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This brilliant new novel is an urgent bulletin from an all too believable near future in which the religious right has come out on top And where a smart young girl who uestions the new order is suddenly a terrorist By the bestselling author of The Girls and The Mountain Story Taking place over 48 hours in the year 2023 this is the story of Rory Ann Miller on the run with her best friend because they are accused of bombing their posh Californian high school during an American Virtue Ball There's a bounty on their heads and a social media storm of trolls flying around them not to mention a posse of law enforcement attack helicopters and drones trying to track them down Rory's mom a social activist and lawyer has been arrested and implicated in her daughter's crimes whereas her dad who betrayed his wife and daughter in a nasty divorce is cooperating with the authorities The story exists in a universe of gated communities born again Christians Probationary Citizens once known as Dreamers re criminalized abortion and birth control teenage virginity oaths and something called the Red Market which is either a Conservative bogey man created to further polarize the base or a criminal network making money from selling unwanted babies to whomever wants them and fetal tissue to cosmetics and drug companies Rory is cynical and scared furious and scathing betrayed and looking for something or someone to trust What she has to say about the dads and bosses and politicians lining up to keep women in their place and about the ways women collaborate in their own undermining is fierce and funny and sad and true


10 thoughts on “This Little Light

  1. says:

    This Little Light is short but intense in a good way The story is set in the near future in a dystopian southern California The narrator is 16 year old Rorie who in real time recounts the events that led her and her friend Fee to become hunted fugitives Rorie is a smart independent thinking and mouthy 16 year old living in a privileged gated world where abortion is illegal and girls are pressured into making a pledge to their fathers that they will not have sex before marriage Meanwhile outside the gated community the world is populated by homeless people desperately seeking food and safe drinking water; they are largely made up of illegal immigrants It's not hard to see where the idea for the novel comes from What really carried it for me was Rorie's voice At times she is a petulant 16 year old and at other times she seems to be the only sane person in her crazy world Lansens's prose really flows smoothly adding to the intensity and immediacy of the story And the end well the end is uite something but I can't say without spilling the beans This isn't my usual type of book but it was well worth it Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy


  2. says:

    I could not put this book down because it was so good I never knew what would happen next Two teenage girls Rory and Fee are hiding after a bomb explodes Rory is blogging what is happening and what led them to this point It keeps going back between the past in the blog and the present in a way that keeps you at the edge of your seat This book was intense and brought up important issues from the eyes of a teenage girl Some of my favorite parts include Rory discovering Fee's secrets in the present day while blogging in a shed I enjoyed the interactions with Paula a 10 year old girl that ends up hiding with them Fee is very closed off from her best friend Rory but she bonded with Paula and was able to focus on something other than what she was dealing with personallyThank you Booktrib NetGalley and ABRAMS for this book in exchange for an honest reviewRelease Date August 11Now available


  3. says:

    Kudos to Ms Lansens for writing a different genre but her contemporary fiction The Girls and her historical fiction Rush Home Road are two of my all time favourite reads This Little Light takes place over 48 hours in the year 2023 They live in an exclusive gated area where abortion is illegal and girls must pledge to their fathers that they will not have sex before marriageThis is the story of 16 yr old Rory on the run with her best friend because they are accused of bombing their upper class Californian high school during an American Virtue Ball There is a bounty on their heads and they hide as law enforcement helicopters and drones try to track them down Told through Rory's blog writings of the events that occurred it is also about women's rights abortion immigration religion and friendship Thank you to NetGalley and PenguinRandom House Canada for a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review


  4. says:

    This was a rough read for me I definitely ended up skimming the memories and just read the parts that were happening now so that I could just get through itThere was a good story in there but the author's attempt to talk like a 16 year old was grating and pretty awful If Anne Frank were alive she'd totally be an influencer UghThe ending was good but not enough to raise my 2 star rating


  5. says:

    Me looking at this coverMa'am I think you should probably have that thing on your back looked at


  6. says:

    I know I can be too much with all my opinions and my cursing and I'm aware that my friends aren't always ready for or interested in my tirades about women's rights especially abortion and black lives and immigrant issues or whatever In seventh grade Delaney who's the most tranue of us all because she takes twenty milligrams of her antidepressant every morning called me relentless The word had been on our vocab test Relentless Too true I never shut up I never give up I ask too many uestions I'm a contrarian So I started my blog This Little LightIn the near future of 2023 there has been a further political entrenchment of America's alt right and in the wake of the recriminilisation of abortion and the restriction of access to birth control nation wide rumours abound about the shadowy Pink Market – that works underground to connect women to safe abortion providers – and the even nebulous Red Market – that has allegedly found ways to monetise this illegally sourced fetal tissue Growing up in this environment is Rory Ann Miller A now sixteen year old Malibu gated community rich kid who had been in middle school and “just starting to see the world through her gender and to uestion her default Christianity” when abortion was officially outlawed and when a super devout Christian “Crusader” moves onto her street Rory finds all of her friends gravitating to this beautiful young woman and the fundamentalist brand of Christianity that she promotes When the Crusaders stage an American Virtue Ball in which daughters pledge chastity until marriage to their fathers in an official ceremony at their private Christian high school something happens in the hours just before the narrative of This Little Light begins and Rory and her bestest best friend Fee are sent fleeing into the Malibu hills chased by drones personal 'copters the police Crusaders and bounty hunters seeking the million dollar price on the girls' heads Safe for now in a friend of a friend's shed Rory has access to a laptop and determines to write a long blog post about everything that happened to bring her to this point and as a format it works really well While I don't know if I loved the intermittent “Oh my God you guys I think I hear something in the woods” and then after a paragraph break “Okay it was just ” overall I liked the urgency of Rory writing the narrative as it happens and the mysteries that are hinted at early but aren't revealed until she gets to those points in her backstory Note I read an ARC and passages uoted may not be in their final forms In order to remain calm ish I'm going to write our side of the story I'm afraid we'll be tracked to the shed if I post entries in real time so I won't submit until I know we're safe This old lap top has had a long life battery upgrade thank God I could write all night Maybe I will Wouldn't be the first time Won't be the last Writing? It's the only way I've ever been able to make sense of my life So obviously there is a lot of tension in this plot – waiting to learn what is going to happen to the girls in the present and just what the something was that happened at the ball – and as Rory is a slight outsider in her group of friends her parents are non practising Canadian Jews partners in a do gooder law firm until Rory's dad left for another woman who sent Rory to a Christian Academy because it was the best local school she is able to nearly objectively comment on their shared lavish lifestyle and record how horrified she was to watch this formerly Christian by culture group of girls morph into fundamentalists who would be willing to restrict their own freedoms if an influential beauty ueen and a rock star Reverend told them it was God's will This all gives the author Lori Lansens plenty of space to comment on everything from megachurches to #MeToo – and especially because Rory is writing in the blog format and trying to record conversations and her own opinions about everything – and This Little Light as a result feels completely of our momentBecause Rory is sixteen Lansens writes in her young voice saying things like “We live in Calabass California which is famous because Kardashians” This “ x because y” is used a lot and I understand it's authentic to the informal writing of people younger than me but it's still annoyingbut still admittedly authentic Rory writes things like “My menstrual cramps are gnarl” and “My mom would be totally cope” and between the vibe of the vocabulary and the level of debate teenaged girls can believably sit around and try to develop their opinions on abortion access and discuss just what kind of message those booty shorts are trying to send while grown women have opinions based on experience that goes beyond what is touched on here This Little Light has a real YA feel to it which is not a complaint just an observation If I did have a complaint there is only one male character in this book who isn't a usercontrollerwomanisermoral hypocrite and in the end he's too good to be true and to be fair on the flipside while the fundamentalist Christians are all pretty evil – hoping to gun down a couple of teenaged girls for a bounty in a trumped up Holy War – there are some characters of faith who do the right thing because it is the right thing – and because they haven't been corrupted by organised religion But ultimately I did enjoy the writing It was only hours ago and with everything that happened afterward it should feel like a blur but I remember every detail from the second we walked into the ballroom – the twinkling fairy lights strangling the pillars near the stage the flames from hundreds of candles dancing on either side of the long aisle where we'd stand to take our vows the bleached tablecloths and gleaming dinner plates snowy roses in porcelain vases and clouds of pale gardenias on pedestals around the dance floor Girls in gowns Celestial But even before anything went wrong I could sense a vein of malice slicing through the whiteness of it all hiding like a razor blade in snow So overall I liked the sentence by sentence writing and the plot tension that the format allowed for and I thought that Rory was a strongly written character with an authentic teenaged voice The publisher's blurb calls This Little Light “an urgent bulletin from an all too believable near future” so a reader's enjoyment might be tied to just how believable and horrifying this particular future seems As for me I couldn't uite buy into many of the the details of the plot nothing that Rory and her friends discussed pointed to something I hadn't considered before and I had a believability problem with most of the secondary characters Not really for me


  7. says:

    Thank you The Overlook Press for a complimentary copy I voluntarily reviewed this book All opinions expressed are my own This Little Light By Lori Lansens REVIEW ☆☆☆☆☆Let's set the stage for Lori Lansens' This Little Light It is 951 pm on 11272024 In this not so distant future things have changed yet things haven't changed at all Religion and politics don't mix immigration has not been reformed and the gap between the haves and have nots is vast and continues to widen Abortion is again illegal and women's rights are shrinking Religious groups are very vocal and sometimes violent in their beliefs Our lead characters Rory Miller16 and Feliza Lopez16 are caught in a volatile situation We're trendingThose picsin your feed and on TV over the past few hours? Two fresh faced teens in bridal couture on the arms of their daddies at tonight's American Virtue Ball? That's me and Fee my best friendThey're calling us the Villians in VersaceThe truth is that Fee and I did not try to blow up the chastity ball at Sacred Heart High tonightWe're being flayed in the media Convicted by social And now we're freaking fugitives hiding outin the mountains overlooking MalibuWe've been accused of being runners doing dastardly deeds for the Red MarketEveryone knows there's a Pink Market out there helping minors access birth control and morning after pills and getting them to underground clinics and all But the Red Market? Supposedly it's a baby stealing mafia that supplies product to illegal stem cell research labsHow uickly social media will crucify anyone about anything is astonishing Truth is irrelevant compared to likes and follows especially in the bubble where the girls live Rory Feliza and their friends The Hive live in Calabasas California which is famous because Kardashians It's a life of luxury and privilege for these girlsMy friends and I lead such confusing lives We write essays about Jesus's love for the poor and disenfranchised then go shop Louis and Prada We laze around our pools snarking on those who have not idolizing those who have a shit tonmy town isn't a town the way people think of townsThere's no smoking in Calabasas No styrofoam No plastic bags No straws No fast food No trash on the streets No homeless No ugly basicallya stunning backdrop for the photos we post We post a lot From the outside we must look like assholes Maybe from the inside too We have too much We are too muchToo much is an understatement better excessive bordering on disgusting How then did two teenage girls in this insulated environment end up on the run? Together the girls attend Sacred Heart High a private Christian but progressive school Rory describes herself as the atheist blogger with opinions She started to see the world through gender and to uestiondefault Christianity Her friends accept her without issue until a new girl moves into the neighborhood and cunningly places doubt and dissension in The Hive Jinny Hutsall? This wholenightmare started when she blew into Oakwood Circlethe second Sunday in SeptemberJinny tells them she is a Crusader a zealot about anti abortion At the Crusaders forefront is Reverend Jagger Jonze and his American Virtue Ball which coincidentally Jinny is a huge proponent of Within no time The Hive are in Jinny's house drinking fresh lemonade and eating cookieswatching an AVB video and hanging out with her five gorgeous brothers in the pool all of this in a house that no one actually lives in yet The girls agree to host an American Virtue Ball at their school and Rory caving to peer pressure agrees She is the only one who sees through Jinny's schemes From the start Jinny vehemently attacks Rory and twists everything Rory says to make her look ridiculous in front of her friends Why?There exists a deep divide over the legality or illegality of abortion As an atheistheathen Rory is at odds with Jinny the righteous This is a big problem They're saying that what happened at the Virtue Ball tonight has ignited an American Holy WarAnd the host of tonight's ball Reverend Jagger Jonze the one that put up the million dollar bounty after everything went downHe's rocketed to superstardom Just like that Jagger Jonze is the devilCoincidence or something ? Rory is intelligent and begins to wonder if she was framed as a holy example of what a heathen will do Fee refuses to believe that Jinny and Jonze would do such a thing As the girls plan their next move Rory continues to tell their story in a real time blog to be posted once they are safe and not traceable Rory fills in background information as she goes and the irony of the situation is not lost on RoryI have to say it would be tragically lame to die in a Holy War when I don't even believe in GodAs events progress Rory and Fee encounter unlikely allies surprising enemies and shocking revelations This journey takes so many turns and I never knew what to expect From the first page I was captivated by the writing style and realistic voice of a sixteen year old girl I read this book in one sitting and it has stayed in my mind since There is such remarkable beauty and stunning brutality in these pages I was speechless at the end of this impactful story I urge everyone to read This Little Light


  8. says:

    This book is written in blog format by sixteen year old Rory Miller as she and her best friend Feliza Lopez are on the run after being accused of setting off a bomb in a school bathroom during a purity ball The story takes place in 2024 in an America where abortion has been criminalized and birth control is essentially nonexistent except in underground illegal networks While the premise is good I feel like the setting should be a little in the future a lot can change in four years sure but I feel like it would’ve been believable if it had been ten years from now or even twenty Rory would’ve grown up in the world where abortions are illegal but she could still hold on to her dissenting opinions Being twelve or so when it was made illegal doesn’t make her old enough to understand the shift that would’ve occurred during that time or how people would’ve reacted The blog format while informative creative and a good way to see exactly what Rory is feeling and seeing is a bit one sided I feel there are a lot of open ends that could’ve been closed up There’s a lot of speculation made by Rory that never is proven or even wrapped up instead its a sixteen year old with no world experience making guesses Rory is a strong wonderful character she stands up for what she believes in even when none of her friends are supporting her but really there’s not much that’s dynamic about her The story is the driving point of the book and it is engaging and intriguing I just feel that it’s lacking the facts that could’ve been included if it wasn’t simply the blog format The ending is a disappointment I feel like it could’ve been so much longer and in depth There could be a sense of finality and justice but it’s just not there I did enjoy the book for the most part but I think there are a lot of glaring issues that could be bettered 3 starsThanks to the publisher and goodreads for my copy


  9. says:

    Lori Lansen’s latest novel takes place in the near future during a time when abortion has become illegal in the States birth control is hard to obtain and the rights of women immigrants and minorities have been slashed When a small bomb explodes at an exclusive high school’s “virtue ball” 16 year old Rory is immediately suspected as being the perpetuator and a bounty is put on her head and that of her best friend Rory takes to her laptop to document events as they happen and also to record the past six months of her life so that if she doesn’t survive at least the world will know what really happened Rory is a great character brave strong and scared yet furious at how women’s and others’ rights have been eroded in the short span of her life She frantically records everything that’s happening to her in real time which lends real tension to the story as it unfolds over the space of only 48 hours Lansen has created a character who truly sounds authentic so although I can’t knock her for that it’s a part of the reason I can’t give the book 5 stars Rory even by her own admission swears too much It’s just my personal taste but I’m not a fan of excessive profanity I know that’s just me but still Rory also speaks writes in a very teenage voice which again kudos to Lansen for capturing Rory’s teenage tone but as a result the novel almost seems to belong in the young adult genre Nothing wrong with that as a young adult novel it would be very strong and I’d definitely recommend it to teensHaving said that I’d still recommend the novel to all readers because I did enjoy it and the message is one that we all need to hear and remember as we embark on the rather scary times that I think lie ahead for us I just think it might appeal to a slightly younger audience but then again who better to reach out to in order to stand up for our rights?And that ending Wow


  10. says:

    Cognitive dissonance the confusion that arise in a person when what they believe and understand about life doesn't line up with what's happening in front of their face p29In theory I was so right but I felt so wrong p42Cheeky as heck astute and critical outspoken of course Rory was a target at her exclusive private girls school She gets away with her antics because she is a part of an elite confident of her superior place in the world Only she is not There is a plaintive note that runs through her inner dialogue Aware of disparity uestioning authority at 16 she has a missionary zeal to expose the hypocrisy she encounters in her social setIf a person says not to be offensive they're about to offend If they say not to be racist whatever they say next will totally be racist p122not everybody starts life with the same degree of privilege p239So how did she end up with her estranged father at the high tone Virginity Ball? And what about that bomb in the bathroom?Once I had gotten over my culture shock and my aversion to shopping and mastered the vernacular I began to enjoy this racy and surprisingly delightful and bold examination of the sticky topics of faith loyalty and virginity Some people will have a hard time with book because languageWhere the hell is God? Doesn't He seepain and despair? p75Even if I don't believe in Him God is not an asshole I guess I don't know Maybe secretly I'm hoping I'm wrong and He's somewhere in the atmosphere answeringprayers p111The setting for this book is the near future If it seems a bit far fetched and chilling think about it Unless we begin to examine the way fundamentalism erodes religion and make some necessary changes it's just a hop skip and a jump away I am so done with violent religious people p142