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A Trick of the Light

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  1,169 ratings  ·  250 reviews
Telling a story of a rarely recognized segment of eating disorder sufferers—young men—A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger is a book for fans of the complex characters and emotional truths in Laurie Halse Anderson's Wintergirls and Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why.

Mike Welles had everything under control. But that was before. Now things are rough at home, and they're getti
Hardcover, 189 pages
Published June 18th 2013 by Balzer & Bray
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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,169 ratings  ·  250 reviews

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Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
A Trick of the Light is a short and terrifying read. Very few things are more dangerous than lack of self-confidence, more frightening than a distorted self-image. In truth, if I were to make a list of the oddest books I’ve read in my life, this one would be at the very top. It is such a strange little book that will probably have a niche audience, but easily found myself among its fans.

It’s not the plot or the characters that will make or break this book for most readers, it’s the choice of a
Nov 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Of late, I have been blown away by the quality literature written and marketed for young adults. Some of the characteristics of "quality" for me in relation to this genre are:
- the reader walks away from the book with a lot to think about.
- the characters are memorable and the dialogue authentic.
- there is an effective, clear writing style.
- meticulous research goes in to fact and detail.
- ideas are original and realistic, not tedious and predictable.
A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger ticks al
Jun 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, own
What a strange little book this was. Narrated by anorexia, A Trick of the Light is a lightning fast story about a boy who's has a run-in with this illness. I felt it was a little like an afternoon special on fast forward, but I did enjoy the book nonetheless. It touches on a topic that is so often misunderstood, told in the unique voice of the illness itself. Because for someone with anorexia, it becomes exactly that: an entity that takes over your thoughts, your life.

This choice of narrator is
Nov 12, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
NOT for Girls Only

A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger is about the fifteen year old Mike who's suffering from Anorexia.
When his parents' relationship is falling apart and things are getting confusing in school, Mike is starting to listen to the voice in his head encouraging him "to get faster, stronger, thinner and rid of everyone holding him back".

The voice in his head, his Eating Disorder, is also the narrative voice of the story; and if telling a story about illness by illness itself is not
Daniella (Reading With Daniella)
Click here to see this review and others on my blog Reading With Daniella

A Trick of the Light is a book that I’ve been wanting to read for years, and I’m so glad that I finally picked it up. It was a very well-written, unique, and thought-provoking story. It was down-right terrifying at times, as well as quite eye-opening.

The idea to write this book from the perspective of anorexia was so brilliant and unique. I can’t think of any other books I’ve read that are narrated by something other than
Grace Galinski
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This book has honestly left me speechless. It tells an amazing story about something you wouldn't expect. It has some pretty heavy content, but the story is unbelievable. And yet it's completely believable. Because you know these things happen. They're just not as widely heard of. You know, it took me until around the last 40-50 pages to figure out who/what was telling the story. But once I figured it out, the story felt extremely real. This book is truly touching and is a story I wish that ...more
Review first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7

I received a copy from FSB Associates in exchange for an honest review

A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger is a very powerful and honest novel that explores the dark world of eating disorders and how young males can be just as affected as young females. Whereas I've read novels with teenage girls losing themselves piece by piece to the addicting and disastrous nature of wanting to be "thin,", none were as disturbing and honest as this one.

Told i

Mike Welles is a responsible teen, he plays baseball, has good friends and makes decent grades. Then, the unthinkable happens, his parents marriage starts falling apart and with it, his world. One by one, he pushes his friends away and withdraws. Mike starts stress eating and packs on a few pounds. Amber, a girl he has known since kindergarten, reaches out to him, telling him slyly about how she handles her home issues by controlling what she can: her appetite. Thr
Elle (ellexamines)
3.5 stars. This book had a unique take on anorexia– not only because it focuses on a major boy character, but also because of the unique style. Here, anorexia is a character narrating the story.

It's a wonderfully creative idea, but does it work? Yes and no. Aside from the lovely writing and the important subject matter, there's not much that sets this apart from any other YA contemporary. A solid YA contemporary, but not much more.

While the main characters are realistic, they're not fully deve
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up and within five pages I had forgotten where I was. The premise is intriguing and built into the writing style itself. First person present-tense narrative, from a voice inside the protagonist's mind. Who does this voice belong to? I had no clue what was happening to Mike until it became obvious to the people around him, and in that way I was taken along for the ride at exactly the right pace. Written expertly, with just the right amount of information given. I would recomme ...more
This book is different from anything I read. The writing is different from the point of view of anorexia. The main character is a male dealing with anorexia. Which is different. Interesting and fast read but felt like I couldn’t connect with any of the characters and was hard to put myself in their shoes. 3.5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Levi van Zyl
May 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
Before I start this review, I want to say that I struggled with anorexia for nearly five years of my life, and its trauma is still something I deal with on a day-to-day basis.

I picked up this book purely because it's about a boy with an eating disorder. That topic is underwritten and often overlooked, even though it's estimated that around 10% of people with eating disorders are men. And as of right now, anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.

When I picked this bo
Jennifer Lavoie
This book was one of the hardest books I've read in a long time, and I'm not talking about the vocabulary, length, or anything like that. The book doesn't even hit 200 pages, and yet it was a grueling read that I had to put down a lot; not because I wanted to, but because I had to look away. Of course eating disorders is not something that one can just look away from, but as a person who had a period in her life where she struggled with food, this book brought too many painful memories from my p ...more
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is one of my favorite books.This book holds so many emotions and you can feel the rawness of the writer Lois Metzger.I can really connect with this book and i can actually feel the emotions of the story coming out. I would recommend everyone to give this book a try you wont regret it.
Nic Villemaire
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
A Trick of the Light was definitely an interesting read. It is about a fifteen year old with confidence issues, with two twists; it is about a boy and it is narrated by his eating disorder.

The fact that the main character, Mike, was a boy was sort of groundbreaking in my opinion. There is a statistic in the book that says ten percent of people suffering from an eating disorder in America is male. That isn't a very large percent in comparison to females. That said, of course males have eating di
Jun 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Mike is a star baseball player at his high school. He has a best friend and he is a good student. However the one thing he lacks a little is in the looks department. Not to say that Mike is fat but he is a little overweight. Things go downhill for Mike when his dad leaves for another woman and his mom closes herself off from Mike.

Mike has a voice inside his head screaming at him to be heard. Mike ignores the voice until he can no longer avoid it. This is when things go downhill quickly for Mike
Jul 03, 2013 rated it really liked it

I thought A Trick of the Light was brilliant... after I figured out what was going on. In the beginning, the narrator is weird, and kind of creepy because you don't know who it is, whether it's a real person or not. After the first few chapters (and help from the back of the book) I realized that it was a voice in his head, but when I realized that the voice in his head was basically anorexia, I flipped out. I've seen anorexia portrayed many different ways through wri
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
At first, I fell in love with the cover. then I went to the biggest bookstore in my country and asked about it, ended up being given a shelf number rushed to it, bought the book, and went back home... it's then that I realized that I got the wrong book and it wasn't by Lois Metzger.
So I ended up going to the nearest bookstore, ordered it and waited for 1-2 weeks or so for the book to arrive. And the moment it did, I immediately opened it and read it.

Lu F Smith
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all teenagers, eating disorder
Read an advance copy. Best YA book of the year. Gripping from the first page to the last. Funny and sad, sad and funny. I loved the way the narrator was also a trick of the light. Have already read it twice. A great group of characters. Has the kind of voice that stays in your head for days. This one deserves every award. Reminds me of OKAY FOR NOW and SPEAK.
Neal Worthing
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I got an advance reading copy of this book. Tremendous story, great characters. This is a very serious subject but it is told with grace and humor. Highly recommend. My son liked it too.
May 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
A Trick of the Light is a novel by Lois Metzger.

This is one of the most intriguing, most original, and most insightful book I have read.

I had no idea that boys can get eating disorders.

May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kristen Fort
May 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Some of this short novel reads like an episode of Intervention. I don't remember Wintergirls being that disturbing, but I guess I'm due for a reread of that novel. It's important to realize that eating disorders affect both men and women, boys and girls.
Apr 19, 2015 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Miriam Downey
Jul 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Read my full review here: http://mimi-cyberlibrarian.blogspot.c...
A Trick of the Light is a disturbing, but ultimately redemptive, look at the debilitating condition of anorexia. Not through the eyes at a teenage girl but through the eyes of a teenage boy. The author, Lois Metzger, says that 10 percent of the cases of anorexia are boys, although it is usually girls that are portrayed in fiction.

Mike is a seemingly typical teenage boy, good at school and good at baseball, with one really good f
Traci Smith
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Clever and engaging! Highly recommend for those who work in mental health as it gives an interesting perspective on eating disorders.
Jenni Arndt
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gifted
What a strange little book this was. I had known going into it that the novel is written from the perspective of anorexia and I wasn’t sure at all about how that would play out. It came out to be an unflinching, gritty look at the psyche of someone battling an eating disorder. It was intense and eye opening, but the perspective left me feeling detached and not as invested in the story as I would have liked to be.

Mike is dealing with his parents going through a divorce, he’s watching his mother h
Jan 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
the most interesting thing about this book was something that i immediately noticed: the point of view it's told from. sometimes i want to read a book about a boy without having to read the book from the boy's perspective. i want to see their world from the outside it, not always the inside out. this book delivered that to me flawlessly. our main character, mike, is a fairly normal, albeit generic boy, who starts out hearing a voice inside of his head every now and again, something that tells hi ...more
Viviane Crystal
Jun 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Mike Welles seemed like a pretty together teen. He had good grades, was a good baseball outfielder, had a good friend in Tamio Weissberg, and had an okay home life that now seemed to be slowly unraveling. Tamio and Mike spent hours seeing what is known as stop- motion animation films and then discussing the techniques involved in making them. This involved making a small figure, like the well-known and well-loved figure King Kong, and then creating the illusion of movement by moving the figure m ...more
Pretty in Fiction
Jun 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews-by-jesse
A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger tells the story of fifteen year old Mike Welles and how he develops, hides, and finally receives help for anorexia.

Before reading this book I knew that boys could have anorexia. I knew it was possible, but I'd never heard of an actual case before. I'd never really thought about what it might be like for a boy. You hear the stories of girls with eating disorders all the time. Models, actresses, girls you went to school with. Everyone's heard about a girl with
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What's the Name o...: YA book about boy with eating disorder [s] 4 42 Jul 05, 2014 09:22PM  

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Lois Metzger was born in Queens, New York City. Three of her five young-adult novels take place in Belle Heights, an invented Queens neighborhood that is boring on purpose to stand in stark contrast to the dramatic life of her characters. She has also written two nonfiction books about the Holocaust, and has edited five anthologies of original short stories. She lives near Washington Square Park i ...more

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