But Then I Woke Up is the sequel to This Raging Light, which is about Lucille, a teenager who parents leave her with her young sister, and then just don’t come back, or call. But Then I Woke Up follows on from the aftermath of Lucille’s progress towards turning 18.
To be completely honest, it has been over a year since I read This Raging Light, but I actually didn’t click that this was a sequel until a few chapters in when everyone was mentioned by name quite a few times. It’s told from a different perspective and only has a few common characters. It starts in a moment that occurred in the first book, but told from a different side, its a completely different page.
While you don’t 100% need to read This Raging Light first, you wouldn’t be able to read it after. You wouldn’t understand Lucille and Eden’s friendship, and a few other bits, although it is explained quite well.
*Don’t read on if you haven’t read This Raging Light and don’t want to read spoilers*
In This Raging Light, Lucille’s best friend Eden tries to be supportive but because Lucille starts dating Eden’s brother (who already has a girlfriend…), Eden and Lucille have a falling out. Then after a series of many other events, Eden slips off a rock and hits her head and ends up in a coma. At the end of This Raging Light, Eden has blinked, and while there is an air that she will be OK, you actually have no real idea.
But Then I Woke Up is told from Eden’s perspective as she recovers from her coma and discovers a whole new side of her town, life and herself.
The character development was great for both the new and previous characters and you really fell like you know them all well by the end of the book. The involvement of finding out about Jasmine, a fell hospital patient who is in a coma in the book, (where they can’t contribute to their own character development by speech or movement) was very interesting to me. Finding out who Jasmine is solely through comments by those who know here was very intriguing.
I loved where the story went, all of the other side, purgatory and death topics, while a little sad, were very interesting. Eden’s involvement in Jasmine’s story without knowing her added to the story. I also enjoyed how the book ended. I don’t see another book in the series happening, but when Estelle Laure wrote This Raging Light, there also wasn’t always a sequel planned.
If you’re a fan of contemporary, teen fiction, love stories, YA, or anything along those lines, I’d recommend you pick up This Raging Light or But Then I Came Back.
Thank you to Hachette for my review copy of But Then I Woke Up