A Scatter of Light by Malinda Lo

“But here’s the important thing when it comes to art. This is what I’ve learned: The art is greater than you and your feelings. You have to serve it. It is not you…Whatever you’re creating may come from within you and your life, but then…it walks away and affects other people you don’t know and have never met. That’s the beauty of it.”
― Malinda Lo, A Scatter of Light

Discovering who you are can be a messy process. Malinda Lo tackles self-identity in A Scatter of Light. Set against the backdrop of the first major Supreme Court decisions legalizing gay marriage, Lo has created another queer coming-of age story that is bittersweet, romantic, and full of love and loss.

Rural California, 2013. Chinese-American teenager, Aria West, has big summer plans. After high school graduation, she plans on spending her summer with her two best friends in Martha’s Vineyard. After Aria becomes entangled in a scandal at a graduation party, she instead finds herself uninvited to Martha’s Vineyard and exiled to spend the summer with her grandmother, artist Joan West, in California. Aria isn’t sure what to do with herself until she meets her grandmother’s gardener, Steph Nichols. Aria quickly becomes friends with Steph and Steph’s group of friends, all of whom are queer. Aria finds herself second-guessing who she is when she develops a crush on Steph, throwing their friend group into turmoil. That summer in California points Aria down a life path that she didn’t think possible for herself. What she thought was going to be a boring and lost summer ends up becoming a summer of reflection, poetry, and self-discovery that changes her future.

Told from the viewpoint of adult Aria looking back at her eighteen-year-old self, readers relive her transition from leaving her school and childhood behind to her start towards independence. This is a  gloriously messy coming of age story all about how messy self-discovery can be. Lo wrote so beautifully that I felt my own teenage angst echoed through Aria’s actions.

A Scatter of Light is considered the companion novel to Last Night at the Telegraph Club. It’s not necessary for you to read one to understand the other, although A Scatter of Light ties up loose ends and answers questions I had after finishing Last Night at the Telegraph Club.

“…how we were only a small moment in time. In the scale of the universe, we’re just a blip.”
― Malinda Lo, A Scatter of Light

This title is also available in large print as well as an Libby eBook and Libby eAudiobook.

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