light jar final

The Light Jar book review

July 31st 2018

A book review of Lisa Thompson's 'The Light Jar', written by Nicole for her blog

When I saw Lisa Thompson was bringing out a new book, I was so excited! I loved her debut novel; The Goldfish Boy.

Like the Goldfish boy, The light Jar is a middle-grade book. But please don’t let that put you off picking either one of Lisa’s books up. Both books cover very important themes that everyone of every and any age can relate to. Although they’re based on children and targeted at a young audience, they have meaning to everyone. The Goldfish Boy did a fantastic job of portraying obsessive-compulsive disorder, so my expectations were naturally high going into the light jar.

I always worry when reading the second book of an author whose first book went down a treat and was such a firm favourite of mine. I feel a mixture of emotions from excitement and anticipation. Will it live up to the Goldfish Boy? You will be glad to know, if you were a fan of The Goldfish Boy, you won’t be disappointed and if you are a new reader of Lisa’s books you are in for a real treat.

Here’s the synopsis of The Light Jar:

‘Nate and his mother are running away, hiding out in a tumbledown cottage in the middle of a forest. When mum heads off for provisions and then doesn’t return, Nate is left alone and afraid, with the dark closing in all around him. But comfort can come from the most unexpected of places- a mysterious girl trying to solve and clues of a treasure hunt and the reappearance of an old friend from his past. Will Nate find the bravery needed to face the troubles of his present and ultimately illuminate the future.’

Like, The Goldfish Boy, the characters you follow are incredibly lovable and very well described. Nate, the main character, an 11-year-old boy is such a brave, young boy who lives and fends for himself when his mum doesn’t come back. I felt very connected to Nate as the story went on and I found myself really caring about Nate and hoping things worked out well for him in the end. Other characters in the book include Sam and Kitty, although because this is a spoiler free review, I won’t go into describing them. What I can say though is that they are part of a concept which I have never read in any book before and that isn’t a bad thing.

The light jar is a mystery novel which is genuinely gripping. Although it is for children, I found it plot line incredibly exciting and struggled to put the book down. The plotline is straightforward; Nate goes on a treasure hunt with mystery girl Kitty to find some forgotten treasure. Some of the clues actually had me confused at some points. Internally I found myself, cheering Kitty and Nate on to find that very special treasure.
The book includes some critical themes. One of which is loneliness. The way in which Lisa deals with the theme is beautiful and something which really touched my heart. Even as a 19-year old I can remember what it was like to have imaginary friends as a child and how they meant so much to me at the time. The descriptions of how loneliness can affect everyone and anyone were so heart-warming.

Another, very important theme which is lightly touched on is domestic violence. I’m very glad that Lisa covered this in the story. Especially as it is targeted at children, it could be very easy to skim over the important but sensitive topic. I’m all for children being aware of these issues in society and being the talented author Lisa is, she managed to cover the topic in a delicate way suitable for a younger audience.

The Light Jar is a one of a kind, a story which covers delicate and sensitive themes in a way that is appealing to children amongst a genuinely clever mystery plot line which will have you gripped to the very end. I finished this story within a couple of days as I was so engrossed in the story.

I would recommend The Light Jar to anyone of any age. I think everyone can relate to some of the themes in this story. It really is a poignant tale that will stick with you. If you are looking for a relatively quick read with deep meaning, then I couldn’t recommend The Light Jar to you enough.

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