The Light in Everything
by Katya Balen
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 14 Apr 2022 | Archive Date 14 Apr 2022
Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ), Bloomsbury Children's Books
Tom is still quiet and timid, even though his dad has been in gone for nearly two years now.
Zofia is the opposite. Inside her there's a raging storm that makes her want to fight the whole world until she gets what she wants.
And what she wants is for scaredy-cat Tom to get out of her life. Tom hates loud, unpredictable Zofia just as much, but he's moving into Zofia's house. Because his mum and Zofia's dad are in love … and they're having a baby.
Tom and Zofia both wish the stupid baby had never happened. But then Tom's mum gets ill, and it begins to look horribly like their wish might come true …
A story of learning to trust, trying to let go and diving into the unknown with hope in your heart.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 23 members
This book in three words: intense, immersive, incredible.
Wow. Having just finished this book, I sit in stunned silence, pulled from one world into another. I feel as if I’ve been so immersed in the lives of Tom and Zofia that I barely recognise my own reality.
Written in the form of dual narrative, The Light in Everything exposes the lives and emotions of two vastly contrasting characters when their worlds collide. As a reader, it feels like stepping inside the brain of another. The book deals with some very tough issues, such as grief, domestic abuse and trauma in a sensitive and delicate way.
The Light in Everything is a deeply moving book and Katya Balen is a rare talent. Her writing is sublime: her descriptions evocative, her narrative utterly convincing and her ability to tap into the human psyche almost unrivalled.
Whilst I loved October, October, The Light in Everything has moved me profoundly. I feel raw and exposed with a deep emotional hangover upon finishing it. Not only would it be an incredible book to share with UKS2 pupils, Balen’s descriptions and language usage would be perfect to share with aspiring writers. I cannot wait to add this book to my classroom bookshelf. Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC.
I came across Katya Balen when I read October October this year and was simply captivated by her writing. This book was no different. Balen has a wonderful way with words that paints beautiful pictures and The Light in Everything was just a wonderful book. The way that Balen pulls you into the characters' worlds is just phenomenal and she really makes you *feel*. And boy did you feel in this book. This book deals with some traumatic issues and should come with content warnings, particularly if you are reading it to your class, but the writing is a masterclass in how to convey emotion and this should be read by as many people as possible.
A stunning book that put me in a book hangover and slump but I have no regrets at all. Thank you for the arc - I cannot wait to share it with my class when it is published.
The Light in Everything is immersive and truly captivating. Written from the dual points of view of Tom and Zofia, the two find their respective parents come together to form a blended family. The differing personalities are revealed through Katya Balen’s delicate writing, and we journey with them as their family navigates new situations. It was a privilege to receive an advanced reader copy of this beautiful writing and I in turn have no hesitation in recommending it to others to read and will be doing this in my school staffroom as soon as possible. It was a pleasure to read this book and I cannot wait to hear what friends, colleagues and students think of this remarkable book.
Thank you NetGalley for this ARC in exchange of an honest review.
I don't really know how Katya Balen does it but I find it incredible that you can read even just a few paragraphs of her writing and be sucked into a world so real that you forget everything around you.
I finished this book a short while ago so have just reread a few bits (if you've read the book, you'll know which bits I mean) and only realised I was holding my breath when I got to the end again.
Katya Balen writes characters and their various personalities so utterly convincingly that you know them. She just knows how children think and behave and feel. She can switch between them so well that you could almost believe they're written by different people.
If you like Stewart Foster's books, I would highly recommend reading Katya Balen's as I can't think of many adults who write children as well. The Space Between was my book of the year when I read it and this one is undoubtedly up there too.