Sunday, November 6, 2016

WHAT LIGHT BY JAY ASHER - BOOK REVIEW

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, today it is What Light by Jay Asher. Thank you so much to Penguin Random House for sending me a copy of this book for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.


Gahhhh this book was everything I wanted it to be and more!

If you've been following me for a while, you will know of my constant and unending love of Jay Asher's debut novel Thirteen Reasons Why. This is the one book I've re-read more times than I can remember, and will always be my all-time favourite, despite its minor flaws. Needless to say, when I found out Asher was writing another book, I was first thrilled, and also terrified that it wouldn't live up to the exceedingly high expectations I had set for it based on its predecessor.

Let me tell you, I cannot stop smiling.

This book follows Sierra who's family owns a Christmas tree farm in Oregon but every year, on the day before Thanksgiving, they load the all up and drive out to California to sell them. Sierra's life has been like this since she was born, two sets of friends, two 'homes,' a constant tradition. Except this year might be their last, and Sierra is ready to make the most of it. Everything goes smoothly until she meets Caleb, the cute guy with a killer dimple and a dark past. Soon she's falling fast, but her friends and parents are worried. But they're only in California for a month and it's just a holiday fling, right?

Ironically, I think Caleb was my favourite character in this book. He's so broken from what happened in the past, and puts a lot of that guilt on himself. He struggles with accepting what is good in his life but is quick to help others. I would have loved to see a bit more of his backstory and his character development, I think there was a lot to work with there that wasn't necessarily fully fleshed out. Sierra definitely sees that goodness in him, but I found her a little to quick to trust some of the time. For the most part I liked Sierra, but there were a couple times where she didn't really think about anyone but herself. Some of the stuff she did just rubbed me the wrong way; I know she was just doing what she thought was best, but realistically, I'm not sure she had the right to butt into some of the situations she does.

The romance itself was super cute and a little bit cheesy, but in the best way possible. I really liked how there wasn't much beating around the bush, we weren't waiting until the very end of the book for them to get together, but at the same time, it wasn't insta-lovey. It was that perfect in between where things happened at just the right pace. I think that worked well too, because of the expiration date the relationship had; one month. It made everything seem fulfilling, but also bittersweet as well.

There were some things I didn't love, but didn't really take away that much from the story. Mostly it was the interactions with Andrew and a couple of times with Sierra's dad. Andrew had made the mistake of working for the farm and asking Sierra out, and when she wasn't interested, took it upon himself to share some things that he shouldn't have shared. The way he talked to Sierra, and just reacted around her made him a very unlikable character.

Sierra's dad was all over the place. Sierra's parents met at his families Christmas tree lot in California and I get that he was concerned she was taking things too quickly, especially considering the fact the he ended up marrying the girl he fell for, but I just couldn't get a good read on him. One minute he is basically building a fortress around Sierra, the next he's chatting Caleb up and telling Sierra he'll let things be, and then he's basically breaking them up, I just thought he was so indecisive. And I get it's hard, I've never been in his position, but I think he just needed to pick a side and stick with it.

This is a great book to get you in the Christmas spirit, make sure you read it with a nice big mug of hot chocolate (there are a lot of mugs in the story)! But even as the weather cools off, it's a great holiday read any time of the year.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it!