friend, Delaney, is second nature. He’s been spending his summer mowing lawns while she works at Dairy Queen.

But when Delaney manages to secure both of them full rides to an elite prep school in Connecticut, Cash will have to grapple with his need to protect and love Delaney, and his love for the grandparents who saved him and the town he would have to leave behind

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. No payments made between me and the publisher.

Jeff Zentner is one of the authors that I could say my “automatic read”. It’s just, when they publish a new book, without further ado, I’ll get their book and read it. I don’t even read the blurb, I just know it will be beautiful. In The Wild Light didn’t disappoint. It’s worth reading, it gets me in some way and I can relate. The book actually made me cry in some parts of it. I even tweet and tagged Jeff Zentner about it (sorry not sorry!) I love the book so much and I need the physical copy of it, unfortunately it’s not available locally yet (Philippines, FullyBooked please have more copy?)

Cash and Delaney are solid. They are best friends and they are the type of person who will do anything for their friend. One big opportunity came which took a few convincing but, eventually, both agreed to try and grab it. Despite all the worries and fearful idea, this opportunity is their big shot. Both characters grew differently as the story goes, Cash and Delaney discovered new things like a normal teenager would, and to add up, these two have the world around their shoulders, lifting something heavy and the only people they got for support is each other. Cash is a good man/teenager who lives with his grandparents since his parents died in an accident. He manages his own business (mowing lawns) to help his grandma and save up for school. He’s an adorable kid who worries for his grandpa who’s sick. Cash is like an average kid who befriended a genius girl, Delaney. She’s smart, determined and does things her way. She wanted to become a doctor and save lives of people who needs the most. She made a promise to Cash’s grandpa. Delaney works in Dairy Queen to make ends meet, she has her own family issues and she needed to support herself.

This book inspired me to do all the things that you’re afraid to do. Trust yourself and eventually things will get better. Also, family is a big factor of the life decisions. In the Wild Light is such an amazing book. Once again, Jeff Zentner written an amazing work. I’m not surprised that there are a lot of praise already, it’s worth reading. I’d still get my copy once it’s available to complete my Jeff Zentner collection (I hope there’s signed hardbound too!)

My Ratings

Jeff Zentner lives in Nashville, Tennessee. He came to writing through music, starting his creative life as a guitarist and eventually becoming a songwriter. He’s released five albums and appeared on recordings with Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Thurston Moore, Debbie Harry, Mark Lanegan, and Lydia Lunch, among others.

Now he writes novels for young adults. He became interested in writing for young adults after volunteering at the Tennessee Teen Rock Camp and Southern Girls Rock Camp. As a kid, his parents would take him to the library and drop him off, where he would read until closing time. He worked at various bookstores through high school and college.

He speaks fluent Portuguese, having lived in the Amazon region of Brazil for two years.

Source: Goodreads

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