Publisher: Dutton Childrens Books
Release Date: July 7, 2011
Read it in: 3 days
Source: The Library
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 like she's taking off a sweater-- and put on new skins made of fire, air, and water. I know, kind of creepy, huh? Stepping out of her bathroom, Consuela finds herself sucked into "The Flow," a kind of alternate reality where others with special abilities like her exist in order to save people from untimely deaths. However, once in The Flow, Consuela has no way to get back out and go home. To make matters worse, people start mysteriously dying in The Flow, and Consuela is the only one who can stop the killer.
The best parts about this book were the concepts it presented and the mood it created for the reader. The entire story brings you into this dreamy, almost trance-like state, where it's difficult to tell which end is up. The ideas that it explores were very metaphysical, like, what is the purpose of life? What comes after death? What is the standard for morality? What makes a person good or bad? The thought-provoking questions underneath the layers of imagery and imagination of The Flow had me completely wrapped up in this book.
The one thing that made Luminous difficult to grasp was that the plot and the setting were not clearly defined-- I don't even know how to describe The Flow or what it really was, and the series of events that took place were very much like when you dream-- one minute you're there, the next you're inexplicable somewhere else. I liked how this really gave you the feeling that you were in a dream, but at the same time, it made it tricky to pinpoint exactly what was going on.
I had actually already read a few reviews for Luminous before I read it, so I had a pretty good idea of what the book would be like. Which is probably a good thing, because it's one of those books that is just so wacky and bizarre, that if I went in totally unsuspecting, my first reaction to Chapter 1 would probably have been: What the CRAP is going on!?! Haha but anyways, I knew going in that this book was going to be very different than any others I've yet read. I really did enjoy it, and thought that Luminous was daring, unexpected and creative. I would definitely give it a try!
I've heard mixed reactions about this book cover. Some say it's absolutely stunning. Some say it looks like Photoshop threw up. I for one, really like it. In fact, I was so in love with this cover, it was the number one reason I read the book, that's just how much I like it. It's one of those covers that if it was sitting on the shelf alongside a hundred others, it would make me stop and pick it up without even thinking. The colors, the patterns, the butterflies-- I don't know, I just really love it! And the back and insides of the jacket cover are just as beautiful.