From Jay Asher, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Thirteen Reasons Why, comes a romance that will break your heart, but soon have you believing again. . . .
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.
What Light is a love story that’s moving and life-affirming and completely unforgettable.
Description taken from Goodreads. I received an advance preview of this book, to be published October 18th, 2016, in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own.
I’d hoped that maybe Jay Asher would unseat Laini Taylor with the best preview I’ve ever read, but alas. I’ll still be picking up a copy of this book to check it out, but it’s not as airtight as Thirteen Reasons Why was.
Seeing what I’ve seen of the novel, I would guess that stems from a general lack of things that can possibly happen in the plot. What I mean by that is this: a premise doesn’t make a novel, and I have a sneaking suspicion that What Light will be one of those “premise only” books. Sure, I didn’t see Caleb yet, and I’m assuming he’s where the meat of it all comes in, but if this turns out to be a cliché, tragedy-ridden love story, that would be pretty disappointing for a Thirteen Reasons Why follow-up. On the other hand, if it turns out to be something along the lines of Ann Aguirre’s The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things (which wasn’t too original but brilliant all the same), it could change my whole opinion. Time will tell :)
Of course, most of the above is speculation. What I can say for sure is that the beginning is pretty drawn-out. Sierra spends a good deal of time explaining the Christmas tree farm and belaboring the fact that she has seasonal friends. Much of it was back-story and details, and in the end, it was mostly tell instead of show.
That aside, it was great to come back to Asher’s writing. I loved his characters and the friendships between them, and I was able to relate to Sierra’s struggles to balance her two different lifestyles. She’s still figuring out what she wants, where she fits when she’s very much in-between, and it was nice to see a character like that. The premise, while not enough to sustain the story forever, was unique and entertaining to read about.
All in all, like I said, I’ll be picking this one up (it’ll be a great book to read during the holidays!), but I won’t be tempted to buy it anymore. 2 stars.