REVIEW: What Light

by Jay Asher

Pages: 256
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Publication Date: 20th November 2016


Sierra's family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon - it's an idyllic place for a girl to grow up, except that every year they have to 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 begins to eclipse the other...


Christmas has been and gone for another year but I can't be the only one having the holiday blues! I love this time of year and if you are the same as me and want to hold onto that holiday feeling for just a little bit longer this is the book for you! 

What Light is the story of Sierra and her two lives. For the majority of the year she lives her everyday life in Oregon - ON A CHRISTMAS TREE FARM - she goes to school, hangs out with mates and lives like any other teenager. However, from thanksgiving to Christmas Eve Sierra and her family move to California to run their christmas tree lot. For as long as she can remember she has had these two lives but that is all about to change. This year Sierra catches the eye of Caleb on the lot and from that moment on things start to change... and not all for the better. 

Okay so I will start with the negatives and I hate to say it but that mostly comes in the form of a teenage stereotype named Caleb. He has everything he needed to be the perfect book boyfriend however, there was something about him that didn't sit right. I think it was the predictability of him being misunderstood. I get that there was the whole "don't listen to gossip" moral going on but I guess I wanted more from him as a character. I feel like the reason he did what he did wasn't good enough and if I'm honest if I had been in Sierra's shoes I wouldn't have given him the time of day. I didn't feel like there was enough conviction to his arc and it made it a little two dimensional at times. A little hard to believe. 

However, saying that the story itself was very sweet and I think everyone can connect with the struggles of finding that balance between your friends and your first love. Its is very much the quintessential coming of age story with a rather adorable christmas spin. Not to mention it kinda made me want to open a Christmas tree farm somewhere... who knew they didn't just grown all pointy and christmas tree like? 

It was a sweet little book that tugged on the heart strings. If you want a book that will make you feel all warm and festive then this is definitely for you. It has all the YA requirements, misunderstood bad boy, friendship, protective farther and cute moral centre. Although I felt it might have needed a bit more depth to it if you want something easy to read and enjoyable then enjoy. Even though Christmas has past it is perfect for those upcoming winter nights. 


  1. Great review! I've heard very mixed things about this book, but I don't think it's for me :(

    1. Thank you hun, It is a good book it just didn't grab me the way I hoped it would.