What Light

whatlightby Jay Asher
First sentence: “‘I hate this time of year,’ Rachel says.”
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!
Review copy provided by the publisher.
Release date: October 18, 2016
Content:  There’s some mild swearing and some mention of violence. It will be in the YA (grades 6-9) section of the bookstore.

Sierra has spent her whole life going to California for the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Her parents own a Christmas tree farm in Oregon, and they haul their trees down to a small California town to sell them. It’s usually just in and out for them; they don’t really have too many connections in California. But this year, the year Sierra is 16, things change. Sierra meets Caleb, who’s cute, charming, sweet, and generous. But, he’s also got a past.

On the surface, this is a very sweet first love story. Sierra and Caleb meet cute, have a whirlwhind romance and are together by the end. But it’s also more complicated than that. First complication: Sierra being in California is temporary. Second complication: Caleb’s past, which everyone’s warning Sierra about. But she does the admirable thing and instead of judging him based on rumors and what other people say. She gets to know him, and decides for herself. Which is something I really appreciated. Asher takes a simple love story and gives us something with depth, something that’s worth reading.

Very, very sweet.

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