Book Club Pick: December 2017
Title: What Light
Author: Jay Asher
Series: Stand alone novel
Country: United States of America
Publisher: Razorbill, imprint of Penguin Random House
First Published: 2016
Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon. It’s bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except for every year, they back up and move to California to set up there Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And always 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. Sierra sees beyond Caleb’s past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. But as disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra can’t help but wonder if love really is enough to overcome every obstacle…
Jay Asher’s holiday romance What Light is a light read (pun intended) for the festive season.
The novel is narrated by Oregon teenager Sierra, whose family own a Christmas tree farm. Every year since she was a baby her family have shifted south to a California town from Thanksgiving until after Christmas to sell their Christmas trees.
Sierra has to leave behind her Oregon friends Rachel and Elizabeth. But for one month of the year she gets to see her holiday friend Heather.
Business is struggling and Sierra has overheard her parents discussing this being their last season in California.
Sierra meets Caleb, a cute messy-haired boy with perfect dimples. Caleb has a dark past, which causes Sierra’s parents concern. They are also worried about Sierra being heartbroken when they have to return to Oregon.
Despite the rumours surrounding Caleb, Sierra is drawn to him and sees the good in him.
Similar to Asher’s successful Thirteen Reasons Why, the novel touches on how one moment can change a family and the effect that resulting rumours and gossip can have. What Light is a more optimistic story though.
Fans of Thirteen Reasons Why are best not to compare the two novels as they maybe disappointed as What Light is quite bland in comparison. Remember it is a light holiday romance.
It has all the elements of the holiday season – Thanksgiving, a Christmas Parade, Christmas Eve Mass, cookies, candy cane stirred hot chocolates, Christmas sweaters, gift giving, charity, and visits to Santa at the mall.
This is a light read to get one in the mood for Christmas.
Source: I borrowed this book from my public library.