BOOK REVIEW: What Light – by Jay Asher

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Title: What Light
Author: Jay Asher

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
First published: October 11th 2016
Publisher: Razorbill
Finished reading: December 23rd 2016
Pages: 272
Rating 2,5qqq

“People think what they want. That’s what I’ve had to accept,” he says. “I can fight it, but that’s exhausting. I can feel hurt about it, but that’s torture. Or I can decide it’s their loss.”

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I realized the other week I had been completely neglecting my Holiday themed reads this year, so this is me making up for that. I didn’t have too many Christmas themed stories on my TBR pile, but I’ve seen What Light around and I decided to give it a go. I read Thirteen Reasons Why last year and I was thoroughly impressed by it, so I had high hopes for this story as well. Unfortunately, I ended up being quite disappointed by What Light even though I should have known the purpose of this story would be completely different. I couldn’t help but feeling What Light was basically a whole lot of cheesiness, cliches and drama wrapped in shiny paper and Christmas lights to make it appropriate for the Holiday season. I liked the idea of the Christmas tree lot and the family returning to it every year. The prose was also easy to read and the pace is quite fast. But there was just SO MUCH DRAMA everywhere! It almost felt like an overdose, and not in a good way. Part of the problem might just be me though, and I’m sure contemporary romance fans will probably enjoy the story a lot better than I did. Just make sure what you sign up for…

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Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Orgeon, and every year they pack up and move to California to sell their trees during the season. Sierra spends most of her time in Oregon along with her two best friends, but whenever she is in California her life is completely different. She has another best friend there and it means that leaving one place always means missing the other… And this particular Christmas, something else will complicate her situation even further. Sierra meets Caleb at her Christmas tree lot, and even though her best friend had initially encouraged her to date, she doesn’t seem to approve of Caleb… Are the rumors around Caleb’s past true?

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If you are looking for a sappy and drama-filled Christmas read, you will probably enjoy What Light a lot better than I did. It is quite fast-paced and easy to read, but I personally found there was just too much drama going on for it to be a feel-good Christmas read. It just all felt a bit too exaggerated and I’m not sure up until what point it was actually credible. I have to confess I didn’t connect to the characters either… It might have just been me, but unfortunately I wasn’t a fan of this story.

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WWW Wednesdays #117 – December 28th

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’ve picked up another (modern) classic as I’m trying to finish a challenge: Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown. It’s turning out to be a fast and entertaining read, so I will probably finish it today. I’m also still reading Point Of No Return by Martha Gellhorn, a Netgalley ARC that has been republished last week but was actually first published back in 1948. I’m hoping to finish it before the end of this year, because it will bring me only one classic away from finishing my last pending challenge. And that classic I’m keeping my fingers crossed will be Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. I’m listening to the audiobook version of this one and I’ve made quite some progress so far, so I’m hoping I will be able to listen to the last part while I make preparations for New Years Eve. I’m enjoying this classic so much better than I thought I would!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I finished is The Gift by Louise Jensen. As I’ve said in my review yesterday, I enjoyed this second book even better than her debut novel and she is without doubt one of my favorite new discoveries this year. Her stories are well written, fast-paced, have an interesting plot and basically keep you on the edge of your seat for the duration of the ride. I was hooked right from the beginning and I loved the refreshing angle in The Gift. Without doubt an excellent psychological thriller I can recommend to any fan of the genre!
* I then picked up What Light by Jay Asher, trying to make up for the fact I completely ignored the Christmas themed stories so far. Unfortunately I was quite disappointed by this story. Thirteen Reasons Why was such a strong novel, but What Light was basically a whole lot of cheesiness, cliches and drama wrapped in Christmas lights to make it appropriate for the holiday season. I liked the idea of the Christmas tree lot and I’m sure contemporary romance fans will love this story, but there was just SO MUCH DRAMA everywhere! It almost felt like an overdose, and not in a good way. The prose is easy to read though and it was quite a fast read as well.
* The last novel I was able to finish is From Sand And Ash by Amy Harmon. I finally know why so many people seem to love her work! I really enjoyed reading this historical fiction novel and it has without doubt a very strong plot… The pace slows a bit at points, but you forget all about that when you reach the final part. Make sure to keep your tissues ready! Amy Harmon both writes beautifully and is able to make you feel connected to the characters and the things that happen to them. It’s a haunting story that will keep with you for a long time… If you enjoy reading historical fiction, I can strongly recommend this one.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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Since I probably won’t be able to start any new titles this year (I still can’t believe the year is nearly over!!!), my next reads will be the very first of my 2017 TBR. First up is The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda, which I only haven’t read yet because I needed to read other titles first before the end of 2016. Words cannot describe how excited I am to be reading this one next week! I’ve also been convinced to pick up the Alice In Wonderland retelling Splintered by A.G. Howard next. I have been wanting to read another fantasy story anyway so it works perfectly. The Netgalley ARC Witness by Caroline Mitchell is also on my list… And my next TBR jar pick is still Little Women by Louise May Alcott. (Yes, I’m quite ashamed I haven’t been able to pick up this classic yet.)

WWW Wednesdays #52 – August 12th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below. This week I’m trying out a slightly different format! 😀

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I started Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas on a whim yesterday because I wasn’t happy with my other current reads. So far I’m definitely enjoying it better than the rest of the titles… It’s actually the second time I’ve started The Wrath And The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh, and somehow I cannot seem to get a proper feel for the story. It’s not that I don’t like it, so maybe I’m just not in the mood for it right now. I’ve also started The Knife Of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, a book I’ve been wanting to read for ages. I’m not sure what to think of the prose, but the plot is interesting so far. And as far as The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt goes… No progress at all this week. I really have to stop starting new books and read at least a few chapters! Currently I’ve only read about a third and I really want to finish it this month.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

recentreadsaugust12th2015 I managed to read no less than 6! books since my last WWW post. I guess the fact that it has been raining for about every day means I have been having a lot of free time to read…
I first finished Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, a ‘heavy’ read with a very original dialogue between the main character and the girl on the tapes.
I then couldn’t resist any longer and read Blood Of My Blood by Barry Lyga. It’s the third book of the Jasper Dent series and I absolutely loved it! So many plot twists, awesome characters and brilliant prose! Barry Lyga is definitely one of my new favorite authors.
I started Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly on a whim afterwards, looking for a light read. I was mostly disappointed by it; boring characters, mediocre prose and a not so credible plot.
Dash & Lily’s Book Of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan was a lot better, although I have a feeling I would have enjoyed it even better during the Holiday season. But since it was a book club read, I didn’t have much choice picking the date. 😉
I’ve also read The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Finally! I’ve had this one on my TBR for ages… I enjoyed this read, especially the prose, but not as much as some others might have.
The last book I’ve managed to finish this week is You Are My Sunshine by Roberta Kagan. I wanted a proper historical fiction read after being disappointed by Masquerade a while back, but I wasn’t a fan of this novel either. Bland characters, a weak plot and the prose was not so great either. Such a shame, because I normally love WWII historical fiction!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I have Rarity From The Hollow, an ARC sent by the author Robert Eggleton, next on the list to read as soon as I finish my current reads. I also want to try and read The Death Cure by James Dashner so I can finish one more series (although I have a copy of The Kill Order as well)… And I’m looking forward to start The Martian by Andy Weir soon since I’ve heard great things about it. And I REALLY should read The Kings Of Cool by Don Winslow soon, because it was my TBR jar pick ages ago and I still haven’t picked it up…

BOOK REVIEW: Thirteen Reasons Why – by Jay Asher

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Title: Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Fiction
First published: October 18th 2007
Finished reading: August 5th 2015
Pages: 288
Rating 4

“Sometimes we have thoughts that even we don’t understand. Thoughts that aren’t even true—that aren’t really how we feel—but they’re running through our heads anyway because they’re interesting to think about.”

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I have been wanting to read Thirteen Reasons Why for a while now, mostly because a lot of people have been recommending it to me over the years. This novel by Jay Asher is definitely not an easy read, but very interesting. Lately I’ve seen a lot of YA contemporary novels dealing with suicide, but Thirteen Reasons Why without doubt stands out from the rest. The prose is very original: the main character Clay ‘interacts’ with the voice of the deceased girl on the tapes. The plot is intriguing and with Clay coming over as a good kid it really makes you wonder why he is on the tapes… Because supposedly the thirteen people mentioned on the tapes are the reasons why Hannah decided to end her life. This novel is definitely not for everyone, but if you don’t mind a ‘heavy’ read, Thirteen Reasons Why is highly recommended. It will make you think on how something small can have a huge impact on someone’s life!

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Hannah Baker decided to end her life two weeks ago, but not before sending a bunch of casette tapes to the first out of thirteen people she wants to send a message to. Thirteen people and thirteen reasons Hannah couldn’t live with herself anymore and committed suicide… When Clay Jensen returns home after school one day, he finds out he is one of them. He doesn’t understand why he would be on the list, because he feels that he has always been a supportive friend. But Hannah tells everyone that if they don’t listen to the tapes, an extra copy will be made public and everyone will know their secrets… So Clay and the other twelve have no other choice than listen to them. And soon he will find out why he and the others made the list.

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Thirteen Reasons Why is what you call a ‘heavy’ read. Suicide is never and easy topic to write about, but I think Jay Asher did an excellent job with this novel. The dialogue between Clay and Hannah’s voice on the tape is what makes this novel original. Some of the things people did to make it to the tape seem only minor events, but like Hannah says: the snowball effect makes small rumors turn into something big and destructive. A very interesting YA contemporary novel if you ask me!

WWW Wednesdays #51 – August 5th

wwwwednesdaysOriginally featured at Should Be Reading and now hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words, WWW WEDNESDAYS is still about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

thegoldfinchthirteenreasonswhyAlmost no progress with The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt this week. I guess I just haven’t been feeling like reading it… It’s very well written, but the slow pace is a huge turn off. I’ve also started Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and this read is way more interesting if you ask me. It’s quite a heavy read, but very well written and I will probably end up finishing it either today or tomorrow.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

cressforeverI finished reading Forever by Maggie Stiefvater the other day and I cannot say I was impressed. At least it means I have finally finished another series! I know there is a fourth book, Sinner, but technically that one doesn’t belong to the trilogy and I don’t think I will buy/read it any time soon. I’ve also finished Cress by Marissa Meyer and I absolutely loved it. The wait for Winter will be so long! I NEED to know what happens next!!!

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

rarityfromthehollowdashandlilysbookofdareNext I will probably either read Rarity From The Hollow, an ARC sent by the author Robert Eggleton, or Dash & Lily’s Book Of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. The second is for The Book Club For Opinionated Hufflepuffs… I’m not sure that one will be for me, but I will give it a try anyway.

Teaser Tuesdays #54 – August 4th: Thirteen Reasons Why

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TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme originally featured at A Daily Rhythm. To participate, just open the book you are currently reading to a random page, and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page. (no spoilers!)

I’ve only just started reading Thirteen Reasons Why, but I’m really looking forward to this read. I know it’s quite a ‘heavy’ read, but a lot of people have recommended this novel Jay Asher and I can’t wait to continue it to find out if it’s just as good as everybody is saying.

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My teaser (5%):

“So where am I on this list, among these stories? Second? Third? Does it get worse as it goes along? She said lucky number thirteen could take the tapes to hell.”

 

What are you reading right now?

WWW Wednesdays #50 – July 29th

wwwwednesdaysOriginally featured at Should Be Reading and now hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words, WWW WEDNESDAYS is still about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

thegoldfinchmissperegrineshomeforpeculiarchildrenI’m still slowly making progress on The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I can’t deny it is a very well written novel, but the pace is quite slow and it’s hard to keep my attention for long. I guess that’s why I have been reading so many books in between… Currently it’s Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. So far I’m really enjoying this read, so I will probably finish it first before trying to pick up The Goldfinch again.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

thescorchtrialsmasqueradeI finished reading Masquerade by Kylie Fornasier the other day and wasn’t overly impressed by it. I guess that at least I was able to cross off another era for the When Are You Reading? challenge… I’ve also finished The Scorch Trials by James Dashner. Like with The Maze Runner, the slang really bothered me during the whole story. The plot is slightly better than the first one, but it still wasn’t like I really enjoyed this read.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

thirteenreasonswhycressI’m having a really hard time deciding what to read next! The Kings Of Cool by Don Winslow is still on the radar, but I haven’t been in the mood for it. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher sounds like a ‘heavy’ read I’m not sure I want to read after finishing my current reads… So I might just give in and read Cress so I can finally continue Marissa Meyer‘s series. 😀