Monday 26 December 2016

Review on What Light

For as long as she can remember, Sierra has lived a double life. For most of the year, Sierra lives at her parents Christmas tree farm in Oregon. However, every December they move to California, where they sell their trees. Although Sierra's friend Heather wants her to have a holiday romance, Sierra is determined not to get involved with anyone. That is until she meets Caleb, a boy who spends his money on buying Christmas trees for families who can't afford them. Sierra soon develops feelings for Caleb, and with the uncertainty of if she will return next year, Sierra must decide if getting involved in Caleb is the best decision.

I was excited to receive this book from the lovely people at MyKindaBook, and decided to wait until the festive period to read it! What Light follows Sierra, a girl who lives on a Christmas tree farm in Oregon, but has to move to California every year during December to help her families to sell the trees. I thought the plot seemed cute, and I love reading happy, lighthearted books at this time of year. Sierra soon meets Caleb,a boy who initially seems sweet, but has a dark past. Sierra hears a rumour that Caleb attacked his sister with a knife, but isn't sure how much of the rumour is true. I felt as if Sierra should have got to know Caleb a little more before trusting him enough to be alone with him. I felt as if Jeremiah, Caleb's best friend, had a more realistic reaction to him, as he initially kept a little distance between himself and Caleb.

Sadly I did not fall in love with these characters like I hoped I would. I found them to be a little dull and cliché, and we don't discover much about their personalities. We don't really learn anything about Sierra other than the fact that she lives on a Christmas tree farm, and although the book is quite short, I was hoping for characters with more individuality. I didn't care about Sierra enough to become invested in her story, and her relationship with Caleb just seemed like your average cliché YA romance. This is very much a love at first sight story, and as I've mentioned probably hundreds of times before, I hate instalove. As Sierra is only in town during the festive season, their relationship develops extremely quickly, and I felt like rolling my eyes at certain parts. Their relationship turned into a huge cliché, and as I had heard nothing but good things about Jay Asher, I was disappointed.

Sierra has a solid group of friends, which include Heather, her friend in California, and Elizabeth and Rachel, her friends back home in Oregon. I always adore strong friendships in YA contemporary novels, and it was clear that all of Sierra's friends had a strong bond with her. Because of this, I was annoyed when Sierra chose spending time with Caleb over going to see Rachel perform in a play. I felt bad for Rachel, as Sierra chose a boy she had only just met over her best friend. I often feel as if friendships are more permanent than romantic relationships, and as Sierra had known Caleb for such a short amount of time, I was overall annoyed that she chose Caleb over Rachel.

I felt as if Jeremiah, Caleb's best friend, had more potential as a character than what he was given. I was hoping that he would become a good friend to Sierra, and provided us with more backstory on Caleb, but unfortunately that never happened. To me it felt like Jeremiah was more of a plot device than a character, and I was hoping that he would become more central to the plot than he was.

My expectations for this book were pretty high, and sadly I have to say that it did not meet my expectations. This book was a cheesy, contemporary cliché romance, with forgettable characters, and the type of romance that has been done thousands of times. Although the idea of this book was cute, I felt as if it failed to deliver.

What Light is now available to purchase!

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