Title: What Light
Author: Jay Asher
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Published: October 20th 2016
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 quick, warm, and light-hearted read that captures the essence of the festive season. Among all the Christmas trees, you’ll be pleased to find ugly sweater competitions, baked reindeer cookies and plenty of hot chocolate, including the cheap peppermint mocha kind.
Whilst it delivered a promising story and all the festive feels, there were so many elements that I didn’t like. Apparently ‘diversity’ isn’t one of those fancy words in Sierra’s vocabulary which was disappointing but hardly surprising.
I didn’t care for any of the characters, and I didn’t fall for the cute one with the dimples. Caleb is the guy that everyone but Sierra avoids because of his dark past which turns out to be a pretty underwhelming revelation. Not to mention, he tells her the truth fairly quickly even though it’s supposed to be a big thing. That being said, he does buy and deliver Christmas trees for people who can’t afford them which is just adorable. No wonder Sierra falls in love with him in less than a month.
Overall, this is the book you want to be reading in the lead up to Christmas. Funny at times, with a fluffy romance and plenty of festive cheer. But if you’re looking for something more serious, and something you can connect with, you’re probably looking in the wrong place.