Wait Until Twilight was one of my favorite reads so far this year, and as always, the books I enjoy the most are the ones that are the hardest to actually talk about. You know when you love something right away and you’re not entirely sure what grabbed hold of you so tightly, or what made a particular read stick with you so strongly? That’s exactly what happened to me with Sang Pak’s literary debut.
Samuel, the teenage lead of Wait Until Twilight is most definitely a major reason why I enjoyed this story. I felt a connection to this character from the start. Losing his mother and seeing how he deals (or not deals) with his family members drifting apart in order to deal with their grief alone, was a heart-breaking way to get to know Samuel. He seems lost at the point when the reader meets him. He does have goals for his life, and possesses the motivation and drive to make the most of his life, but it’s also clear that he has begun floating through his days. Samuel’s behavior comes across as nearly average to those around him, but it’s what’s happening inside himself, his feelings, thoughts and basic being that are swirling around aimlessly. Samuel is a boy that knows the man he wants to be, but hasn’t quite figured out how to get there. For me, the title Wait Until Twilight, is so appropriate for what Samuel is going through – he’s in the dark of night, struggling to make it until the daylight makes everything clear – and that to me seems like the complete definition of adolescence.
So, we have a very likable character that the reader can totally empathize with, but something is coming that is going to test both his own soul and the reader’s strength to stay true to Samuel. Given a school assignment to make a video, Samuel and his friend decide to find out the truth about the supposed trio of monster babies in their neighborhood. These babies are like a kind of local urban legend, lots of talk surrounds their existence, but no one really knows the facts. Until Samuel and his friend go visit the mother of the triplets. However, once Samuel finally sees the truth with his own eyes, the school assignment is completely forgotten. He becomes obsessed with the deformed baby triplets. The very fact that they live and breathe horrifies him and changes everything he has ever thought about life.
This experience is basically what will come to decide how Samuel will become a man. He’s confused by a violent desire to destroy the children and a compassionate urge to save them. Complicating matters further is his relationships with the triplets mother and older brother. Torn between admiring/despising the mother’s love of her miracle babies, and his fear/yearning of becoming like the man who thinks the triplets are nothing more than trash, Samuel must fight to find his own humanity.
Wait Until Twilight was not an easy read. There are many ugly, dark thoughts found in this book. But there was also a certain kind of peacefulness that came with those things. It’s a story of a boy that really made me hope he would find his way out of the darkness surrounding him, the darkness that is trying to find a way into his soul. To me this was a story about light and dark, and discovering and learning how far you can go in either direction. Not so much that only good can come from light, and bad from dark – more like the only way to create your own truth is by looking inside yourself.
“Every moment of light and dark is a miracle.” – Walt Whitman
About The Author
Sang Pak is a Georgia-raised writer with English and psychology degrees from the University of Georgia. He is currently on hiatus from New York University’s graduate program in psychology. He divides his time between Georgia, Southern California, and Seoul. Wait Until Twilight is his first novel.
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Wait Until Twilight Giveaway
I enjoyed this book so much, and recommend it to anyone looking for an excellent coming-of-age story, a great example of Southern Gothic literature or an engaging read. And to encourage you to give this debut novel a read, I am going to give away 2 brand new copies of Wait Until Twilight.
- Giveaway will end on Friday, September 11 at midnight (EST).
- Open to everyone, worldwide, with a mailing address.
You can enter this giveaway by commenting below, and you can earn entries as follows:
- 1 entry for commenting with email address.
- +2 entries for following or subscribing to my blog.
- +3 entries for tweeting, blogging, sidebar posting.
- +4 entries for answering any or all of these questions – Are coming-of-age stories a particularly important type of literature for younger (10-18) readers? How do you think that these stories change for a reader as they mature? Let me know which coming-of-age story you enjoyed or had an impact on you?
That gives you the chance to get 10 entries! The 2 winners will be chosen by random.org. Good Luck!
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