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Publisher's Summary

From Jay Asher, number one New York Times best-selling author of Thirteen Reasons Why, comes a romance that will break your heart but soon have you believing in love again.... 

"A beautiful story of love and forgiveness." (Stephen Chbosky, New York Times best-selling author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower) 

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. 

©2016 Jay Asher (P)2016 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

What Light...harks back to a simpler time of young adult storytelling with its linear first-person narrative and classic themes of forgiveness, hope, and the power of true love...there’s something beautiful about a novel done the old way, particularly when there’s enough heart to make you weep.” (New York Times Book Review)

“Asher’s gift for prose that packs an emotional wallop was apparent in his 2007 novel, the monster best-seller Thirteen Reasons Why.... Asher infuses his storytelling with a compelling sweetness and innocence; What Light casts the same warm glow as a room strung with twinkly Christmas-tree lights.” (Entertainment Weekly

“From the author of Thirteen Reasons Why, What Light is one you won’t want to miss.” (Buzzfeed

What listeners say about What Light

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Fans of Jay Asher Beware

I can sum up this book in two short sentences:

This book wished to be a coming-of-age novel that was the brainchild of John Green and Rainbow Rowell; however, it ended up being a story worse than a Hallmark holiday movie.

To expound:

Jay Asher is a great story teller; he can capture the mindset of a teenager in ways that other YA authors only dream of doing.
This man wrote "Thirteen Reasons Why", a brilliant novel that had an impactful message: We all have a purpose on this earth, and we need to be more aware of those around us, and how our actions effect others.
No matter how taboo the topic in "Thirteen Reasons Why" is, it has a valuable lesson that we all need to learn, and remember.
To say the least, I had high expectations for "What Light".
Sadly, they were not met.

The book starts out slow, and had me begging for it to get to the point--only to be reached after nearly two hours of listening. We are then introduced to said "point", and it's all downhill from there.

Our leading lady, Sierra, is quite one dimensional and forgettable. So much so, that I literally forgot her name until I went to the book-details and read it again.

The love-interest, Caleb, is your typical "bad-boy" that has been written many times before--and in far better ways, I might add.
Everything about him is cliche; his lines made me cringe, and it was painful to learn about his "dark past".

*Minimal spoilers ahead*

Apparently, Caleb lashes out after his sister makes a nasty comment to him and--to show his dislike for her words--chases her through their house with a knife and repeatedly stabs her bedroom door. Meanwhile, Caleb's good friend, Andrew, watches with terror as the horrific ordeal goes down.

And if I'm being completely honest, even the idea of Caleb--or anyone for that matter--doing something like that is very, very unbelievable.
Unless Caleb has suffered a psychotic break, why on earth would he just "snap" and go on a knife-wielding rampage after his sister???
Come on.

Those are my main complaints with this plot.
A lesser one would be the whole "path to redemption" story that the author tries to sell us readers/listeners.

Sierra makes it her mission in life (after knowing him for approximately 1 week) to help Caleb reclaim his good name, and regain lost relationships.
She accomplishes this feat by convincing Andrew that Caleb is actually a good guy, and rekindles their friendship.

...That's it.


In the end, "What Light" had me bored, disappointed, and wanting 6 hours, 45 minutes & 53 seconds of my life back.


Conclusion:

The only thing under the Christmas tree this year is roughly 7 hours of boredom, unrealistic characters, and a movie pitch so terrible, even Hallmark turned it down.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • LL
  • 05-31-17

What Plot?

I'm giving this book 2 stars because I didn't hate it. I actually enjoyed listening to most of it. It was only when I got to the end that I realized I had been lured into a false sense of enjoyment.

Because this book was an utter waste of time.

Seriously nothing happens. I kept waiting for the twist or the climax or any kind of actual event, but alas, there was none.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Christmas Book

The narrator was great. I would have liked it more during Christmas. The whole story is during Christmas time so I would have enjoyed it more at that time of year. That's my fault though. I liked this book a lot.

1 person found this helpful

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I Wanted To Like This Story

I usually don't seem to end up liking books I pre-order, even though this was hyped from buzzfeed books. I'm not sure if it's the Christmas theme, the whiny narrator, or the lack of depth coming from the author who wrote 13 Reasons Why. I think I was expecting deeper characters with a deeper romance coming from Jay Asher. This book is relatively short compared to others, and I'm having a hard time finishing it. I finished 2 other books and will possibly finish 3 or more before ever finishing this one.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Real Talk

I think for a while now just wasn't ready to listen. I get really attached and would get frustrated with charecters when they reacted negatively, why people can't let go of the past I will never know, this was a realtable conflict that I'm overcoming in my own personal life. I loved the setting and was rooting for both protagonists.

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the most amazing book

i loved it this book is amaxing for middle aged kids and i have no otner way to explain it. it was very hard for me too stop reading it!!!!!!!!

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Light and fun

Such a great holiday read. cute and fun and just what you need to get into the holiday spirit. Great job with the narration as well! I listen to this every December.

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Cute story; great narration

I thought this story was cute. It started off a little slow, but once Sierra met Caleb, I couldn't stop listening. The narrator was perfect for this story.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-01-18

A lovely Christmas story

Very beautiful story with strong and likeable characters. I couldn't stop listening once I started. Enjoyed it a lot.