By: Jay Asher
Released: October 18, 2016
Source: E-Galley from First To Read
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest 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. What Light is a love story that's moving and life-affirming and completely unforgettable. (Goodreads)
What Light was one of my most anticipated books of this year and I loved it! I'm already looking forward to rereading it again very soon. I'm not much of a fan of Christmas stories, but I still had to read this one because Jay Asher is one of my favorite writers and I'm so happy that I did. What Light is so much more than just a Christmas story, but it did still manage to put even me in a holiday mood.
What Light is the story of Sierra who lives on a Christmas tree farm in Oregon. Every year, during Christmas time, she moves with her parents to California to work on a Christmas tree lot and sell the trees they grow back home. She's lived her whole life splitting her time between both Oregon and California. However this year, her time in California is turning out to be much different.
Sierra was a well developed character that I truly enjoyed getting to know. I admired how loyal and protective she was of the people she loved. She has her flaws too though, but those just made her that much more realistic. I could certainly understand why she would be torn about splitting her year between two places. I loved the setting in both Oregon and California and I found myself feeling just as torn about both places. Sierra leaves behind her two best friends in Oregon and misses out on spending the holidays at home. However, she has a best friend in California too and only gets to see her for a short time each year. I loved the relationship she shared with all of her friends though because it was clear how much she cared for them and wanted more time. I also loved the relationship that Sierra shared with her parents too and how close they were as a family.
Caleb was a really interesting and well developed character. He has a past that most of the town won't forget. He's trying to move on and find forgiveness though. I loved the relationship that develops between Sierra and Caleb. It was realistic and paced really well. I liked that they took their time getting to know each other.
The plot was paced well and I didn't want to stop reading once I started. I especially loved that Asher took his time letting you get to know the characters because it just made me feel that much more invested in them. What Light definitely sent me through a variety of emotions though. I smiled, laughed, and cried a lot while reading. This book also left me with a serious craving for a cup of hot chocolate with a candy cane.
Overall, I loved What Light! It was an emotional story about falling in love, second chances, and growing up. If you're a fan of contemporary books or holiday stories, I definitely recommend picking this one up.