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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. 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.


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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. 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.

30 review for What Light

  1. 4 out of 5

    Colleen Hoover

    I was sent an early copy of this book because I can read. I read this book and LOVED it. You should definitely add it to your TBR list. I would talk more about the book and the characters now but I'm so terrible at reviews, I'm afraid anything I say might deter people from reading this rather than encourage them to read it because my reviews are that bad. I should just stop here. This is definitely where I should stop. Stopping this review right now would be a good idea. You know what else is a I was sent an early copy of this book because I can read. I read this book and LOVED it. You should definitely add it to your TBR list. I would talk more about the book and the characters now but I'm so terrible at reviews, I'm afraid anything I say might deter people from reading this rather than encourage them to read it because my reviews are that bad. I should just stop here. This is definitely where I should stop. Stopping this review right now would be a good idea. You know what else is a good idea? Sunscreen.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    Omg, y'all! I loved this book so much! I cried, good tears though. I put off reading this book for a year and then one of my book groups is reading it this month and I jumped on board. I had NO IDEA that I would love it this much. Sometimes I just love those sentimental, sweet and wonderful books. Sierra's parents own a tree farm. It's what Sierra has known all of her life. They live in Oregon but ever year they take trees out to California where they have had a lot for many moons. It was in the Omg, y'all! I loved this book so much! I cried, good tears though. I put off reading this book for a year and then one of my book groups is reading it this month and I jumped on board. I had NO IDEA that I would love it this much. Sometimes I just love those sentimental, sweet and wonderful books. Sierra's parents own a tree farm. It's what Sierra has known all of her life. They live in Oregon but ever year they take trees out to California where they have had a lot for many moons. It was in the family from back in the day. Sierra has special arrangements with her school to do work from CA and send it back to Oregon because they are out there from Thanksgiving to Christmas. (I wanted to own a tree farm when I was younger) Sierra helps work at the lot of course. They also have a lot of school kids working there. One of the guys has a crush on Sierra but no, just no. Sierra's best friend Heather and her family live there and they all hang out and have the holidays together. They have all known each other since they were little. Sierra and Heather even plant some trees up on the mountain as a little thing <-- read the book. Sierra also has two best friends at home that hate to see her go, but this has happened for years on end. Unfortunately, this may be the last year they will be able to go because they are not making enough money any more. You know, the big guys are pushing them out. =( Anyway, Sierra meets a wonderful guy named Caleb at the lot. He keeps coming and buying trees. Well, Heather tells Sierra she doesn't want to get involved with him because of something dangerous he did when he was younger. Some people make mistakes, get over it. Sierra doesn't listen to Heather and finds a wonderful love in Caleb. He also buys all of these trees to give to people that can't afford them and Sierra starts going with him on some of the trips to take them to the people. It melted my heart. I love reading about people doing good works. There is a lot with Caleb's past and Sierra helps to mend some things for Caleb and I loved that too. It's really a truly bittersweet story. Yes, it's young adult, I love young adult so it doensn't matter to me. It's got so many family things that I just love and it's Christmas. My second favorite holiday of the year ♥ I'm so glad I got to read it and the hardback is now on my Amazon wishlist ♥ Happy Reading! Mel ♥ MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cristina Monica

    Five years that I waited for another book by Jay Asher and this is the book he comes to us with? A typical YA contemporary romance. Ah, why, oh, why? Like many people, I was very moved by ‘‘Thirteen Reasons Why’’ and it was actually one of my first reads dealing with suicide. Then came ‘‘The Future of Us,’’ which I thought was kind of slow and cliché romance-wise but, ultimately, the original idea of being able to see one’s future on one’s Facebook page really entertained me. But ‘‘What Light’’ is ju Five years that I waited for another book by Jay Asher and this is the book he comes to us with? A typical YA contemporary romance. Ah, why, oh, why? Like many people, I was very moved by ‘‘Thirteen Reasons Why’’ and it was actually one of my first reads dealing with suicide. Then came ‘‘The Future of Us,’’ which I thought was kind of slow and cliché romance-wise but, ultimately, the original idea of being able to see one’s future on one’s Facebook page really entertained me. But ‘‘What Light’’ is just so… expected (and cliché as well). We have a girl falling for a supposedly troubled boy. Of course, things are never as simple, but it simply doesn’t introduce anything new. I’ve got to say I love the cover and the fact that Christmas is so alive in the story, thanks to the setting and Sierra’s family business. But I didn’t exactly like how much pressure Sierra’s friend Heather put on her to find someone to go out with for the one month she is in Oregon. It’s unfair to the boy in question and goes against what relationships should be about to begin with. There’s also a lot of denying going on – does Sierra like Caleb or does she not? Obviously, she does, we know this, but should she? And does HE? Blah, blah, blah. I lost interest in this book very fast. At first, I was committed to savour every word but, after some time, the words stopped tasting so good. Does it count as finished reading if I skimmed parts? Christmas romances are supposed to charm you, but this story isn’t charming. It’s just ‘‘okay’’. Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    I absolutely adored this book! My book bestie Laura sent me this one today and I finished it in 1 sitting. This had all the Christmas feels I was looking for and a bonus addition of some extra emotional moments involving daddy/daughter relationships. This was a super clean YA book as well, which makes it a nice option for parents looking for something more age appropriate for younger teens. Highly recommend reading this around Christmas, or at least during winter for the full experience.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sana

    And here is my first one star rating for 2017. Sadly, the cheese pill didn't work. Think of all the terrible cheesy and cringe worthy things you can find in a contemporary novel. That should sum up this book. Honestly, I was expecting to like this book. I heard it was extremely cheesy and cringy, but I didn't think much of it and thought I would at least give this 3 stars because you know it might not be that bad, and it wasn't bad. It was so fucking terrible that I was tempted to repeatedly slam And here is my first one star rating for 2017. Sadly, the cheese pill didn't work. Think of all the terrible cheesy and cringe worthy things you can find in a contemporary novel. That should sum up this book. Honestly, I was expecting to like this book. I heard it was extremely cheesy and cringy, but I didn't think much of it and thought I would at least give this 3 stars because you know it might not be that bad, and it wasn't bad. It was so fucking terrible that I was tempted to repeatedly slam my head against the wall and question, why on earth is this even a book? This book didn't start out bad tbh, it was actually an okay read towards the beginning, but then by the 150 page mark I wanted to DNF this so so so bad. When Sierra met Caleb, things started to suck. ※She met him for like what 5-7 minutes??? and the next day she couldn't stop thinking about him. ※Caleb's dimples were mentioned so much I wanted to cry. Like there should be a separate fucking book about Caleb's dimple because obviously they were extremely important, to be mentioned at least five times while I was reading. Now you might be wondering that mentioning someone's dimple five times isn't that bad, but tbh it got really annoying. ※When I found out about Caleb's "reputation." (view spoiler)[Honestly who the fuck stabs their sister's fucking door like repeatedly? I would call the cops if my brother ever did that, like that's just fucking psychopathic behavior. (hide spoiler)] The Writing: Oh my fucking fuckity fucks, it was like a fifth grader wrote this book. It was incredibly cheesy and I literally cringed at some parts. And the characters were like eleven year olds trying to find love. Horrible horrible horrible. It was also incredibly boring and I felt like Caleb and Sierra's ridiculous fucking arguments was just a way to stretch this book longer. Overall: 《"'Go ahead,' he says, 'tell me I'm cheesy.'"》 THIS ENTIRE FUCKING BOOK WAS CHEESY. And that is an actual quote from the book, if you were wondering. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I know Christmas has like passed but I saw this and just had to get it. Also I've heard this is filled with cheese. And Bae loves this so like, I'm reading it. Looks like I'm going to have to swallow the cheese pill.

  6. 5 out of 5

    emma

    I know I say this all the time, but I really mean it: I wanted to like this book so badly. I saw good reviews from trusted sources, so I had faith...but I just had so many problems with this book. https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co... Let’s start with the good stuff, though! I really liked the first part. I started reading this late last night/early this morning and stayed up even later to read it. I’m obsessed with the idea of Christmas tree farms, and the setting was done well. Most important I know I say this all the time, but I really mean it: I wanted to like this book so badly. I saw good reviews from trusted sources, so I had faith...but I just had so many problems with this book. https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co... Let’s start with the good stuff, though! I really liked the first part. I started reading this late last night/early this morning and stayed up even later to read it. I’m obsessed with the idea of Christmas tree farms, and the setting was done well. Most importantly, this book felt Christmasy. Which is obviously the most important aspect of a book featuring the best month of the year. I wish it was all positives, but that’s about all I liked. This book’s only 250 pages long, and around page 100 things started falling apart for me. Let’s start with the characters. (Y’all know that’s what I care about most.) Caleb is so vanilla for me - just one of those snoozefest male characters who are ~handsome~ and nice kinda and that’s it. Bor-ing. But Sierra is the one who really grinds my gears. She’s a YA fantasy-esque object of obsession - every guy who sees her is hopelessly in love with her, causing all sorts of hijinks to ensue. She’s just that beautiful, guys. But she’s a total control freak who tries to fight all of Caleb’s battles for him long before she’s even kissed him. (They’re essentially in a committed relationship WAY before they get to kissin’.) But the worst part of Sierra? She’s, like, the worst friend ever. She skips her her friend’s first big role in a play (which is her dream) just to get more time with Caleb. She prioritizes Caleb over one of her best friends who she only gets to see one month a year, even though this might be the last of those months. When she finally gets around to apologizing to the former, she talks extensively about Caleb in the same text. She doesn’t help her parents with the tree farm, and they have to hire workers to replace her - despite the fact that she endlessly bemoans the potential loss of her winters at the tree farm. Plus, all of the obstacles are really easily overcome. Example: None of the teenage tree farm workers are allowed to even talk to Sierra, or they’ll be sentenced to cleaning the outhouses. But when one of them asks her out and is so furious about being rejected he takes to trying to ruin her relationship with Caleb? We’ll just have to deal with it, I guess! And the timeline in this book is so confusing. Some entire days are just skipped, while others are end-to-end filled with major events. Also, Sierra begins her interest in Caleb after being told he tried to stab his sister with a knife. (view spoiler)[And that turns out to be, for the most part, true. (hide spoiler)] Am I the only one who thinks that’s a touch too wild?! Anyway, I’m going to try to source a candy cane, rap the entirety of Justin Bieber’s “Drummer Boy,” and continue my quest to get in the Christmas spirit. I hope you’re all having a wonderful start to the holiday season!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lala BooksandLala

    A really sweet and quick Christmas romance.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Trina (Between Chapters)

    I was sent a copy of this book by Penguin. Rating & review redacted. I was sent a copy of this book by Penguin. Rating & review redacted.

  9. 4 out of 5

    may ❀

    I’m so utterly in love with this books it’s nauseating. Note: this review may be slightly biased because winter is my favourite time of the year and so this book just made me feel really nostalgic – and that’s probably why I love it so much – judge me! What Light is a contemporary written by Jay Asher. Now, I know his previous book, Thirteen Reasons Why was highly controversial and got a lot of negative feedback, but I loved it, so naturally hearing that he published another book got me a I’m so utterly in love with this books it’s nauseating. Note: this review may be slightly biased because winter is my favourite time of the year and so this book just made me feel really nostalgic – and that’s probably why I love it so much – judge me! What Light is a contemporary written by Jay Asher. Now, I know his previous book, Thirteen Reasons Why was highly controversial and got a lot of negative feedback, but I loved it, so naturally hearing that he published another book got me all giddy – I had to have it. And so I began reading the story of Sierra. Sierra and her family run a tree farm in Oregon but spend (a month of) the holidays in California, selling their harvested trees. This year, during their visit in California, Sierra meets Caleb (this really awesome, adorable guy) but Caleb got some nasty rumours going around. Sierra is determined to see beyond the rumours and accept this sweet boy for who he is now rather then define him for his past. It was wonderful story on redemption and acceptance and forgiveness. There’s something absolutely mesmerizing about the writing style, it got me hooked from the beginning. It was so honest, well-written, and realistic. Reading this book reminded me of the feeling you get when you drinking hot chocolate on a winter day! It was just so adorable and perfect and, like hot chocolate, it made me really, really happy. The characters have this beautiful charm to them. Each and every character added their own special bit to the story and made it just that much sweeter. And omg, Sierra and Caleb are so fricken awkwardly adorable together, awww. I’m sure many people will find this book to be slightly cheesy – but I’m just so blind to any flaws because I’m trash for this book, damn me. “People think what they want. That's what I've had to accept," he says. "I can fight it, but that's exhausting. I can feel hurt about it, but that's torture. Or I can decide it's their loss.” Somewhere between 4.5 to 5 stars!!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Maria Espadinha

    The Heart Knows Best Follow your heart even when the whole world is conspiring against your choices! Unlike brain, which is always diverging, dwelling on options, the heart knows Just One Way — the right one 👍

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Elizabeth

    (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to Pan Macmillan and NetGalley.) “Maybe it doesn’t make sense,” I say. “And I’m fully aware that I’m not usually like this, but… I like him.” This was a YA contemporary romance set at Christmas. Sierra was an okay character and it was good of her to help her parents out selling trees at Christmas. I did feel a bit sorry for her the way her life was split between two places though. The storyline in this was about Sierra going down (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to Pan Macmillan and NetGalley.) “Maybe it doesn’t make sense,” I say. “And I’m fully aware that I’m not usually like this, but… I like him.” This was a YA contemporary romance set at Christmas. Sierra was an okay character and it was good of her to help her parents out selling trees at Christmas. I did feel a bit sorry for her the way her life was split between two places though. The storyline in this was about Sierra going down to California with her parents to sell Christmas trees, and meeting Caleb. There were some bad rumours about Caleb, but Sierra got the truth out of him about them and hoped that they could make a relationship work. This was an okay story, but it wasn’t exactly gripping, and my attention wavered quite a bit throughout. The ending to this was okay, although it still left us with the idea of a long-distance relationship. 6 out of 10

  12. 5 out of 5

    exploraDora

    ***2 disappointed stars*** I came to realize that some YA books are just too...young adult-y for my taste. Frankly, I wanted to read this book because I thought the cover was really cute and because it's a Christmas book. But after the first few chapters it felt so, idk, immature. Either I'm getting too old for YA, or this story just wasn't so great... All the characters felt too much like teenagers and I know that that's the whole point of the genre, for it too be for and about young people, but ***2 disappointed stars*** I came to realize that some YA books are just too...young adult-y for my taste. Frankly, I wanted to read this book because I thought the cover was really cute and because it's a Christmas book. But after the first few chapters it felt so, idk, immature. Either I'm getting too old for YA, or this story just wasn't so great... All the characters felt too much like teenagers and I know that that's the whole point of the genre, for it too be for and about young people, but I can't bring myself to finish this one. The plot was also boring and the characters were so blah.. Maybe I'll give it another chance next year around Christmas. UPDATE It's 3 years later and I'm not even tempted to give this another shot 😂

  13. 4 out of 5

    Stacee

    I've been a fan of Jay's words for a while, so I greedy grabbed this book off of his name alone. Love love loved Sierra. She's smart and a genuinely nice person. I loved that she struggled to deal with the two parts of her life, but could recognize that each one was special. That one wasn't better than the other. Of course I'm infatuated with Caleb and I firmly believe there's a gift exchange scene that tops every single other one ever written. Ever. The story was heartbreaking and hopeful and a I've been a fan of Jay's words for a while, so I greedy grabbed this book off of his name alone. Love love loved Sierra. She's smart and a genuinely nice person. I loved that she struggled to deal with the two parts of her life, but could recognize that each one was special. That one wasn't better than the other. Of course I'm infatuated with Caleb and I firmly believe there's a gift exchange scene that tops every single other one ever written. Ever. The story was heartbreaking and hopeful and absolutely lovely. I felt like I was on the lot with them and I'm definitely going to try Sierra's mix of mocha. Of course I wanted more at the end, but like I said at the beginning, I'm greedy. The slice of time we got was perfection. **Huge thanks to Razorbill and Edelweiss for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**

  14. 4 out of 5

    Korrina (OwlCrate)

    Super adorable read that is perfect for the holidays. It was exactly what I hoped for and wanted, which was very comforting.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cheri

    Edit: Last year I read the "sneak peek" version of this, but I had bought a hard copy for someone younger, and likely to be more appreciative of it - but, being a bit cautious on the "romance" part of this, I wanted to make sure it was something both appropriate for a 13 year old, and something she would enjoy. That's the only edit I will make to my previous review, except to say this is a sweetly innocent look at young love. Original review below: -------------------- I read a “Sneak Peek” edition Edit: Last year I read the "sneak peek" version of this, but I had bought a hard copy for someone younger, and likely to be more appreciative of it - but, being a bit cautious on the "romance" part of this, I wanted to make sure it was something both appropriate for a 13 year old, and something she would enjoy. That's the only edit I will make to my previous review, except to say this is a sweetly innocent look at young love. Original review below: -------------------- I read a “Sneak Peek” edition, which consists of approximately twice the length you’d get from a Kindle “sample” – the first three chapters. This is a sweet story based at Christmastime, that time between Thanksgiving and all the holidays that come around Christmas. Sierra’s family owns a Christmas tree farm in Oregon, but every year on Thanksgiving, Sierra and her Mom drive down to the lot where they sell their trees in California. The down side of that is that she misses her best friends, misses not being part of all the winter dances and holiday festivities, together with her best friends, Rachel and Elizabeth. That is, her best friends in Oregon. Sierra’s been doing this since before she can remember, so she also has a best friend in California, Heather. It’s a very sweet story, reading a bit like I remember the old Hallmark After School specials they used to make (which are now, apparently, available on DVD). It’s about Christmas, though, and who wants to read a bitter or angry story about Christmas? There are “hints” of an impending potential romance between Sierra and a boy that works on the Christmas tree lot in this “Sneak Peek” edition, but nothing more than that. I may have to buy this in order to find out how it ends up, since my Library not only doesn’t have it, but his last book has a rather lengthy wait list for it. Recommended for YA and YoungAtHeart Pub Date: 18 Oct 2016 Many thanks for the ARC provided by PENGUIN GROUP / Penguin Young Readers Group, NetGalley and author Jay Asher

  16. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    2 1/2 out of 5. I wanted more from this book. I felt the characters & overall story fell flat. I will say if your looking for a quick, light, Christmasy read this is perfect but I just wanted more depth from it. 2 1/2 out of 5. I wanted more from this book. I felt the characters & overall story fell flat. I will say if your looking for a quick, light, Christmasy read this is perfect but I just wanted more depth from it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    ♡ the belle and the book ♡

    The book was okay. But what's not okay is the author sexually harassing women and then writes about them as if he knows how hard life for us is.

  18. 5 out of 5

    emily

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 2.5 June, 2018: Ok, I literally wrote this review a 10000 years ago back in November, 2017 and hot damn, looking back at it now, I was seriously salty whilst writing this. So, please, excuse the snobby and whiny undertone. Ew. This book is still bad though, so at least that hasn't changed. November, 2017: People think what they want. That's what I've had to accept," he says. "I can fight it, but that's exhausting. I can feel hurt about it, but that's torture. Or I can decide it's their loss,". I 2.5 June, 2018: Ok, I literally wrote this review a 10000 years ago back in November, 2017 and hot damn, looking back at it now, I was seriously salty whilst writing this. So, please, excuse the snobby and whiny undertone. Ew. This book is still bad though, so at least that hasn't changed. November, 2017: People think what they want. That's what I've had to accept," he says. "I can fight it, but that's exhausting. I can feel hurt about it, but that's torture. Or I can decide it's their loss,". I had a lot of trouble rating this book, because on one hand, I thought it was a very atmospheric, sweet, thought provoking story, whilst on the other, an average contemporary with a flat plot and lots of melodramatic behavior and events. Also, side note: I have not read (nor watched) Thirteen Reasons Why, and will, therefore, be unable to compare the two books. Hence, if you're interested in reading a review placing the books back-to-back in an in-depth, analytical comparison - cheerio! Bye for now. In this review, I will be focusing solely on What Light, and my very mixed and confused opinions on it. What I liked: ✔︎ - The Christmas atmosphere. During wintertime, I think many people like to surround themselves with different festivities and merriment, that help generate that glorious Christmas atmosphere. Truthfully, I'm one of those people too. I really do like to read Christmas books in winter - they simply get me excited and happy and, you know, help build up that beloved anticipation of Christmas - no matter how cliche that might sound. I am highly thankful for the ambience created in this book - maybe, not everything about it was great, but anything that helps build that Christmas jubilance is worth reading, if you're like me. ✔︎ - The message. I like and value contemporaries with a purpose and/or a message worth hearing, and I think Jay Asher really deserves applause for the matters and problems he decided to include in this book. It was a bold, but very impressive move on his part. One of the characters in this book has a dark past - to put things simply - he does something awful. Truly, what he did was ... well, awful. But,this book focuses on mistakes and forgiveness. We're all just people, and whilst we like to think otherwise, in the end, we all makes mistakes. Big or small, we all make them. But, we're all doing the best we can. Caleb's a great example of redefining (I absolutely love that word) oneself. And whilst we can't erase the past, we can create a better future. Lots of respect for the author. ✔︎ - Caleb was great. I liked Caleb, and his mindset and his determination to become the person he has the potential to be. Whilst he was too often, described as simply 'cute', I thought he was very polite, caring and warm-hearted - and whilst he accepted and strongly regretted the past, he didn't let it hold him back from rebuilding his morals and person. ✔︎ - It was very enjoyable. And entertaining. Despite the darker, brooding side - it was a pleasure to read, and I think, that if you're looking for something that I like to call, a 'relief' book, you should pick this up... because it really is an easy and quick-to-read kind of book. What I DIDN'T LIKE: ✘ - The melodrama. We've all been through tough times - each and every one of us, that is for certain. Yet, oh my Lord, the drama in this book was INSANE. In the first chapter, the main character is soon to leave for California (not a spoiler, btw) for a month... not a big deal, right? Um, as if. It got so damn depressing, I was actually surprised . Like just take a look: "Please don't do this," I say. "You'll make me cry again. I just want to get through this week without—" "But it's not a week!" she says. "It's two days. Two days until Thanksgiving break, and then you leave for a whole month again. More than a month!" I hug Rachel's arm as we continue walking. Even though I'm the one leaving for another holiday season far from home, Rachel pretends like it's her world that gets turned upside-down each year. Yeah, like moving to California for a month turns your world upside-down. Girl, have you got no bigger problems? At least she acknowledges the melodrama one page later, before being melodramatic once again on the exact same page. Take a look: I point to the tear in the corner of my eye. "Do you see what you did? They're starting." Have these characters never actually experienced anything worse than being apart from each other for, oh my goodness gracious... 1 MONTH. Like how can one possibly live through such agony? The funny thing is that, I'm certain, Jay Asher knew how dramatic this scene was. I wish people would stop taking teenagers as melodramatic emotional wrecks. Like, yes, that's exactly what we are. But come on, the only time we actually become melodramatic emotional wrecks is when the fridge is empty. I'm kidding, chill. But, not all of us, cry over such small things. Alright, I'll stop now. But, it was frustrating. ✘ - The occasional fickleness and repetitiveness. If you took a penny each time Caleb's dimples were mentioned, you'd be able to pay the tuition for my dream university. Jokes. No, but for real... it was frustrating how many times she swooned over them. Also, the number of times the adjectives: 'cute', 'hot' and 'good looking' were used to describe guys was kind of unnecessary. I get that the guy was hot and super attractive, but maybe cut down on the word count, a little? Once is enough. There are different words too, like 'intelligent', 'caring', 'kind', 'trustworthy'. And Sierra comes off as an intelligent, well spoken girl, who uses words like 'peruse' and 'complacent'. It's great to see characters using such big words and being well spoken, but why can't they use big words to describe people too? Plus, there were too many major, totally unfeasible coincidences. Like, she meets Caleb while stapling a poster to a light pole, and then she meets him again at the lot, before bumping into him, ONCE MORE at the Hoppers' lot and then... surprise, surprise... she happens to go to the exact restaurant he works in. Yeah, I wish it worked like that. ✘ - Sierra. The thing with Sierra, the main protagonist, is that she did have the potential to be a cool, interesting heroine, if not for ... well, pretty much everything. I won't beat about the bush - Sierra was one annoying character. She was way over-dramatic at times, impolite, petulant and just, straight up, unlikeable. Alright, alright, I liked her confidence, her standards and her need to care for the things she loved... but, we all like a heroine which we can support and not roll our eyes over their actions, and stupid decisions. There were times when I liked Sierra, and there were times when I didn't. And it's not a very balanced ratio. Imagine blowing up a huge balloon, and then watching it pop and whizzing around the room, before flopping to the ground, deflated, like some kind of badly flipped pancake. That's the case with Sierra. The author tried so hard to make her fierce, and confident, that it was just an overload, and what had intended to be a strong character was just a huge mess. Like I mentioned earlier, I appreciated Sierra's confidence, but it sometimes felt like it was bordering on arrogance. Why can't we have female characters that are confident and strong, but also kind? I hated the way she treated Andrew at the beginning. Whilst, later on, his actions really weren't too great, I hated how disrespectfully she treated him, using her parents authority as a way to shut him down. ✘ - All that... whining. Another thing was bugged me quite a bit, was how moping and complaining this entire book was. Sierra keeps on worrying about the day she'll have to leave Caleb, instead of actually enjoying the time she's got left with him. Instead of simply accepting the fact, that she will one day have to return back to California and living her life at the fullest, she keeps on worrying and whining how it's not fair and how she wishes she could stop time. If Sierra really was the intelligent, practical girl she's meant to be, she would acknowledge the truth, just live her damn life in the present and plan for the future. Long distance relationships exist... there are so many people out there who keep things going that way. It. Is. Manageable. Maybe not perfect, and convenient, but manageable. Sierra makes it seem like the end of the world. Also, Heather really got on my nerves too. Her constant complaining about her boyfriend was just frustrating to read about. While, I did like her towards the end, the way she talked about Devon, who kind of annoying too, was really disrespectful and rude, and not worth fawning over. ✘ - The poor plot-line. This didn't really strike me whilst reading, but when I finally put the book down, I realized how poor the plot was. It just felt a prolonged tunnel, which we, the readers, need to drive through in order to get to the 'oh so forbidding, terrible, goodbye' day of Christmas. There were, of course, different events and situations, but nothing that could really improve the plot and make it original. It wasn't boring or terrible, but it might not be the best action packed, OH-MY-GOD-WHAT-A-PLOT-TWIST kind of story to reach for. It was a tad (and by tad, I mean: very) predictable. Sadly. Alright, all in all, this might not have been the most ambitious, incredible book on my shelf, but it definitely did have its pluses. Apart from it being irritatingly cloying, I do recommend reading it if you're looking for a quick, fun contemporary. It was perfect for the Christmas season.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    Cute and set on a Christmas tree farm. Sierra’s parents uproot the family every year at Christmas tree season so they can all work on the farm selling trees. I thought one thing that was especially cool was how this painted a different picture of how farming kids may have to miss school/make sacrifices than other books I’ve read depict. Sierra meets Caleb when he shows up at the Christmas tree tent to purchase trees and there are definite sparks, but there are also rumors circulating about Caleb Cute and set on a Christmas tree farm. Sierra’s parents uproot the family every year at Christmas tree season so they can all work on the farm selling trees. I thought one thing that was especially cool was how this painted a different picture of how farming kids may have to miss school/make sacrifices than other books I’ve read depict. Sierra meets Caleb when he shows up at the Christmas tree tent to purchase trees and there are definite sparks, but there are also rumors circulating about Caleb’s past among Sierra’s seasonal friends. She can see firsthand the goodness Caleb does. But when the rumors are (view spoiler)[ bad (hide spoiler)] is it worth the risk? Furthermore, should one mistake define a person forever, or are second chances worth taking? This was a sweet, heart-warming story. Please excuse typos/name misspellings. Entered on screen reader.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    2.5 stars. This story was cute, but that's about it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Yna the Mood Reader

    Few thoughts after reading this novel: - This is quite shorter than what I expected. - But this is the cheesefest I definitely expected. - This is instalove, and I kinda love/hate it. - This is also the type of YA Contemporary I normally would dislike, but maybe the Christmas-y vibes made me like it a bit more? - Thirteen Reasons Why was a major love for me. I remember reading it in college freshman year (2010 or 2011) and I was moved and amazed and in awe of Jay Asher's writing. This made me feel li Few thoughts after reading this novel: - This is quite shorter than what I expected. - But this is the cheesefest I definitely expected. - This is instalove, and I kinda love/hate it. - This is also the type of YA Contemporary I normally would dislike, but maybe the Christmas-y vibes made me like it a bit more? - Thirteen Reasons Why was a major love for me. I remember reading it in college freshman year (2010 or 2011) and I was moved and amazed and in awe of Jay Asher's writing. This made me feel like he's kind of a one hit wonder. - What Light is not totally bad. It is actually just light and chill read. Not much of a plot. A lot of cliches. I actually liked it. Maybe I was just expecting more. ☁ THE CRITERIA ☁ 🌻 Blurb:⭐⭐⭐⭐ 🌻 Hero:⭐⭐⭐⭐ 🌻 Heroine:⭐⭐⭐ 🌻 Support Characters:⭐⭐ 🌻 Writing Style:⭐⭐⭐ 🌻 Character Development:⭐⭐ 🌻 Romance:⭐⭐⭐ 🌻 Pacing:⭐⭐⭐ 🌻 Ending:⭐⭐⭐ 🌻 Page Turner:⭐⭐ 🌻 Book Cover:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ☁FINAL VERDICT: 3.09/5 // ⭐⭐⭐ ☁

  22. 4 out of 5

    Milka

    Rating: 2.5 Oh man... What Light was one of my most expected books of 2016, and I had a very hard time controlling my excitement when I got it as a review copy, but now that I am writing my review, my feelings are just kind of meh... I so desperately wanted to like it, but I constantly kept feeling like something was missing. I love the concept for the story -- Sierra's family owns a Christmas tree farm in Oregon, and ever since she was little she has spent the month before Christmas in California Rating: 2.5 Oh man... What Light was one of my most expected books of 2016, and I had a very hard time controlling my excitement when I got it as a review copy, but now that I am writing my review, my feelings are just kind of meh... I so desperately wanted to like it, but I constantly kept feeling like something was missing. I love the concept for the story -- Sierra's family owns a Christmas tree farm in Oregon, and ever since she was little she has spent the month before Christmas in California. This means that she has had to leave her friends in Oregon behind, but luckily, her friend Heather has been waiting in California, and they have desperately tried to fit a whole year of activities into one month. At the beginning of What Light it is quickly established that this might be Sierra's last year in California. The business is not doing as well as her family would like, and manning the Christmas tree lot in California is not making enough money. Knowing that next year California might be out of the question, Sierra decides to put all in and enjoy her possibly last California-Christmas. When Caleb, a boy with gorgeous dimples, shows up again and again and keeps purchasing trees from the lot, Sierra gets curious. Then she starts to hear rumors about Caleb's past. Is this a guy she should be spending time with? Can she see past Caleb's history and give him a chance? The main problems I had with this book are the following: - I felt like I was unable to connect with any of the characters. While Sierra didn't really annoy me, she didn't really spark any positive feelings in me either. I did like the fact that she opens up for new experiences and does not judge before hearing arguments from both sides, but other than that, I felt like I was unable to feel anything towards her (and while reading a book like this, that is a problem for me!) - The events take place way too fast and I felt like the "L" word enters the game WAY too early - All of the supporting characters feel quite one-dimensional and underdeveloped. I, for example, would have liked to see more interaction between Sierra and Heather. - The drama surrounding Caleb feels very rushed. I love Christmas due to which I kind of regret picking this book up already in October because I believe I might have appreciated the story a bit closer to Christmas. The setting is very Christmassy and the characters engage in Christmas activities, and I think that with a box of Christmas cookies by my side, this reading experience might have been a bit more pleasant. If you are looking for a quick, occasionally cute Christmas read, maybe What Light is for you. Unfortunately, it didn't manage to fill my (very high) expectations for it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    hayden

    edit: okay. i've thought more about it, and there's nothing holding me back from giving this one star except for the fact that i don't like giving books one stars. so i'm lowering it. meh. can't decide between 1 and 2 stars, so i'll say 1.5 and round up to 2 for the click-rating. okay. this wasn't a "bad" book, per se. it was just entirely unoriginal. it reminded me a lot of the last crappy jennifer e. smith book, the pink one. you know that clichéd statement about using "every cliché in the book"? edit: okay. i've thought more about it, and there's nothing holding me back from giving this one star except for the fact that i don't like giving books one stars. so i'm lowering it. meh. can't decide between 1 and 2 stars, so i'll say 1.5 and round up to 2 for the click-rating. okay. this wasn't a "bad" book, per se. it was just entirely unoriginal. it reminded me a lot of the last crappy jennifer e. smith book, the pink one. you know that clichéd statement about using "every cliché in the book"? this book felt like jay asher got ahold of that Book of Clichés and tried to fit every single one of them in here. there was one--one--event that i did not see coming from a mile away. a single event. the rest of the story was transparent. basically, as i said, meh.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Laura Rash

    Maybe some would say this was cheesy but frankly we could all use more cheese. While being a YA book this still struck a chord with me & I loved it. Sometimes you really just need a cheesy Christmas story to make your heart feel full. Maybe some would say this was cheesy but frankly we could all use more cheese. While being a YA book this still struck a chord with me & I loved it. Sometimes you really just need a cheesy Christmas story to make your heart feel full.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Gray Cox

    Too much fluff and melodrama for me, but I did like the Christmas atmosphere.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    What Light is a standalone, contemporary young-adult novel set during Christmastime. It's hard not to compare the author Jay Asher's previous work to this one, and just so you know, there's no comparison. But What Light offers perspective and an inspiring message all its own. The themes incorporated in this story include self-forgiveness, allowing others to move on from their mistakes, second chances, and not casting judgment on others because you never know what you would do when confronted wit What Light is a standalone, contemporary young-adult novel set during Christmastime. It's hard not to compare the author Jay Asher's previous work to this one, and just so you know, there's no comparison. But What Light offers perspective and an inspiring message all its own. The themes incorporated in this story include self-forgiveness, allowing others to move on from their mistakes, second chances, and not casting judgment on others because you never know what you would do when confronted with similar stressors. Another thing of note in this novel was how tangible the Christmas holiday felt. The spirit of giving, winter weather, fresh Christmas trees, and candy cane hot chocolate flowing all around transported me to the setting pretty effortlessly. Overall, I liked What Light and I think all ages can learn some life lessons. Check it out! My favorite quote: “They didn't even say thank you. Not once!” “They missed the parade. They were frustrated.” “Are you serious? You brought them a free tree!” “I'm not doing this to earn a gold star. They had a little baby and they were probably tired. Missing the parade – misunderstanding or not – would be frustrating.” “But you're doing this with your own money on your own time...” “So you would only do this if people tell you how awesome you are for it?” ... “Just so you know, I am very aware of how mean they were about getting a free tree. I have to believe, though, that everyone is allowed a bad day.” That's another good lesson. It's eye-opening for teens especially to be involved in volunteer work or community service and not be shown appreciation. That's not why you give of yourself though. Sometimes there is no thank you but you just have to remember why you're there.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jaime Arkin

    3.5 stars If you’re looking for a cute YA holiday read then look no further. Jay Asher has written a sweet, light-hearted story of friendship, family and falling in love for the first time. Sierra’s family owns a Christmas tree farm in Oregon where she spends 11 months of the year. Come Thanksgiving, her parents and her are off to California to set up on a lot that’s been a part of her family for ages and sell their trees. For one month Sierra is in a different life, not quite forgetting her frie 3.5 stars If you’re looking for a cute YA holiday read then look no further. Jay Asher has written a sweet, light-hearted story of friendship, family and falling in love for the first time. Sierra’s family owns a Christmas tree farm in Oregon where she spends 11 months of the year. Come Thanksgiving, her parents and her are off to California to set up on a lot that’s been a part of her family for ages and sell their trees. For one month Sierra is in a different life, not quite forgetting her friends back home, but soaking up the time she can with her best friend who lives in California and immersing herself in their traditions. It’s a time for friends, family and making memories, but Sierra finds out that this just may end up being the last year she and her family make the trip down which means she could be losing some of the things that make her happiest, especially because she has met Caleb. Caleb hasn’t had an easy go of things. Something he did in his past still influences his life in ways he couldn’t have imagined and when he meets Sierra, he’s positive it’s going to ruin any chance he has with her from the start. But Sierra makes an effort to look past what he may have done and tries to find the person he is now. The bigger issue is that even if she gets past his past, she only has a few weeks with him, and she has to decide if it’s worth the heartache to even start to get involved if she’s never going to be able to see him again after the holidays are done. I think with the holidays around the corner this will be a wonderful read for someone who isn’t looking for anything too heavy. I know there is mention of a questionable past here with Caleb’s history, but honestly, it was so many years ago, the fact that he’s still atoning and paying for it was a bit ridiculous in my mind. That said, I get where some of the people in this town were coming from… sort of. I think a part of me was really irritated with the fact that people were treating him this way even years after the incident and yes, I get that it was pretty serious, but also it wasn’t. Maybe I say that because I distinctly remember some of the very crazy fights I used to get into with my brother and I know it’s all heat of the moment stuff. I really enjoyed the relationship between Sierra and her parents. I loved that they really talked about things… the future, their concerns and even how they met and fell in love. It’s always refreshing when you read a YA book where the parents aren’t total jerks or killed off. I also really enjoyed the relationships that Sierra had with her friends. At times I thought these girls acted in ways I just didn’t believe for 17 year olds, but for the most part, they weren’t drama filled moments and they were honest with each other and lovely to each other and that is another refreshing thing about this story. There is, of course, romance. Caleb, while having a troubled past, is truly a sugary, sweet boy. I loved what he was doing with the Christmas trees and he definitely made me swoon at times! The romance for me though, was very surface. You get to experience them sort of getting to know each other, but I felt like it wasn't really deep and there is a bit of insta-love. Overall this was sweet and like I said, will make for a lovely addition to a holiday reading list if you’re making one like I do each year. Thank you to the publisher for an early copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Okay seriously if this wasn't perfect then I just don't know what is. I'm so full of happiness right now, my Christmas spirit is at a all time high and it's not even Halloween yet. I've never read a Christmas novel before and I'm entirely thrilled this was my first one. This is a story about a family who owns a Christmas tree farm in Oregon, yet spends every year selling Christmas trees for a month leading up to the big day in California. The main character, Sierra, had one of the greatest perso Okay seriously if this wasn't perfect then I just don't know what is. I'm so full of happiness right now, my Christmas spirit is at a all time high and it's not even Halloween yet. I've never read a Christmas novel before and I'm entirely thrilled this was my first one. This is a story about a family who owns a Christmas tree farm in Oregon, yet spends every year selling Christmas trees for a month leading up to the big day in California. The main character, Sierra, had one of the greatest personalities I've ever seen in all the books I've read. She truly was something else, full of love, life and kindness and her along with the other amazing characters in this story made it one of a kind. The conservations each character shared felt effortless, real and down to earth. What Light has so much love in this story and I felt it all around. I laughed and smiled more than I ever had before. Who doesn't love the holidays and the happiness it brings? This book is full of holiday events and traditions that will definitely put you in the greatest Christmas mood regardless of the season. Not only is this an amazing Christmas/Winter read but it's an amazing story all around. Highly recommend to all, I couldn't get enough of this story and I doubt you will either!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Katie Bananas

    Cute holiday fluff!!! I haven't read YA in a while, but this gave me the hope of Christmas preparations and the joy of the season!! It was a light and happy read, which I enjoyed, knowing I haven't read a Christmas book for the longest time!! :) I didn't like the fact that the story was predictable, which took away my excitement during reading. All the well though, it was fuzzy fluff.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Renata

    I started this book only because I've read Thirteen reasons why and I absolutely loved it, but this book...it's a pure no from me. I was expecting a lot so maybe that was the problem but it was so disappointing for me. I'll write a review soon.

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