Thursday, December 29, 2016

What Light by Jay Asher {Review}

What Light by Jay Asher
Hardcover, 251 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by Razorbill

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.


My Review: 4 Stars

To be honest, I wasn't sure how well a man could write a story from a teenage girl's point-of-view, but I was pleasantly surprised!

I've never thought about what goes into bringing Christmas trees to lots for people to buy.  Sierra's family has a Christmas tree farm in Oregon and they spend every month between Thanksgiving and Christmas in California running a lot. That's their way of life and now as a junior in high school, Sierra is dreading the day when it all comes to an end.

Some teens would probably be resentful of this family tradition, as it uproots Sierra from her home, school, and friends, during the holidays, but she embraces this life. She is pretty mature about the situations she finds herself in and does a good job of balancing work, family, and friends. I love her attitude and the way she is able to look past the superficial parts of a person.

When Caleb buys a tree from her lot, Sierra is intrigued and can't shake him out of her mind. Against advice from loved ones, she allows herself to pursue a whirlwind romance, and in turn, recognizes that true love just might conquer all. Caleb is a little mysterious and has a past, but his actions and the rumors don't exactly align.

This book is a mesh of loyalties, forgiveness, love, fears, and more. It was hard for me to completely relate to Sierra, since my life hasn't been split in two as hers has been, but I can relate to emotions and this story has many. This isn't your typical light-hearted Christmas romance, but a feel-good story still emerges from the angst. I did want a little more resolution.

Content: mild romance (kissing); mild language; mention of mild violence.

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*


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About the Author:
Jay Asher
Jay Asher was born in Arcadia, California on September 30, 1975. He grew up in a family that encouraged all of his interests, from playing the guitar to his writing. He attended Cuesta College right after graduating from high school. It was here where he wrote his first two children’s books for a class called Children’s Literature Appreciation. At this point in his life, he had decided he wanted to become an elementary school teacher. He then transferred to California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo where he left his senior year in order to pursue his career as a serious writer. Throughout his life he worked in various establishments, including as a salesman in a shoe store and in libraries and bookstores. Many of his work experiences had an impact on some aspect of his writing.

He has published only one book to date, Thirteen Reasons Why, which was published in October 2007. He is currently working on his second Young Adult novel, and has written several picture books and screenplays. Thirteen Reasons Why has won several awards and has received five stars from Teen Book Review. It also has received high reviews from fellow authors such as Ellen Hopkins, Chris Crutcher, and Gordon Kormon.

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