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The Breaking Light

Review

The Breaking Light

In a world where contact with the sun is limited to the elite upper class, Arden is forced to do anything to survive. As a high-ranking member of her brother’s gang, known as Lasair, Arden is one of the few Undercity residents with access to the higher levels and the Above. Her world is divided by the rich families who live in the Towers, high above her slums, and the Levels, that get colder, sicker and poorer the deeper one descends. Born in the Undercity, the lowest level of them all, Arden would have died from lack of VitD, the drug that sustains those that will never see the sun. Instead, by joining Lasair, Arden steals VitD from the higher class and uses it to manufacture Shine, a highly-addictive drug that is sometimes the only thing keeping addicts alive.

"Hansen tells a story of love and sacrifice in a compelling way that immerses any reader. Every fight is written action-packed, and with gripping detail that spares nothing for the imagination. "

While traveling in the Above, Arden meets Dade in a robbery gone wrong. As one of the lucky few born in the Towers, Dade is rich beyond imagine, with power that comes with being a member of the sun-kissed elite. Yet Dade is more than he seems. Desperate to help those beneath him, Dade risks everything to provide VitD for those dying in the Levels. When he learns of his arranged marriage, he is desperate to escape the bond that would end his freedom to explore the life below.

Divided by two seeming separate worlds, Arden and Dade become closer as they realize that maybe they aren't so different after all. Their romance grows despite the divide that steadily grows deeper between the classes, as a war threatens to tear apart their life as they know it.

The sun is such a constant to those that read THE BREAKING LIGHT, Hansen writes of the terrifying possibility of losing something so vital to our lives. Combining a unique world with the familiar rift between the classes, Hansen tells a story of forbidden love that is recognizable from classic literature through the ages. Despite the romance between Arden and Dade materializing a bit suddenly, it is made up for by their resilience to help the other, while still living in their own world.

Arden and Dade provide the perfect balance for each other, in more ways than their opposing social classes. Arden is street-hardened, willing to do what is necessary to survive and to keep those she loves safe. Her strength is tried and tested, but it never breaks. In comparison, Dade is compassionate for those that never got the opportunities he did, always trying to do the right thing for everyone. His love for Arden challenges everything he has ever known, and he is doing anything to try and keep up.

Hansen tells a story of love and sacrifice in a compelling way that immerses any reader. Every fight is written action-packed, and with gripping detail that spares nothing for the imagination. Dade and Arden want nothing more than the other, but between her gang and his ruthless family, all they can hope for is to come out of this war alive.

Reviewed by Caitlyn K., Teen Board Member on May 25, 2017

The Breaking Light
by Heather Hansen