It's September and we're back in business! Let's kick things off with a review of what I think is the BEST YA BOOK of 2017 so far- Glow by Megan E. Bryant. Can you guess that I gave it 5 stars? I've been dying to tell everyone about this book since I read the advanced copy in the Spring. It is finally being released this September. Eeks!
In the past, we learn the story of three sisters, Liza, Lydia, and Charlotte Grayson. Liza is able to get her younger sister Lydia a job as a watch dial painter at the factory where she works. The job entails tipping a paintbrush between your teeth to paint the delicate numbers on watch faces for soldiers off at war. The girls working at the factory use the glow-in-the-dark paint to paint on body jewelry, decorate their teeth, even paint their walls.
When Liza falls ill, Lydia begins to notice other girls at the factory with similar symptoms. Lydia tries to figure out what is going on, but as girls begin dying, it might be too late. Lydia does her best to stop their youngest sister from working at the factory, but every penny in needed by the family. The two stories converge at the end and several mysteries are wrapped up.
Holy Smokes! This book took my breath away. I had never learned about the Radium girls before (I received this ARC before the other Radium Girls book came out). I could not stop myself from turning page after page. I suspected what was happening, but the author does an amazing job of not tying up all the ends until the very end. The horror of the girls' bodies falling apart, of fake doctors telling the girls' they had syphilis, and of using radium as a medicine were chilling. I can not even begin to convey the emotions this author's work invokes.
The characters are strong and relatable. Lydia is easily recognizable as a loving sibling. She is strong, determined and courageous. The emotional roller coaster that her character brings to the reader is noteworthy. Julie, in present time, is a fun character who moves the story along with investigations and a side romance. Her drive to figure out the glow-in-the-dark paint gets her in trouble and at the end of the book I had to take deep breaths.
Plot is solid. The tension is high and never lets down. The interweaving of past and present is a puzzle of unsolved mysteries that the reader is dying to get to the bottom of. A true work of art. I give this book 5 stars! You will never forget what you read, especially since it is based on real life trials. The author gives more information at the end of the story that will leave you flabbergasted.