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3.26  ·  Rating Details ·  842 Ratings  ·  121 Reviews
As reality slips and time stands still, Consuela finds herself thrust into the world of the Flow. Removed from all she loves into this shifting world overlapping our own, Consuela quickly discovers she has the power to step out of her earthly skin and cloak herself in new ones—skins made from the world around her, crafted from water, fire, air. She is joined by other teens ...more
Hardcover, 371 pages
Published June 30th 2011 by Dutton Juvenile (first published June 1st 2011)
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Beautiful Book Covers of 2011
44th out of 721 books — 4,411 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jun 21, 2011 Ari rated it liked it
I thought there was an over saturation of similes in the writing. I had mixed feelings about the writing, at times I was in awe of the elegant prose and other times I almost rolled my eyes because it seemed like a stretch. Lines such as "the three-way mirror in the corner bent out of shape like clocks in a Dali print" (pg. 4, perhaps that line wouldn't have bothered me if I knew what a Dali print was?) and "He had black hair and olive skin like an Italian oil painting" (pg. 53) were peppered thr ...more
Aug 05, 2011 Kristi rated it it was ok
Luminous is unlike any other book I've read.

This is a hard review for me to write, there are things about this story that I was enamored with but at the same time there were other aspects of the story that just fell flat for me.

The creativity of the story was amazing... the concept of the Flow, it's inhabitants, those aspects of the story where intriguing. Metcalf had a very distinguished writing style, one that I haven't encountered in any previous young adult novels, it was as creative as the
Alex Bennett
I was super excited to read Luminous. Everything about it seemed beautiful to me: the concept, the characters, the cover. And I really wanted to love it, seeing how excited I was about it. But, unfortunately, I just don’t think this book was for me.

Luminous started off pretty well, I wasn’t necessarily hooked, but intrigued enough to keep reading. But after a little while, I was just lost. Not that the book is ever overly confusing, but it just seemed random to me. I think the plot was kind of a
Sep 24, 2011 Nafiza rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
Have you ever come across a book that you simply didn't know how to sum up in a sentence? At least in terms of the feelings it evoked in you? Because that is what Luminous is to me.

It is very original. At least the premise and the mythos of the book - it is beyond bizarre but at the same time, I am not really sure whether the execution of such a novel idea was as it should have been. I feel as though this could easily have been high literature. There would have been more room for gradual develo
Dec 16, 2011 Rochelle rated it really liked it
Luminous gets most of its praise from me because of its originality, the beautiful descriptions and imagery when Consuela is in and out of the Flow and the diversity that the author plays within her characters.

After a heavy case of vertigo inside a clothing store dressing room, Consuela goes home and realizes a lump at the back of her head. As she presses down on this lump, her fingers slip through and she's able to break through her skin and peel it off (all of it) leaving her only dressed in h
Aug 31, 2011 Brittany rated it it was ok
"Know Thyself" Consuela hears these words whispered out to her from a changing room mirror. This is when her life starts to change. She goes home to take a bath and when she wakes up everything it different. She finds herself in a place called the Flow. Here are people that are somewhere between life and death and are called upon to save others from death. Consuela finds that to help with her saving people, she can remove her own skin and make a new one out of practically anything; fire, feather ...more
Steph Su
Jun 02, 2011 Steph Su rated it liked it
Shelves: cover-lust, debs11, poc
LUMINOUS was…interesting. Okay, “interesting” might be a tad generous. LUMINOUS is ambitious, and beautifully written, but at times it was a confusing and emotionally distant read for me.

Dawn Metcalf’s writing is astounding, an awe-inspiring combination between the rhythmic hypnotism of freestyle poetry and deliciousness of rich and unusual prose. This is something I feel like I don’t see much of in current YA, that I wouldn’t mind seeing more of, these creative risks with writing style.
The conc
Jun 11, 2011 Kat rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, fantasy-general
I really loved how this book breaks the mold. Everything, from the beautiful complexity and sheer wonderful impossibility of the story world, to the characters and even the way everything unfolds is such a refreshing deviance from the "YA paranormal formula" which so many books follow these days (there isn't a love triangle...gasp!). Dawn Metcalf's writing is as beautiful as that eye-catching cover-- so flowing and just descriptive enough to leave the best parts, both pretty and ugly, to our ima ...more
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
With it's unique world, interesting mythology, lore and a cast full of diverse characters who have a wide variety of paranormal abilities, Luminous is unlike any YA book I've read. I liked that Dawn doesn't hold back on her diversity in Luminous from race, to ethnicity, religion, gender, social class, and so on. One of the things I found to be unique with Luminous is the story's theme of perception and I liked how Dawn tied that into the story's rich diversity. I found this theme to be both fasc ...more
Inspired Kathy
Jul 26, 2011 Inspired Kathy rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
I had a hard time getting into this one. Luminous was very unique and different which is a plus in a world of young adult books where all too often it is the same story told over and over again. I had no clue where this story was going which is also a plus since so many books are so predictable.

Unfortunately I never really connected with any of the characters and at times was confused with how things worked in this strange world of the Flow. Reviews seem to be split on this one and I understand
Feb 24, 2011 Erin rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011, ya
Just not good enough. Weird and compelling, fast moving, but not that good.
Apr 11, 2011 Claire rated it liked it
Shelves: rev, ya, speculative
Stunning prose, strong characters, confusing plot.
Jun 17, 2011 Stacy added it
Shelves: librarything
Reviewed by http://urbanfantasyinvestigations.blo...

LUMINOUS is yet another book I just could not get into and could not finish. I'm sad to say that it lost me just a few chapters in. It was extremely strange and it first lost me when Consuela found out she could take off her skin, Yes you heard me right she took off her skin so she was nothing but bones and she thought it was fantastic. Yeah I just could not get into the world that Dawn was writing about. The story what I read of it was fast pa
Apr 25, 2011 Karissa rated it really liked it
I was drawn to this book by the beautiful cover and then read the synopsis and found it intriguing. I actually received an Advanced Reading Copy of it through Librarything's Early Reviewer Program. It was a very creative book and has some intriguing ideas in it; although at points the writing is a bit hard to follow.

Consuela finds a lump at the back of her neck and is worried about it. Her mother agrees that Consuela will go to the doctor if it is worse in the morning. Then Consuela finds that s
Aurora Celeste
Nov 01, 2011 Aurora Celeste rated it liked it
Shelves: own, read-in-2011
Although this book turned out good it got off to a rocky start. The author rather dumps you from the "real" world into the Flow, and I felt very disjointed and confused over what was happening and where we were. I think it was done to emphasize the disorientation and confusion of Consuela, but it isn't done in a way that made me identify with the character. Instead I wanted to put the book down. It was just too fast, plopping us into the fantasy world without explanation or reason, and the contr ...more
Nov 14, 2011 Lea rated it really liked it
I like to think of Luminous as a very unique piece of modern art-- you're either going to love it or hate it, and everyone is going to interpret it differently. Now, I actually fall on the side of people who loved this book-- I thought it was creative, different, kind of bizarre, and always surprising!

Consuela Chavez is just your typical teenager-- until one night while she's in the tub, she finds out that she has the ability to step out of her own skin-- quite literally, she can pull it off lik
Kendare Blake
Aug 24, 2011 Kendare Blake rated it it was amazing
The imagery in LUMINOUS is insane. The strange beauty and wonder of the's a new high point in creativity. For the first third of the book I was completely lost in the visuals. I'd love to see some visionary put this to screen. So much that is gorgeous and terrible.

But don't get completely lost in the Flow. The murder plot snuck up on me in the middle, and by the last quarter of the book, I was burning through pages.

Definitely an original experience, with characters not soon forgotten.
Jun 16, 2011 Natalie rated it it was ok
In a Sentence: Though Luminous can seem confusing and distant at times, it is an excellent example of Dawn Metcalf's natural flair for creativity and originality.

My Thoughts

Luminous is one of those books that I have a lot of mixed feelings about. On one hand, there were parts of the book that I absolutely loved. On the other hand, there were several elements that I found to be problematic. I think that Steph Su from Steph Su Reads, another blog on the Luminous blog tour, says it best in her re

Luminous was definitely a... different read. There were a few things that I found were well done with the novel... however, there were also many things that made this novel just okay.

Dawn Metcalf has beautiful writing. It is very rhythmic and poetic like. It reminded me of poetry, just in prose form. It really was one of a kind, and I did enjoy that part of the novel.

On the other hand, I found many of the characters to be distant. I couldn't really connect with them. While Metcalf's writ
Jun 27, 2011 Melissa rated it it was amazing
First can I say I'm in total love with this cover? I just adore it. I also have to say that I enjoyed the first part of this book. We find Consuela in a dressing room trying on jeans not made for her body. Anyone with a booty (which is now in fashion thanks to J Lo and Beyonce) can sympathize with this scene. However, this scene is important although we don't know it until much later. For Consuela, it is about self-acceptance.

The flow is a place where most of this book resides. There is a Watche
Jen Bigheart (I Read Banned Books)
3.5 Stars

This book was all over the place for me. I was confused, interested, intrigued, captivated, and hopeful for Consuela - Bones - and the others in the Flow. I felt like I was riding a roller coaster while reading. I love the premise and think it is absolutely original, but at the very beginning of Luminous, I was confused. I wasn't really sure what was happening to Consuela and how she was able to make a skin out of water. Was this real? Was this her perception? Did she really go down the
Taylor Harrison
Jun 30, 2011 Taylor Harrison rated it did not like it
Initially I was attracted to this book because the cover was gorgeous. But as they say, you should never judge a book by its cover, and this book is no exception. Needless to say, I wasn't impressed. The idea, though strange at first, would have grown on me had it not been for the characters, the plot, and pretty much the entire story. The characters had no believability. The author created no sympathy for them, so when they began to get killed off, I really couldn't find it in myself to care. T ...more
Kagama-the Literaturevixen
Sep 07, 2012 Kagama-the Literaturevixen rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: fans of body horror
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 17, 2011 Maggie rated it did not like it
I've never outright hated a book, since I usually end up not reading it in the first place. This book, while I didn't hate it, did have some disturbing elements that I would rather not have to deal with ever again.

Consuela, the main character, has a disturbing power that creeped me out for the first forty pages. Shedding her "human" skin and becoming just her bones? Okay, even if you were okay with that, you've still got to admit that it's creepy. It's like, Halloween creepy.

I thought everythin
Feb 13, 2012 Tia rated it liked it
Imagine a world where certain "special" people can leave their bodies. Imagine removing your soul and moving through space and time to a place called "the flow." That's what Consuela aka Bones can do, as well as a few other people.

Bones is kind of like an angel, she can slip out of her skin, her body going into a self induced coma and she can change her soul into ANYTHING! She can become air, water, fire, animals and even more. The possibilities are endless for Bones.

When Bones feels a pull, sh
Nicole (Reading Books With Coffee)
This is such a strange book, and I get why reviews seem to be so divided.

There is something very lyrical and beautiful about Metcalf's writing. And I can honestly say that I haven't seen anything like this novel before. I finished it a few days ago, and I can't get it out of my head. It makes you think about your place in the world, and the consequences that our actions have.

But the Flow and the people who live there seemed very distant. I felt like they were just there, and the Flow seemed li
Alex Earvin
Jul 14, 2012 Alex Earvin rated it it was amazing

Now if you insist on reading ahead:

Luminous is the most original book that I have read in years. This is the only book on my book shelf (so far) that might rival the originality and creativity of the Wraeththu series by Storm Constantine. This is saying a
Aug 26, 2015 Renae rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Rachelle DeMunck
This is probably one of the most singularly unique storylines I've encountered in a long time. That being said, be warned: Do not read yourself to sleep with this book, even if it's just a catnap: YOU WILL HAVE BIZARRE DREAMS AFTERWARDS.

Metcalf's skill at worldcrafting is delicious, dark, and surreal.

Seriously. Read this book.
Mar 08, 2016 Trisha rated it it was ok
I had had such high hopes for this one. The cover is so pretty, I thought I would find a story I loved inside.

instead, I found an odd, disjointed story that just never caught my attention.
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V??? *SPOILERS* 4 9 Aug 27, 2012 03:59PM  
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The role of Dawn Metcalf will be played by the tall brunette in the off-the-shoulder, floor-length leather straitjacket. Makeup by Clinique, buckles by Jada Pinkett-Smith, hair by Jim Henson's Creature Shop.

I have no good excuse for the way I write. I lived in a normal, loving, suburban home, studied hard, went to college, went to graduate school, got married, had babies, and settled down in north
More about Dawn Metcalf...

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“You never know how long you have-there might not BE a later-so don't let things go unsaid or unforgiven.” 21 likes
“The world snapped open.
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