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Reviewed by Jessica Barbosa for Readers' Favorite
Cracks Of Light by John Charles Reedburg centers around the life of a young boy named Demetrius. He lives with his mother in a cramped two-bedroom apartment on the third floor of the Park Arms Apartment. Their lives are anything but ordinary, Demetrius’ mother is bipolar. She raises her son with “Geppetto”, but “Geppetto” isn’t Demetrius’ father or her boyfriend. “Geppetto” is her bipolar disorder. Demetrius is wary of her manic moods and prefers to avoid the terrible pain his Momma’s “other half” often inflicts. However, things start to change when Demetrius forms a hidden friendship with a being called “The Light”. He hesitates to tell his mother about this strange happening and soon Demetrius is taken into a different realm called “The Other Side” and finds out some unexpected things.
Cracks of Light is unlike anything I have ever read before. The blend of unique fantasy and traumatic drama captured my interest from the very start. This book has taken me through an unexpected but riveting journey of the characters’ past, present, and future. Nine-year-old Demetrius is a wary, frightened boy, which isn’t surprising considering the trials he has been through in his short life. He is careful and walks on eggshells around his mother, who could be unpredictable and often violent. My heart broke as I read through the abuse Demetrius, Olivia, and Lydia went through. John Charles Reedburg is not afraid to show us the far-reaching consequences of psychological and physical trauma and that bravery has shaped this story into something distinctive and unforgettable.
Mystery is woven skillfully among the words and often I found hidden gems in the pages. An example is this excerpt from chapter 27: “Anytime she fought with Geppetto it was hard to tell who was wrong. I just thought that was how violence and chaos got along. Stillness was the escape I found inside myself.” I was often left speechless by how beautiful and heartrending this story is. The words are often melodic in expression in the heavier aspects of the book and just added to the overall magnetism and beauty of the story. The ending definitely left me curious for more! Overall, this was definitely an eye-opening, brilliant book. Great job!