Friday 18 September 2020

Book ~ "What Light" (2016) Jay Asher

From Goodreads ~ 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.

Teenager Sierra and her family own a Christmas tree farm in Oregon. Every December, they head to California for a month to sell Christmas trees.  So Sierra has to leave Elizabeth and Rachel, her two best friends in Oregon, for the month but gets to spend a month with her California best friend, Heather.  Heather is dating Devon, who she finds boring so is pushing Sierra to find a boyfriend so they can double date and Heather won't be so bored when she and Devon are hanging out.  Sierra resists ... why get involved with someone when she'll be leaving in a couple weeks?  Until she meets Caleb.  Though Caleb seems like a nice generous fella, there was a violent incident a couple years ago that broke up his family and people aren't willing to forget.

I thought the story was just okay.  As an adult, I'm not the target audience so I found it hard to relate to Sierra and Caleb and their instant young love.  This book was written in first person perspective in Sierra's voice and is innocent (there's no swearing or sexual activity).  I think a younger audience might like it.

Sierra's parents don't approve of Caleb because (1) they will be leaving soon and they don't want their daughter to be brokenhearted and (2) the violence of Caleb's incident.  And given the incident, I can't say I blame them.  I found it unbelievable that Sierra was able to convince them that she knew what she was doing and that they could trust her.

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