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Blogmas Day Four: What Light by Jay Asher Review

Hello Everyone :)

Welcome to Blogmas Day Four!

I'm definitely planning on including a few reviews of holiday themed books throughout Blogmas, and I thought today was the perfect day to post one of these.

I had been really looking forward to reading What Light by Jay Asher, as I completely loved Thirteen Reasons Why, and the premise of this one really appealed to me.

What Light by Jay Asher:

Source: Library

Publisher: Razorbill

Publication Date: October 18th, 2016

Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Young Adult Contemporary


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.

*******synopsis taken from goodreads******

My Review:

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm kind of a sucker for YA books, and for Christmas themed stories, so combine those into one story, and you've definitely got me hooked line and sinker. Add to that combination the fact that this Christmas YA story was written by the mastermind behind one of my all time favorite books, Thirteen Reasons Why, and you can see why I was excited to jump right into it.

Unlike his previous novel, What Light is a light hearted contemporary read about a teenage girl named Sierra, who's family has operated a Christmas tree farm since before she was born. Her life has never been that like that of her friends; and she's literally grown up in two places. Oregon is where she spends the majority of her year, helping her family grow trees on their family farm. And California is where she spends the holiday season helping her family sell the trees they've spent the whole year preparing. Both places have come to feel like a part of her, and while she can't imagine her life any other way, she might not have a choice when she gets word that this might be her family's last year making the trek to their California lot. Her last Christmas is sure to be bittersweet, especially since she's not sure how her friendship with her best friend Heather will survive the change. And then the unexpected happens-she falls for a cute guy named Caleb who's become a regular customer at the tree lot, and she's left wondering how their relationship can ever expect to survive all the odds stacked against it. Especially since Caleb has some skeletons in his closet, and has spent the last few years trying to function around the town's judgement of him because of it.

On the surface, What Light should have been the perfect holiday read for me. Full of close families, amazing best friends, a budding typically adorable YA romance, ugly Christmas sweaters, beautiful Christmas trees, an emphasis on giving rather than receiving, and even an unexpected touch of the true reason for the season; which was definitely different for a YA novel. I enjoyed both Sierra and Caleb, and I thought that Heather and Devon were a hilarious but endearing addition to the story. As well, I enjoyed how Sierra's parent's are completely devoted to her, and to each other, and that this book didn't have the typical absentee parents trope that is so common in YA nowadays.

However, unfortunately this book just didn't completely win me over, and it felt overall like it was missing an element that would have made a good story a great one. I felt like the character's weren't quite developed enough to really draw me into the story, and that the romance didn't have the swoon worthy chemistry I was expecting from the description. I was left at the ending wanting more, and feeling like there was some component that wasn't present in the story that would have made this a more memorable read for me.

All in all, it's a cute holiday read that I'm definitely glad I took the time to take in, but I only rated it three out of five stars, and it definitely can't compare to the amazingness that was Thirteen Reasons Why. As well, I had pretty high expectations for this novel being as it's one of very few YA Christmas themed novels, and I'm sorry to say that I was left feeling a tad let down when I finally finished it. 

Thanks so much for reading guys! If any of you have read this novel I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!

This is not a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. The Christmas tree photo belongs to me, and was taken by me with an Iphone. The book cover photo does not belong to me, and all rights to the respective owners. 


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