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August 6, 2013 / Leslie

Review: Late Lights by Kara Weiss

Late Lights by Kara WeissLate Lights
by Kara Weiss

Genre: Novella
Publisher: Colony Collapse Press
Publish Date: June 13, 2013
Format: Paperback | 123 pages
Rating: 5 of 5

From the Publisher:

Late Lights is a novella-in-stories about Monty, Erin, and B.J., three childhood friends who have grown into three very different people. Each story delves into a different aspect of their lives, exploring the intensely difficult and complicated realities of their adolescent experience. Juvenile detention, illicit sex, violence, gender — the characters may be young, but the stories are entirely grown up.

My Thoughts:

Late Lights is five connected stories providing a riveting glimpse into the complex relationships of three teens, unlikely friends growing up together in the Boston metro area. They became friends despite being raised in different social classes and very different home lives with stark contrasts.

The novella is composed of five vignettes set in that confusing period when the friends are no longer children, but not yet adults. Monty was a kid from the wrong side of the tracks who lived with a father that didn’t want him around, Erin’s professional parents have Ivy League dreams for her future and BJ was always a tomboy but is now growing into a sexually confused young woman.

Each of these linked stories builds upon the next. We first meet Monty who is serving time in juvenile detention for a robbery. He is counting the days and surviving in horrible conditions until his release, but knows he will hve nowhere to go except back to his father. Next we meet BJ. Monty has stopped by her home for a visit but instead of an old pal he now sees her as a young woman, only adding to her sexual confusion. Finally we meet Erin. She has never lost touch with Monty. She thinks she loves him, or does she? She continued to write to him after her parents forbid phone calls from the juvie facility. They hoped she would grow out of this friendship. When she and Monty reunite, things are not the same anymore.

Although the stories are short, the characters are well-developed and detailed. The writing is fantastic. The descriptions are vivid, the situations intense. Often raw and gritty and at times disturbing, we are immersed into the lives of these three young people and feel their pain, confusion and angst. This is a book that will make you think, and make you want more.

Late Lights was a fast, compelling read and is better described as a novella than short stories. For those who enjoy a realistic depiction of young adults and the struggle of growing up, I highly recommend this book.

About the Author

2013-02-01-Kara-Weiss-smlKara Weiss was raised in Brookline, Massachusetts. She attended Williams College and holds an MFA from the University of Washington. Kara was the recipient of the Ingham prize for fiction, a finalist for the Jack Dyer prize, and her work has appeared in numerous literary magazines. She currently works as a freelance writer, and teaches English at Westminster College in Salt Lake City. Please visit her at

Tour Schedule HERE.

Win a Copy

I have one copy to giveaway to readers 18 years of age or older with a mailing address in the US or Canada. To enter, fill out the form below on or before August 17th. For an extra entry tweet or blog the giveaway and include the link. I will draw a random winner who will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond.

[Giveaway Has Ended]

Winner: Anita Yancey


Source: Review copy from TLC Book Tours
© 2013 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.


Leave a Comment
  1. irene / Aug 6 2013 9:43 am

    sounds very good, thanks.


  2. BermudaOnion / Aug 6 2013 9:56 am

    I love interconnected stories so this sounds great to me. Thanks for the giveaway!


  3. Suko / Aug 6 2013 11:51 am

    Thank you for hosting this giveaway, Leslie. I’ll post it in my blog’s sidebar. These stories sound excellent.


  4. Heather J. @ TLC / Aug 9 2013 8:35 pm

    “vivid” “intense” “raw” “gritty” – excellent words for this book, that’s for sure!

    Thanks for being on the tour.



  1. Kara Weiss, author of Late Lights, on tour July/August 2013 | TLC Book Tours
  2. Giveaway Winner: Late Lights | Under My Apple Tree

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