‘What Light’: Really Heartfelt YA Novel of Family and Love

December 19, 2016 5 Comments

STORY | Sierra has two lives, both of which she loves. In one, she’s a teenager who hangs out with her best friend’s on Friday nights. In the other, she travels to California with her parent’s to sell the Christmas trees from their Oregon farm. While here, Sierra also relishes in her friendship with Heather, and has a strict “no dating” rule. Something that’s tough to abide by since the guys hired to help with the lot are always cute. Then Sierra meets Caleb.

‘What Light’: Really Heartfelt YA Novel of Family and Love. A review of the Jay Asher seasonal rom-com. All text © Rissi JC

BOOK REVIEW | My True Love Gave to Me (edited) by Stephanie Perkins

Unexpected, charming and cute, Sierra can’t quite make herself ignore this one, no matter
her rule to abstain from dating while enjoying the California sun. But there’s something haunting about Caleb, and when the whispers begin, instead of deterring her, Sierra determined to learn more about this boy.  


REVIEW | Earning his name in the aftermath of Thirteen Reasons Why‘s success, this is only Asher’s second standalone novel. Cover snob that I am, it was the cover art that first drew my eye to his sophomore novel, What Light. After that, I discovered three things sure to align with my reader soul. It was a contemporary novel (win!), the backdrop is sprinkled with the festiveness of Christmas (win!) and the cherry on top was the contemporary setting. Needless to say, this book spoke to my book lovin’ heart.

“It’s your heart. No one else gets a say in that.” – Jay Asher, What Light

Though I’ve had this one sitting on my shelf for a bit, it wasn’t until now that the most perfect time to read it presented itself. The surface of this novel is all Christmas cheer and happiness, but press on, and look deeper, you’re sure to discover so much more. Caleb’s backstory is an interesting one, and I liked Sierra’s character. Together they’re a swoony
couple sure to coax many smiles; their friendship is cautious but optimistic.   Saying more about this might be best left omitted. Simply put What Light is one of the most charming Christmas novels I’ve read.

I appreciate that it’s exactly what its cover suggests (a festive and sweet holiday romance), and because of this, the story blissfully follows through with that impression. Since this is my first novel from Jay Asher, I didn’t know what to except. Because this is all nostalgia, family and a cute romance, I respected this novel like crazy. Why? Because that’s precisely the sort of story I wanted, and I didn’t feel like it pretends to be anything else.  

If you’re looking for a sweet and simple (a term I use as the best kind of endearment), What Light is an ideal read. There’s swoony romance, complex backstories, wonderful prose and a sense of festive delight not to miss. What Light is everything I want to enjoy this Christmas season, and so much more. In short, it made my book nerd heart happy. ♥

*Forgive all the flowery adjectives. I just really loved this novel.

‘What Light’: Really Heartfelt YA Novel of Family and Love. A review of the Jay Asher seasonal rom-com. #YALit #Fiction #BookNerd #YAReads #FWArchives Click To Tweet

CONTENT: This one is pretty “light” on content. There’s some minor violent implications, but nothing terrible. There may also be some commonplace profanity.


(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

Author: Jay Asher Publisher: Razorbill Source: Purchased Publication Date: 2016 Find the Review elsewhere: Amazon | Goodreads | WordPress E L S E W H E R E Amazon | Goodreads Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Fiction, Young Adult Contemporary, Young Adult Romance Rating: ★★★★★    

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

All posts


  • Lindsey @ Lindsey Reads December 29, 2016 at 7:03 PM

    Great review! Glad you enjoyed this one. Definitely adding this to my TBR now as this sounds amazing :)

    • Rissi December 31, 2016 at 9:31 PM

      YAY! Hope you enjoy, Lindsey. I thought it was charming and such an easy, and romantic read. :) Glad you stopped by!

  • […] bind up of all three which is gorgeous. Amazon Books discussed in the Booktube Video | What Light by Jay Asher (Amazon); Miss Christmas by Gigi Garrett (Amazon); Wrapped in Red by Meghan Gorecki […]

  • […] What Light by Jay Asher | Super sweet, the inside of this novel is as charming as the outside suggests. Amazon […]

  • […] The leading lady from Jay Asher’s What Light, Sierra is a confident young lady who lives in a very different world than Oliver. Whereas Oliver […]

  • Leave a Reply

    (Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

    Bonjour and Welcome!

    Welcome | thank you for visiting and reading. if you like, you are invited to join our conversations and follow along – join us.  You’re most welcome.
    Read more about Finding Wonderland

    ps: please excuse the “disorder.” you can read more about Finding Wonderland’s changes, new follow options and why archive posts are a mess in my “Disorder + Feedback” post!

    Finding Wonderland Elsewhere!

    Finding Wonderland in your Inbox!

    Subscribe! Have Finding Wonderland's new content sent to your inbox; sign up for our once (or twice) monthly round up of new content. If you'd like to have this newsletter sent to your inbox, you can enter your email address here. Please note, this does require a sign-up confirmation via email, and that email may be sent to a junk or spam folder.

    RSS Feed

    Enter your email address:

    Shop our Etsy Store



    Some of the links on this blog are affiliate links, which means that if you click on a product link, I may receive (a small) compensation. This compensation comes at no additional cost to you.

    Rissi JC (RissiWrites.com) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

    All written content (unless noted) is © Copyright Rissi JC and Finding Wonderland (RissiWrites.com).


    %d bloggers like this: