What Light by Jay Asher | Book Review

What Light by Jay Asher | Book ReviewWhat Light by Jay Asher
Also by this author: Thirteen Reasons why, The Future of Us
Published by Penguin on October 18th 2016
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Holidays & Celebrations
Pages: 272
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon

THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! From Jay Asher, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Thirteen Reasons Why, comes a holiday romance that will break your heart, but soon have you believing in love again. . . .  "A beautiful story of love and forgiveness." —Stephen Chbosky, New York Times bestselling author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower
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.
What Light is a love story that's moving and life-affirming and completely unforgettable.
From the Hardcover edition.

Bless the library for having my hold of What Light by Jay Asher to me at exactly the right time. I’ll admit to being initially annoyed when out of nowhere, my hold was cancelled. However, I put it back on hold (TAKE THAT) and I got to read What Light two weekends before Christmas. I really enjoyed winding down with this book, as there was no review copy pressure on me, just the pressure of another hold immediately after mine. Asher’s book definitely ranks with Dash & Lily as far as YA Christmas goes.

What Light by Jay Asher is narrated by this girl named Sierra. Sierra lives in Oregon eleven months out of the year. However, her parents run a Christmas tree farm. And so, for that twelfth month, the family makes a seventeen hour trek to California to work on a Christmas tree lot that has been in the family for generations. Sierra finds herself caught between her Oregon life and her California life. Only, she’s never really known any differently so she does her best to make it work. She has her best friends in California – Rachel and Elizabeth. She also has her best friend in Oregon, Heather, whom she’s basically known since birth.

Sierra has never really been one for romance. She’s never really met a guy who can stack up to her high standards. Plus, her dad scares off any guy who works at the Christmas tree lot. This year, though, is different. Sierra meets this guy named Caleb who is tall with dark hair and a dimple. Caleb has an unfortunate incident in the past and must learn to forgive himself. Slowly, the two begin to fall for each other over the course of a month. The time they spend together has an expiration date for sure, especially as Sierra’s family might not come back next year. Of course, What Light will have you rooting for Sierra and Caleb to overcome the odds. And, perhaps they will with a bit of Christmas magic.

Jay Asher’s What Light is relatively short. It clocks in at 251 pages with plenty of short chapters. The friendships within this book – between Sierra and Heather, as well as Sierra and her Oregon friends, really sparkle. There’s a few scenes that are quite moving as well. I probably would have read all of What Light in a single sitting if not for deciding to watch Christmas specials and reading this during the commercial breaks. As it stands, this book totally held my attention and I just genuinely loved it.

On a scale of one to Buddy The Elf, how much Christmas spirit does this book have?

I would put Jay Asher’s What Light at near Buddy The Elf status. First off, these people’s lives center around Christmas as they run a legit Christmas tree farm and lot. Second off, Sierra is obsessed with hot chocolate and adding candy canes to it. Third, there’s this beautiful scene at the end of the book that involves Christmas and I loved it so, so much. This book 100% has Christmas spirit and I am 100% here for that.

Other reviews of What Light by Jay Asher:

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I am SO excited that this is Christmasy!! I know it involves a Christmas Tree Farm– but you never know if that really means Christmas or not. I’m definitely going to read this next week to get me in the right mood for the holiday 🙂 Plus, I LOVE Jay Asher, so I’m super excited to finally get to it!

  2. I absolutely loved this book! I’m so glad to see you did too. I completely agree about this book being perfect for the holiday season, there’s so much Christmas spirit!

  3. Thanks for linking to my review, April! This one didn’t work for me completely but I loved the Christmas tree farm setting!