Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Book Review: Cold Light by Jenn Ashworth

Cold Light by Jenn Ashworth

Published: October 16, 2011
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Age Demographic: YA Psychological Thriller
Pages: 352

I'm sitting on my couch, watching the local news. There's Chloe's parents, the mayor, the hangers on, all grouped round the pond for the ceremony. It's ten years since Chloe and Carl drowned, and they've finally chosen a memorial-a stupid summerhouse. The mayor has a spade decked out in pink and white ribbon, and he's started to dig.

You can tell from their faces that something has gone wrong. But I'm the one who knows straightaway that the mayor has found a body. And I know who it is.

This is the tale of two fourteen-year-old girls, best friends, and one terrible summer when lies, secrets, jealousy, and perversion ended in tragedy more tangled and evil than a tight-knit community can possibly believe.

A dark tale with a surreal edge, Jenn Ashworth's gripping novel captures the intensity of girls' friendships and the dangers of a predatory adult world they are just grown up enough to think they can handle. And it shows just how far that world will go, sacrificing truth in the name of innocence.

To Purchase Cold Light:      Amazon


Cold Light is a dark and complicated, richly layered, psychological thriller that will chill readers to the bone. Beautifully written, Jenn Ashworth, plunges readers head long into a suspenseful, yet highly intriguing psychological tale full of secrets, lies, set against the an extremely raw and honest portrayl of teenage jealousy, struggles of friendship, shoplifting, among other things. It's hard to piece together a cohesive review for this novel, because there aren't any likable characters protrayed within its pages. It only becomes much more dark and depressing, as the story progresses yet there are bits and pieces of it, that definitely drew me in and held my attention. The circumstances, for one, and for another the overwhelming powerfully written suspsense and uncomfortable feelings that I was left with while reading.

I did find myself admiring the raw and gritty honesty and incredibly realistic approach that Ashworth tackled with such sensitive subject matters as a pedophile on the loose, death, depression, and the angst of teenage friendship that was riddled with secrets and lies. Cold Light is indescribably disturbing and full of haunting darkness, yet is wonderfully complex and compelling at the same time. It was hard to put it down, in fact, I found myself unable to as I was drawn in by the story and had to see it through to the end. It leaves that feeling of, "you think you know, but you don't really." It's errie, yet it hits the mark definitely head on. The relationship between the characters and the secrets and lies that bonded them together, was written wonderfully well.

Cold Light is definitely one of the most different reads that I've encounted in a long while and it has definitely left me not only confused, but continuously thinking about it. It's definitely gripping, powerfully emotional, and worth the read.




Jenn Ashworth’s first book, A Kind of Intimacy, won the U.K.’s Betty Trask Award. She lives in Preston, Lancashire, with her family and writes an award-winning blog at www.jennashworth.co.uk.

You can also follow Jenn on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. I regret that there aren't more YA psychological thrillers out there as it is a genre I desperately want to explore. BUT, fortunately, there are brave authors like Ashworth out there to give us what we need.
    Thank you for the lovely review.

  2. I loved this sentence: Cold Light is indescribably disturbing and full of haunting darkness, yet is wonderfully complex and compelling at the same time. I just love everything about that!

    Thanks for being on the tour!


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