Book Reviews

Review: Into the Light by Mark Oshiro

Having been such a fan of Mark Oshiro’s, I knew I had to read Into the Light. And I was far from disappointed. This was like a gut punch in the heart – the tears! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


It’s been one year since Manny was cast out of his family and driven into the wilderness of the American Southwest. Since then, Manny lives by self-taught rules that keep him moving—and keep him alive. Now, he’s taking a chance on a traveling situation with the Varela family, whose attractive but surly son, Carlos, seems to promise a new future.

Eli abides by the rules of his family, living in a secluded community that raised him to believe his obedience will be rewarded. But an unsettling question slowly eats away at Eli’s once unwavering faith in Reconciliation: Why can’t he remember his past?

But the reported discovery of an unidentified body in the hills of Idyllwild, California, will draw both of these young men into facing their biggest fears and confronting their own identity—and who they are allowed to be.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

TW: religious abuse, parental abuse

Into the Light is a book that builds into a frenzy by the end. Oshiro tells an emotional story about family, love, and trauma. It’s one that had my heart pounding from the beginning. Whether it was Manny’s struggles on the road, the cruelty of people, or his complex relationship with his sister and their foster parents, Into the Light is an emotional tapestry. Into the Light has a core oof family and siblings. The ways we trust people to love us, accept us, see us and all the ways people fail us.

The figures of authority, of religion, of family. But it’s also about the people, found family and strangers, who surprise us. And everything in between. People in our life who we love, follow and believe, who still end up hurting us. Into the Light examines all the things we will do to be loved, to be lead, to feel an illusion of safety. Oshiro’s manipulation of time and memories, creates a sense of mystery and tension, but also lends a touch of authenticity.

(Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. For more information you can look at the Policy page. If you’re uncomfortable with that, know you can look up the book on any of the sites below to avoid the link)

Into the Light manages to strike this balance between heart breaking and hopeful. It brings those conversations and memories into the light which we have to sit with. If you love YA contemporary, enjoy a book that balances emotional beats, then you have to check this one out. Find Into the Light on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon,, & The Book Depository.


Who is an author you’d read anything from?

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.