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Author, documentary writer/producer, and jazz radio host, Deborah DeMoss Smith sets her first YA novel in northwest Louisiana during the steaming summer of 1963.
Growing up in that Deep South countryside, DeMoss Smith says the locale fits perfectly with the story of 14-year-old Aurora’s, the protagonist of Light Fixtures, fateful summer.
“Northwest Louisiana in the summer is hot and humid, and that weather is really a metaphor of how Aurora feels—on fire, euphoric, creative, manic. But she is unprepared when life flips to the down side. Yet with the help of two unconventional guides who understand the onset of her bipolar moods, she learns her light can shine again.”
Other works by DeMoss Smith include Reflections of the Heart, What Our Animal Companions Tell Us and award-winning documentaries, such as the Cable Ace (Emmy) winner A Different Kind of Mayor: Gussie McRobert. Light Fixtures is the first of a series of YA books defining Aurora’s journey.
on Nov. 03, 2011 :
I’m not completely sure how I feel about Light Fixtures. On one hand, I really enjoyed the main character, Aurora. To my surprise, the author was able to conquer the subject of her bipolar disorder in a fairly honest light, without crossing the YA yellow tape. That was the main reason I requested this book, actually; I wanted to know how this author would portray such a volatile disorder to young readers and not sugarcoat it. I guess this book was my answer. Smith created a wonderful character with Aurora and successfully captured the essence of a child suffering with undiagnosed bipolar disorder. I think most readers who have experienced the occasional mood swing will be able to relate to Aurora, even if it’s not to the same extent.
On the other hand…
I could not stand the stupid mystical creatures. I even channeled my 13-year-old self to help reevaluate this [really awkward] downfall, but my efforts were to no avail. I guess I’m just wholly incapable of appreciating little spirit friends (yeah, I just said “spirit friends”) named Mr. Dragonfly and Mr. Hematite. It’s a shame, really. I liked everything else about Light Fixtures, but please don’t give bugs and oxide minerals titles! However, if the cutesy names don’t annoy the living hell out of you, I would highly encourage picking up a copy. Smith obviously put a lot of effort into her research (or personal experience?) and it shows in her portrayal of bipolar disorder.
3/5 for making me feel so conflicted, though.
Reviewed by Brittany for Book Sake.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Sep. 22, 2011 :
Just finished reading Light Fixtures today. I haven't been able to put this book down since I started reading several weeks ago. The story is about a young girl growing up with bipolar disorder in the rural South. She meets a whole cast of interesting, mystical characters along the way. This is one eBook you wont regret purchasing!! Must read!
(reviewed the day of purchase)