What Lightby Jay Asher
Published by Penguin, Razorbill on October 11th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Sierra's family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it's a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other.
Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.
By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb's past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.
I know, I know… I’m late!! What Light by Jay Asher came out on October 18th but I really wanted to wait a bit to put my review out because this is such a great story to help you get in the mood for Christmas! It’s about Christmas trees! Lots and lots of Christmas trees!!
Well, not all about Christmas trees. It’s about forgiveness and love, not necessarily in that order. This isn’t your basic happy young adult romance.
Sierra has a unique childhood, to say the least. She lives on a tree farm in Oregon. Every year, the day before Thanksgiving, they drive their Christmas trees down to a lot in California to sell them. Their family has been doing this for years; her mother and father met on the Christmas tree lot. For the weeks leading up to Christmas, Sierra does schoolwork from their Airstream trailer while working on the tree lot.
Sierra has her Oregon best friends and she has her California best friend, Heather. It’s been pretty easy to split and share herself with her two worlds. But things get complicated this Christmas season. Yep, you guessed it! There’s always a guy involved when things get messy 😉
When Sierra meets Caleb while working at the tree lot, she sees him for who he is on the inside, not for his past mistake and the rumors that swirl around him. The problems arise when Sierra has to convince others that Caleb is not his mistake. And then there’s the pesky expiration date on any sort of relationship they may have… or not have?
I liked that the story had obvious good guys and obvious bad guys. I also liked the fact that Mr. Asher used subtlety to bring in some of the good guys and the bad guys, too. For instance, Caleb’s parents are subtly the bad guys (IMHO, of course). I’ll let you figure out that one on your own. And no, I didn’t spoil anything for you 🙂 The story was just well written with many characters both clobbering you over the head with their role in the story and others just glancing by, adding their little spice to the story. Nothing too overwhelming.
I haven’t read any other story with a “crisis” quite like the one in this book before. It left me at times conflicted. But by the happy ending, which I thought was done in perfect proportion to being a holiday story with substance, I was comfortable with everyone’s “happily ever after”.