Sunday, 8 January 2017

Review - What Light by Jay Asher

Quite a while ago now I read Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and thought it was an incredible little book so I couldn’t wait to get stuck into What Light. Although this book was very different to Thirteen Reasons Why and wasn’t quite what I was expecting it to be, I still found it to be an enjoyable little read. 

In this book we meet Sierra, a young girl whose family owns a Christmas tree farm in Oregon. Once a year Sierra says goodbye to her friends from Oregon for a month and accompanies her parents to California where they stay in a caravan and sell their Christmas trees. Knowing that she’s only there for a short amount of time, Sierra knows that she can’t afford to get attached to anyone but when Caleb makes an appearance will she be able to resist him?

Throughout the book I felt we got a really brilliant and honest insight into how young Sierra was feeling about leaving her friends at home behind ever year, about her parents and of course about Caleb. One thing that I loved about Sierra was her outlook on life, how she was determined to not let other people influence her decisions and how she was always willing to give people a chance and get to know them before she judged them. I think that the relationship she had with her parents was pretty strong and something that was to be admired, particularly as a reader I found her dad and his views towards the boys Sierra tried to talk to throughout the book to be quite suffocating and controlling. 

I went into this book thinking that it was going to be quite similar to the powerful book that was Thirteen Reasons Why, however this was certainly not the case and I would say that What Light is a lighter, heartwarming read. I feel that overall Jay has executed this book very well, creating something that readers will be able to read and enjoy with ease and something that provides a fascinating insight into the Christmas tree business. The only thing I would have liked to see was an indication as to how life was for Sierra when she returned home to Oregon, maybe set a few months later. 

Although this is a book that’s set around Christmas, I feel that as a larger part of the book focuses on relationships, the idea of forgiveness and also conveys a few important messages it could be read at any time of the year. What Light was a well-paced YA story that managed to keep me interested from beginning to end and I wouldn’t hesitate to read more by Jay Asher in the future.