What Light

What Light

by Jay Asher

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Overview

What Light by Jay Asher

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781595145512
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 10/18/2016
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 208,515
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.10(d)
Lexile: HL690L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

JAY ASHER's debut novel, Thirteen Reasons Why, a #1 New York Times and international bestseller, has sold over 3 million copies in the United States alone and is now a thirteen-part series on Netflix. The Future of Us, his second novel, was co-authored with Printz Honor winner Carolyn Mackler. He is also the author of the New York Times bestselling What Light. Piper, out in Fall 2017 and co-authored with Jessica Freeburg and illustrated by Jeff Stokely, will mark Asher’s graphic novel debut. His novels have been translated into thirty-seven languages. He lives with his family in California. Follow him on Twitter @jayasherguy.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE
 
I hate this time of year,” Rachel says. “I’m sorry, Sierra. I’m sure I say that a lot, but it’s true.”

Morning mist blurs the entrance of our school at the far end of the lawn. We stay on the cement pathway to avoid damp spots in the grass, but Rachel’s not complaining about the weather.

“Please don’t do this,” I say. “You’ll make me cry again. I just want to get through this week without—”

“But it’s not a week!” she says. “It’s two days. Two days until Thanksgiving break, and then you leave for a whole month again. More than a month!”

I hug Rachel’s arm as we continue walking. Even though I’m the one leaving for another holiday season far from home, Rachel pretends like it’s her world that gets turned upside-down each year. Her pouty face and slumped shoulders are entirely for my benefit, to let me know I’ll be missed, and every year I’m grateful for her melodrama. Even though I love where I’m going, it’s still hard to say goodbye. Knowing my best friends are counting the days until I return does make it easier.

I point to the tear in the corner of my eye. “Do you see what you did? They’re starting.”

This morning, when Mom drove us away from our Christmas tree farm, the sky was mostly clear. The workers were in the fields, their distant chainsaws buzzing like mosquitoes, cutting down this year’s crop of trees.

The fog came in as we drove lower. It stretched across the small farms, over the interstate, and into town, carrying within it the traditional scent of the season. This time of year our entire little Oregon town smells like fresh-cut Christmas trees. At other times, it might smell like sweet corn or sugar beets.

Rachel holds open one of the glass double doors and then follows me to my locker. There, she jiggles her glittery red watch in front of me. “We’ve got fifteen minutes,” she says. “I’m cranky and I’m cold. Let’s grab some coffee before the first bell.”

The school’s theater director, Miss Livingston, not-so-subtly encourages her students to drink as much caffeine as needed to get their shows together on time. Backstage, a pot of coffee is always on. As the lead set designer, Rachel gets unrestricted access to the auditorium.

Over the weekend, the theater department finished their performances of Little Shop of Horrors. The set won’t be broken down until after Thanksgiving break, so it’s still up when Rachel and I turn on the lights at the back of the theater. Sitting on the stage, between the flower shop counter and the big, green, man-eating plant, is Elizabeth. She sits up straight and waves when she sees us.

Rachel walks ahead of me down the aisle. “This year, we wanted to give you something to take with you to California.”

I follow her past the empty rows of red cushioned seats. They obviously don’t care if I’m a blubbering mess during my last few days of school. I climb the steps to the stage. Elizabeth pushes herself up, runs over, and hugs me.

“I was right,” she tells Rachel over my shoulder. “I told you she’d cry.”

“I hate you both,” I tell them.

Elizabeth hands me two presents wrapped in shiny silver Christmas paper, but I already kind of know what they’re giving me. Last week, we were all in a gift shop downtown and I saw them looking at picture frames the same size as these boxes. I sit down to open them and lean against the counter under the old-fashioned metal cash register.

Rachel sits cross-legged in front of me, our knees almost touching.

“You’re breaking the rules,” I say. I slide a finger beneath a fold in the wrapping of the first gift. “We’re not supposed to do this until after I get back.”

“We wanted you to have something that will make you think of us every day,” Elizabeth says.

“We’re kind of embarrassed we didn’t do this when you first started leaving,” Rachel adds.

“What, back when we were babies?”

During my very first Christmas, Mom stayed home with me on the farm while Dad operated our family Christmas tree lot down in California. The next year, Mom thought we should stay home one more season, but Dad didn’t want to be without us again. He would rather skip the lot for a year, he said, and rely solely on shipping the trees to vendors across the country. Mom felt bad, though, for the families who made a holiday tradition out of coming to us to buy their trees. And while it was a business, Dad being the second generation to run it, it was also a cherished tradition for both of them. They met, in fact, because Mom and her parents were annual customers. So every year now, that’s where I spend my days from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

Rachel reclines, setting her hands on the stage to prop herself up. “Are your parents still deciding about this being the last Christmas in California?”

I scratch at a piece of tape that holds down another fold. “Did the store wrap this?”

Rachel whispers to Elizabeth loud enough for me to hear, “She’s changing the subject.”

“I’m sorry,” I say, “I just hate thinking about this being our last year. As much as I love you, I would miss going down there. Besides, all I know is what I’ve overheard—they still haven’t mentioned it to me—but they seem pretty stressed about finances. Until they make up their minds, I don’t want to get my heart set either way.”

If we hang on to the lot for three more seasons, our family will have run that spot for thirty years. When my grandparents first bought the lot, the little town was in a growth spurt. Cities much closer to our farm in Oregon already had established lots, if not an abundance of them. Now everything from supermarkets to hardware stores sells trees, or people sell them for fund-raisers. Tree lots like ours aren’t as common anymore. If we let it go, we’d be doing all of our business selling to those supermarkets and fund-raisers, or supplying other lots with our trees.

Elizabeth puts a hand on my knee. “Part of me wants you to go back next year because I know you love it, but if you do stay we’d all get to spend Christmas together for the first time.”

I can’t help smiling at the thought. I love these girls, but Heather is also one of my best friends, and I only see her one month out of the year when I’m in California. “We’ve been going down there forever,” I say. “I can’t imagine what it would be like to suddenly . . . not.”

“I can tell you what it would be like,” Rachel says. “It’ll be senior year. Skiing. Hot tubbing. In the snow!”

But I love our snowless California town, right on the coast, just three hours south of San Francisco. I also love selling trees, seeing the same families come to us year after year. It wouldn’t feel right to spend so long growing the trees only to ship them all off for other people to sell.

“Sounds fun, right?” Rachel asks. She leans close to me and wiggles her eyebrows. “Now, imagine it with boys.”

I snort-laugh and then cover my mouth.

“Or not,” Elizabeth says, pulling back Rachel’s shoulder. “It could be nice to have it just us, a time without any boys.”

“That’s pretty much me every Christmas,” I say. “Remember, last year I got dumped the night before we drove to California.”

“That was horrible,” Elizabeth says, though she does laugh a little. “Then he brings that homeschool girl with the big boobs to winter formal and—”

Rachel presses a finger to Elizabeth’s lips. “I think she remembers.”

I look down at my first present, still mostly wrapped. “Not that I blame him. Who wants to be in a long-distance relationship over the holidays? I wouldn’t.”

“Although,” Rachel says, “you did say there are some good-looking guys who work on the tree lot.”

“Right.” I shake my head. “Like Dad will let that happen.”

“Okay, no more talking about this,” Elizabeth says. “Open your gifts.”

I pull up a piece of tape, but my mind is now on California. Heather and I have been friends literally since we can remember. My grandparents on Mom’s side used to live next door to her family. When my grandparents passed away, her family took me in for a couple of hours each day to give my parents a break. In exchange, their house got a beautiful Christmas tree, a few wreaths, and two or three workers to hang lights on their roof.

Elizabeth sighs. “Your presents. Please?”

I tear open one side of the wrapping.

They’re right, of course. I would love to spend at least one winter here before we all graduate and move off to wherever. I’ve had dreams of being with them for the ice-sculpting contest and all the other things they tell me about that go on around here.

But my holidays in California are the only time I get to see my other best friend. I stopped referring to Heather simply as my winter friend years ago. She’s one of my best friends, period. I used to also see her a few weeks every summer when visiting my grandparents, but those visits stopped when they passed away. I worry I may not be able to enjoy this season with her, knowing it might be my last.

Rachel stands up and walks away across the stage. “I need to get some coffee.”

Elizabeth yells after her, “She’s opening our presents!”

“She’s opening your present,” Rachel says. “Mine has the red ribbon.”

The first frame I open, with the green ribbon, contains a selfie of Elizabeth. Her tongue sticks out sideways while her eyes look in the opposite direction. It’s like almost every other photo she takes of herself, which is why I love it.

I press the frame against my chest. “Thank you.”

Elizabeth blushes. “You’re welcome.”

“I’m opening yours now!” I shout across the stage.

Walking slowly toward us, Rachel carries three paper cups of steaming coffee. We each take one. I set mine to the side as Rachel sits back down in front of me, and then I begin to open her present. Even though it’s only one month, I am going to miss her so much.

In Rachel’s photo, her beautiful face is sideways, partially blocked by her hand as if she didn’t want the picture taken.

“It’s supposed to look like I’m being stalked by the paparazzi,” she says. “Like I’m a big-time actress coming out of a fancy restaurant. In real life, though, there would probably be a huge bodyguard behind me, but—”

“But you’re not an actress,” Elizabeth says. “You want to do set design.”

“That’s part of the plan,” Rachel says. “Do you know how many actresses there are in the world? Millions. And all of them are trying so hard to get noticed, which is a total turnoff. One day, while I’m designing sets for some famous producer, he’ll take one look at me and just know it’s a waste to keep me behind the camera. I should be in front of it. And he’ll take full credit for discovering me, but I actually made him discover me.”

“What concerns me,” I say, “is that I know you believe it’s going to happen just like that.”

Rachel takes a sip from her coffee. “Because it is.”

The first bell rings. I gather the silver wrapping paper and crumple it into a ball. Rachel carries that and our empty coffee cups to a trash can backstage. Elizabeth puts my frames into a paper grocery bag and then rolls down the top before handing it back to me.

“I assume we can’t stop by before you leave?” Elizabeth asks.

“Probably not,” I say. I follow them down the steps, and we take our time walking up the aisle to the back of the theater. “I’ll be in bed early tonight so I can work a couple of hours before school tomorrow. And then we leave first thing Wednesday morning.”

“What time?” Rachel asks. “Maybe we—”

“Three a.m.,” I say, laughing. From our farm in Oregon to our lot in California, it’s about a seventeen-hour drive, depending on bathroom breaks and holiday traffic. “Of course, if you want to get up that early . . .”

“That’s okay,” Elizabeth says. “We’ll send you good thoughts in our dreams.”

“Do you have all your assignments?” Rachel asks.

“I believe so.” Two winters ago, there were maybe a dozen of us migrating tree-lot kids at school. This year, we’re down to three. Thankfully, with so many farms in the area, teachers are used to accommodating different harvest times. “Monsieur Cappeau is worried about my ability to pratique mon français while I’m gone, so he’s making me call in once a week for a chat.”

Rachel winks at me. “Is that the only reason he wants you to call?”

“Don’t be gross,” I say.

“Remember,” Elizabeth says, “Sierra doesn’t like older men.”

I’m laughing now. “You’re talking about Paul, right? We only went out once, but then he got caught with an open can of beer in his friend’s car.”

“In his defense, he wasn’t driving,” Rachel points out. Before I can respond, she holds up her hand. “But I get it. You saw that as a sign of impending alcoholism. Or bad decision making. Or . . . something.”

Elizabeth shakes her head. “You are way too fussy, Sierra.”

Rachel and Elizabeth always give me a hard time about my standards with guys. I’ve just watched too many girls end up with guys who bring them down. Maybe not at first, but eventually. Why waste years or months, or even days, on someone like that?

Before we reach the double doors that lead back into the halls, Elizabeth takes a step ahead and spins toward us. “I’m going to be late for English, but let’s meet up for lunch, okay?”

I smile because we always meet up for lunch.

We push our way into the halls and Elizabeth disappears into the bustle of students.

“Two more lunches,” Rachel says. She pretends to wipe tears from the corners of her eyes as we walk. “That’s all we get. It almost makes me want to—”

“Stop!” I say. “Don’t say it.”

“Oh, don’t worry about me.” Rachel waves her hand dismissively. “I’ve got plenty to keep me busy while you party it up in California. Let’s see, next Monday we’ll start tearing down the set. That should take a week or so. Then I’ll help the dance committee finish designing the winter formal. It’s not theater, but I like to use my talents where they’re needed.”

“Do they have a theme for this year yet?” I ask.

“Snow Globe of Love,” she says. “It sounds cheesy, I know, but I’ve got some great ideas. I want to decorate the whole gym to look like you’re dancing in the middle of a snow globe. So I’ll be plenty busy until you get back.”

“See? You’ll hardly miss me,” I say.

“That’s right,” Rachel says. She nudges me as we continue to walk. “But you’d better miss me.”

And I will. For my entire life, missing my friends has been a Christmas tradition.
 

Customer Reviews

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What Light 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thus book is freaking amazing! Im so suprised there arent as msny commentd
JMTJTC More than 1 year ago
“It's your heart. No one else gets a say in that." Genre: Young Adult Romance. Number of Pages: 251. Perspective: First. Location: Oregon/California. Sierra’s family owns a Christmas tree farm in Oregon and then spend Christmas time in California selling the trees. She shuts herself off to love for the month-long trips to California, but can’t help it when she meets a guy who buys Christmas trees for families in need. Well, this is definitely not what I was expecting from the author of one of the most controversial books (and shows), Thirteen Reasons Why. It was definitely a lot lighter and more of a romance than a suspense. Maybe Asher thought he needed to tone it down a bit? I’m not sure, but it certainly was on the opposite end of the spectrum. It was a well written and enjoyable story. It was perfect for Christmas time. I actually haven’t read a Christmas themed book in a while, so it was a nice change of pace. I have also been into really dark books lately, so this was probably a lot better for my soul. Maybe I should pull out a few more lighter books from my shelves… I recommend this book for reading around Christmas time when you are surrounded by family and don’t want to read any more dark books around the most joyous time of the year. [Hands up if you are still stuck reading Halloween creepy, scary, dark thrillers. *Raises Hand*] To read the rest of my review, go here: http://judgingmorethanjustthecover.blogspot.com/2017/12/what-light-jay-asher.html
MyndiL More than 1 year ago
I'm in a really big habit of not reading the synopsis before I check out or start reading a book. Imagine my surprise and delight to find out this was a Christmas book and I was reading in the right season! The history of Sierra's family is interesting. I can't imagine what it would be like to split your time between two different states and two different sets of friends. It seems like it would be a fun and also sometimes frustrating way to live, but the characters in this book really make it work. Sierra is very content in her life and that makes the idea of the split living more tolerable, I think. The biggest thing to learn from this book, because I'm the kind of person who likes to look for the little hidden lessons in each story I read, is that most people deserve a second chance in life. People are fallible, we make mistakes and sometimes they are huge, but a majority of people are inherently good and can evolve from these mistakes and be a better person even because of making them. The part that bothered me the most was how incredibly young Caleb was when he made his big mistake. Not that it wasn't a horrifying mistake, but he was a kid...I feel like the town and people were incredibly harsh to be hanging on to something for that long. I appreciated the generosity, both of Caleb in general and the generosity of spirit and forgiveness in Sierra when it came to Caleb. I love reading stories where the characters recognize each other's flaws and are accepting of each other in spite of these flaws. It's not a perfect world and there are no perfect people, families or couples. I'm such a huge (if somewhat new) fan of Dessen and I hope she continues to right these truly realistic, poignant and touching stories.
WhatsBeyondForks More than 1 year ago
What Light by Jay Asher was a cozy little story. It was very Christmas-y and would make a nice read for a snow day this coming winter. The story was very family centered. Family is very important to Sierra. Dating wasn't on her to-do list, but Caleb grew on her. There wasn't much drama or anything that required too much thinking while you read. There wasn't anything particularly profound about this story, and there didn't need to be. It was just a light an easy story, and I enjoyed seeing some of the inner workings of a Christmas tree farm almost as much as I enjoyed the growing relationship between Caleb and Sierra.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was so good!!!! Although it was not as intriging as thirteen reasons why it was still very good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it
KateUnger More than 1 year ago
What Light is such a fun holiday romance. Sierra’s family owns a Christmas tree farm in Oregon, but each winter they travel to California for Thanksgiving through Christmas to tell their trees. This summer could be their last because the tree lot isn’t doing well. Sierra’s parents met and fell in love on the tree lot when they were teenagers, but despite that, they can’t believe that Sierra might feel the same way about Caleb. Even Sierra doesn’t want it to be love. She’s a practical girl, and she knows long distance relationships can’t last. This story was so unique. A family that travels for the Christmas season is unconventional, but fun. The full cast of characters are terrific. Sierra and Caleb were both adorable. And I loved Sierra’s friends – Elizabeth and Rachel in Oregon and Heather and Devon in California. Everything in this book seemed realistic. The parents were present, and while somewhat overprotective, they were great additions to the story. For a holiday romance, it’s not overly Christmas-y, so it could be read any time during the year. It was a very quick read, and one that I may revisit again in the future. http://opinionatedbooklover.com/review-what-light-by-jay-asher/
TheThoughtSpot More than 1 year ago
What Light by Jay Asher is a clean, young adult romance that takes place during the Christmas season. This setting makes What Light perfect for a warm, cozy, winter read! Sierra and her family leave their Oregon tree farm and head to their California tree lot each year around Thanksgiving until Christmas. This might be their last year doing this, so Sierra wants to make it memorable. Her friends in Oregon miss her during this time, while her friend in California, Heather, loves Sierra being near. Heather wants to double date and is trying to find someone for Sierra, but Sierra takes care of that on her own when she meets and gets to know Caleb. There is a bad rumor going around about Caleb and something he did in the past. My curiosity kept me reading and I enjoyed the whole Christmas theme. The realistic kindness warmed my heart. Caleb introduces Sierra to his mom and sister in an awkward moment. The relationship between Caleb and Sierra struggles because of gossip, parents and the long distance between their homes and they have to learn how to handle all of these problems if they want to make their relationship work. A touching romance that's perfect for the holiday season or anytime you want to feel warm and cozy - 4.5 stars!
Lisa-LostInLiterature More than 1 year ago
Sierra and her family live in Oregon most of the year... but once Thanksgiving approach, they pick up and head to California where they have a tree farm. From Thanksgiving to Christmas they spend their time selling Christmas trees on their family's farm before heading back home for the remaining eleven months of the year. Sierra overhears her parents talking one day and realizes that this may, sadly, be the last year that they head to California for the holiday. This breaks her heart as she has a whole other life out there in California, including a best friend. Sierra loves going to Cali, and the thought of never going back is heartbreaking... this year especially, after having met a local bad boy, Caleb. There are rumors surrounding him that cause Sierra to hesitate at first, but she begins to form feelings for Caleb and wants to get to the bottom of the rumors and find out if they're true or just gossip. Even more concerning... if Sierra does get past Caleb's past, what will happen when these few weeks are up and she goes back to Oregon. Will she never see him again? “I don't know how to fully enjoy any of these moments without wondering if it's the last.” The relationships and characters alone in this story were really great. I loved how involved Sierra's parents were in her life, without being too overbearing or strict. I loved the friendships and bonds between characters in general. I did feel like some of the story wasn't really gone into as much as I would have liked, but overall I thought this story was very well done. It's much more of a cute story than a dark emotional one, which is exactly what I was hoping for. I'm such a fan of adorable YA contemporary stories, especially when the stories are festive and surround the holiday season. Since this story specifically takes place around Christmas, reading it this month was exactly what I was looking for. It was sweet, hopeful, and all kinds of adorable. Definitely the perfect fun, quick read for the holiday season.
lilacqueen75 More than 1 year ago
To be honest, I wasn't sure how well a man could write a story from a teenage girl's point-of-view, but I was pleasantly surprised! I've never thought about what goes into bringing Christmas trees to lots for people to buy.  Sierra's family has a Christmas tree farm in Oregon and they spend every month between Thanksgiving and Christmas in California running a lot. That's their way of life and now as a junior in high school, Sierra is dreading the day when it all comes to an end. Some teens would probably be resentful of this family tradition, as it uproots Sierra from her home, school, and friends, during the holidays, but she embraces this life. She is pretty mature about the situations she finds herself in and does a good job of balancing work, family, and friends. I love her attitude and the way she is able to look past the superficial parts of a person. When Caleb buys a tree from her lot, Sierra is intrigued and can't shake him out of her mind. Against advice from loved ones, she allows herself to pursue a whirlwind romance, and in turn, recognizes that true love just might conquer all. Caleb is a little mysterious and has a past, but his actions and the rumors don't exactly align. This book is a mesh of loyalties, forgiveness, love, fears, and more. It was hard for me to completely relate to Sierra, since my life hasn't been split in two as hers has been, but I can relate to emotions and this story has many. This isn't your typical light-hearted Christmas romance, but a feel-good story still emerges from the angst. I did want a little more resolution. Content: mild romance (kissing); mild language; mention of mild violence. *I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*
BookNutter More than 1 year ago
After reading Jay's debut years ago, I couldn't wait for this one. It didn't disappoint. So powerful!!!
feather_lashes More than 1 year ago
What Light is a standalone, contemporary young-adult novel set during Christmastime. It's hard not to compare the author Jay Asher's previous work to this one, and just so you know, there's no comparison. But What Light offers perspective and an inspiring message all its own. The themes incorporated in this story include self-forgiveness, allowing others to move on from their mistakes, second chances, and not casting judgment on others because you never know what you would do when confronted with similar stressors. Another thing of note in this novel was how tangible the Christmas holiday felt. The spirit of giving, winter weather, fresh Christmas trees, and candy cane hot chocolate flowing all around transported me to the setting pretty effortlessly. Overall, I liked What Light and I think all ages can learn some life lessons. Check it out! My favorite quote: “They didn't even say thank you. Not once!” “They missed the parade. They were frustrated.” “Are you serious? You brought them a free tree!” “I'm not doing this to earn a gold star. They had a little baby and they were probably tired. Missing the parade – misunderstanding or not – would be frustrating.” “But you're doing this with your own money on your own time...” “So you would only do this if people tell you how awesome you are for it?” ... “Just so you know, I am very aware of how mean they were about getting a free tree. I have to believe, though, that everyone is allowed a bad day.” That's another good lesson. It's eye-opening for teens especially to be involved in volunteer work or community service and not be shown appreciation. That's not why you give of yourself though. Sometimes there is no thank you but you just have to remember why you're there.
BriOnIce More than 1 year ago
I'll be completely honest here, my best friend bought me this book while in store about a week and a few days ago. I didn't know if I would like it or not, but I thought the cover was absolutely beautiful. But within a day as I was reading the last few chapters, tears rolling down my cheeks, this book became one of my all time favorites. What Light is full of cuteness, love, heartbreak, and Christmas and it's simply just wonderful.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
I loved Thirteen Reason’s Why so when I heard that Jay Asher had a new book coming out I knew I had to read it. The story centers on Sierra, her family lives in Oregon growing Christmas trees which the family sells in California every year. Sierra loves both of these worlds, her friends in Oregon and her friends in California. Sierra knows that she is missing something when she leaves them but she knows that when she returns each year, it is like she has never left. The family packs up their camper and heads off to their familiar site in California where they will set up shop over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season. The Christmas tree business has been in the family for years but each year, her parents talk about the dwindling sales and how the competition is taking their business away. This might be the last year that her family keeps their business open in California and when Sierra hears this news she vows to make this year a memorable one. Her best friend in California is excited to have her back and she soon starts planning Sierra’s memorable holiday season. Heather wants it to include boys but Sierra knows that her trip to California entails only a few short weeks and she doesn’t want to start a relationship that she will have to end abruptly. With boys working around their Christmas tree lot, it’s hard not to add boys into this memorable holiday trip. This is a good feel novel; the romance was sweet, fast and swoony. I realize that Sierra didn’t have much time to build her relationship and time was of the essence so things had to move rather quickly in this novel. It was her first romance and I felt she fell hard, too fast for my standards. I liked the relationships that Sierra had with her friends, she was able to keep her long distance relationships alive with them even when she was not with them and they all felt like they knew each other. The story had a nice flow and l loved the idea behind the story. I thought her father was ridiculous, you would have thought that Sierra was ten years old the way this man was carrying on. I was excited and thrilled to read Jay’s latest novel but it’s not as good as his first one, I think.
book_junkee More than 1 year ago
I've been a fan of Jay's words for a while, so I greedy grabbed this book off of his name alone. Love love loved Sierra. She's smart and a genuinely nice person. I loved that she struggled to deal with the two parts of her life, but could recognize that each one was special. That one wasn't better than the other. Of course I'm infatuated with Caleb and I firmly believe there's a gift exchange scene that tops every single other one ever written. Ever. The story was heartbreaking and hopeful and absolutely lovely. I felt like I was on the lot with them and I'm definitely going to try Sierra's mix of mocha. Of course I wanted more at the end, but like I said at the beginning, I'm greedy. The slice of time we got was perfection. **Huge thanks to Razorbill and Edelweiss for providing the arc free of charge**
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While the book might not have drawn me in during the first couple of chapters, the middle and end captured my attention. Absolutely loved the book. Now I wish I knew what happens with Sierra and Caleb.