Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan is one of the first books to ever truly horrify me. The beginning of this book is simple, sweet and easy to get into. But it quickly becomes something that I was completely not expecting and was most definitely not prepared for.
I skipped back and forth between liking this book and disliking this book so much that I swear it gave me whip lash.
The characters in this book grow as the book goes along and it is not always easy to define who is in the right and who is in the wrong. If this book did one thing correctly, it was to show you that good and bad is not always black and white. There are reasons behind why people act the way they do and do the things that they do. We may not always understand them or support them, but that doesn't mean they are wrong. Does it?
I argued with myself for a long time, with what to add in this review and what to keep out of it. While I have read a lot of great reviews for this book (and whole heartedly thought I was going to love it), I just couldn't get over one thing. I won't say exactly what it is, because I don't want to spoil it for those of you who have read it, but for those of you who have will understand what I say next. What was done to Weaverly while she was on the other ship, is 100% unorthodox and ABSOLUTELY horrifying. When I got to that part, I almost stopped reading right then and there. You have to remember Weaverly is a 15-YEAR-OLD little girl and the horrors that she experienced on that ship, I can hardly believe that her spirit is still intact (well, for the most part at least). If something like that would of happened to me, I will be honest with you and say that I would have cruelly taken out those 18 woman who had stolen something so precious to me. I must say that something like that even happened in a YA book. But it just helped show how dark and desperate a world Weaverly lives in and she doesn't even live on a planet, she's stuck in a ship.
As for Seth and Kieran... well their story wasn't any easier. And I highly doubt their rivalry and genuine dislike of one another has lessened any by the events that took place while the girls had been kidnapped. I can say I honestly understand where each of them are coming from, they each wanted to protect their ship, just in 2 completely different ways. And their love for Weaverly turned them into bitter rivals. However, at the end of the book, I have to say that I am more on Seth's side then I am on Kieran's. Which is a big thing because almost until the very end I was supporting Kieran and Weaverly all the way. But then at the end he changed, he allowed his fear (of being able to successfully captain his ship or not) get to him and he so effectively changed into something that he wasn't at the beginning of the book. While on the other hand, Seth always stayed true to who he was from the beginning of the book to the end, I'm not saying he didn't grow as a character just like Weaverly and Kieran did, but he never let his experiences bring him down. In my genuine opinion Seth and Weaverly both became stronger characters at the end of the book, while Kieran became weaker.
Overall, while this book is dark, dirty and full of all the bad sides of human nature, I still couldn't force myself to get over some of the horrifying things in this book. I don't mind dark, sometimes it is fully needed. But the dark in this book just broke my heart. And yet, I am still intrigued to read the next book in the series. It ended in just a way where I really need to know what happens next. That is one of it's only redeeming qualities. It makes me root for these characters and hope that they will some how be able to find and forge a better future for themselves. Here is to hoping the next book, my be a little bit lighter.