Review: What Light by Jay Asher

Title: What Light
Author: Jay Asher
Publisher: Razorbill
Edition: ARC, 251 pages


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.



I received this ARC from Razorbill, Penguin Random House, via a Goodreads giveaway. This does not affect my opinion of the book; this review is my own.

I was quite excited to read another Jay Asher novel. I’m a big fan of Thirteen Reasons Why – which I reviewed a few months ago. I don’t want to say that What Light fell short of my expectations – but I guess it sort of did. In part, this is my own fault. Thirteen Reasons Why dealt with such a serious issue – teen suicide – and I loved it for its sensitivity and the way in which the story was carried out. But What Light is a lighter novel, touching upon a few serious moments, but definitely a lighter, holiday season novel. And going into the novel, it’s best to consider that fact. It is definitely a different kind of novel from Thirteen Reasons Why.

I liked the characters of Sierra and Caleb. They’re characters that I can actually believe really do have a connection and a spark between them. I loved their banter, the ways in which they joked and conversed with one another, and the general romance within the novel. Although the mistake Caleb makes is quite scary when I think about it – I also do believe that people make mistakes and they can change afterwards.

What Light is a light, festive, and sweet love story that will be perfect for the upcoming winter season. The book comes out tomorrow but I would recommend reading it once the winter and holiday season starts to really get you into that certain mood.



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