2016 was a tough year and I am not sad to see it coming to an end. Amidst news of war and death, despair and ridicule, I found myself escaping into literature to find solace. This holiday season, I found comfort in a story of forgiveness and redemption. Jay Asher’s What Light is a sweet, innocent tale of young love that left me feeling all of the good feels.
In this contemporary YA novel, Sierra, a teenager whose family moves from California to Oregon during the holiday season to run their family Christmas tree farm meets Caleb, a boy whose troubled past keeps most people in his small town from getting close to him. Although friends and family caution Sierra to distance herself from Caleb, the two develop an irrepressible attraction to one another. As the pair fumble through their first love, readers are charmed by their awkward, yet relatable interactions as our own middle and high school memories come rushing back.
Once again, Jay Asher draws readers in with his ability to develop meaningful characters and build suspense. While What Light is a much lighter read than the bestseller Thirteen Reasons Why, Asher’s talent for keeping readers invested in his characters is ever-present in his writing.
What Light was just what I needed right now. If you are looking for a break from the sadness that seems to be permeating the world, do yourself a favor: Curl up by the fire with a peppermint mocha and enjoy the feel-good novel, What Light.
Sara is a 7th grade English teacher in the State College Area School District. She enjoys reading and spending time with her two sons, husband, and dog.