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 getting confusing at school. He's losing his sense of direction, and he feels like he's a mess. Then there's a voice in his head. A friend, who's trying to help him get control again. More than that—the voice can guide him to become faster and stronger than he was before, to rid his life of everything that's holding him back. To figure out who he is again. If only Mike will listen.
Lois Metzger was born in Queens and has always written for young adults. Her novels include the acclaimed A Trick of the Light and Change Places with Me. She has also written two nonfiction books about the Holocaust and has edited five anthologies. Her short stories have appeared in collections all over the world; her writing has also appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, and The Huffington Post. She lives in New York City with her husband and son.
“Lois Metzger’s deeply interior story sheds necessary light on an otherwise unspoken pain. A must-read.” — Rita Williams-Garcia, Newbery Honor author of One Crazy Summer
“An unsettling story that offers a painful and necessary account of how eating disorders affect boys, too. Metzger’s choice to cast the disease in the role of narrator forces readers inside Mike’s head, an extremely uncomfortable yet illuminating way to examine this lethal disease.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“At its heart, A Trick of the Light is a compassionate and inventive exploration of a little-understood behavior that plagues a surprising number of young men.” — Patricia McCormick, National Book Award finalist for Never Fall Down
“A chilling, straightforward novel written with depth and understanding, A Trick of the Light shows readers that they must always be vigilant about the voice they listen to-even when it is their own.” — School Library Journal
“Mike’s world is beginning to spin out of control. But the voice in his head can tell him exactly how to “master the chaos” in this horror story wrapped in reality. A Trick of the Light deserves to stand on the same shelf as Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wintergirls.” — Richard Peck, Newbery Medal-winning author of A Year Down Yonder
“A Trick of the Light is a masterpiece of narrative voice, riveting from beginning to end. I can honestly say I’ve never read anything like it. Stunningly original and profoundly insightful, this book has touched me as a reader and inspired me as a writer.” — James Howe, author of Addie On the Inside
“A Trick of the Light is a marvel. It’s hard to imagine a more convincing and insightful depiction of a teenager dealing with a serious personal issue, and yet the story does so in a mysterious and unexpected way.” — Todd Strasser, author of If I Grow Up
“A Trick of the Light should be required reading in our schools. Rendered with sensitivity and intelligence, Metzger’s beautifully drawn novel illuminates the sneaky-insidious nature of eating disorders with clarity, heart-rending honesty, and hope.” — Robert Crais, New York Times #1 bestselling author of Suspect
“Startlingly original… Metzger’s compelling psychological drama takes on the subject of a boy with an eating disorder. The narrative voice-Mike’s eating disorder, personified-is the star of this masterfully written novel, which becomes a horror story of sorts.” — The Horn Book
“Metzger’s cautionary tale is made more powerful and dramatic by her choice of narrator: the voice in Mike’s head. Readers will be easily caught by the quandary: Will the voice prevail, or will Mike recover control of his mind-and his body-before it’s too late?” — Michael Cart, ALA Booklist
“The story is well-plotted and its prose engaging… an ambitious and unusual take on teens and eating disorders.” — Kirkus Reviews
“A unique look at mental illness [and a] powerful method of illustrating the warped thinking that characterizes an eating disorder. This unusual and moving novel addresses complicated ideas, and is ultimately a hopeful tale about coming back to life.” — Katie Haegele, The Philadelphia Inquirer
“The [narrative] voice in A Trick of the Light is manipulative and deceitful, drawing readers into Mike’s head and forcing them to decide for themselves what’s true and what’s twisted. Don’t be misled by the book’s small size: This slim volume packs a big emotional punch.” — Jill Ratzan, BookPage
“Stunning, heart-wrenching, and painful, yet uplifting and hopeful, A Trick of the Light is an important book for teens. Told from the male point of view, A Trick of the Light addresses negative body image and weight issues for boys.” — Pamela Thompson, Library Media Specialist, El Paso, Texas
“A new and important look at an issue that deserves our attention, and compassion.” — Beth Kephart, author of Small Damages and Handling the Truth