Pepermint Cocoa and Chirstmas Trees: What Light by Jay Asher REVIEW

Christmas themed novels for the holidays are as rare as a happy Grinch. So, it is always a joy to find a holiday themed novel during this time of year. What Light is Jay Asher's recent novel set on a Christmas tree farm on the brink of closing down. I know it sounds a bit sad for a holiday read but it truly isn't. It's a story about forgiveness and love and knowing when to let go.

I went into reading What Light a bit apprehensive. Having read his previous novels I know that Jay can delve into dark waters and I was bracing for something heavier. Yet, what I experienced was unexpected and appreciated. A story that gave me a bit of hope and joy for the holiday season.

What Light centers on Sierra, a girl who's family owns a Christmas Tree farm. Each year they travel out of state to run the family business and it's always strictly business for Sierra, who has a no nonsense attitude about life and boys. She doesn't believe in complicating her life with a temporary relationship or problematic boys....that is until she meets Caleb and all her self imposed rules seem to not matter as much anymore. As Sierra struggles with her feelings for Caleb and what began as a harmless dalliance quickly turns into something deeper and more meaningful she also has to deal with the idea that her long time family business may have to close down. It is a alot for her to have to deal with especially when Caleb's past comes to light and she has to makes some important decisions.

Sierra proved to be a character that I admired because of her stern moral compass but that I knew was too narrow despite her good intentions. She had a solid family and great friends that I really liked seeing in this book. Some YA novels don't seem to have enough of that. Her father was too funny especially when it comes to potential suitors and I will never look at bathroom duties the same way again. Caleb seemed to be a quite force that was understated yet commanding and I liked how he sought redemption with his selfless acts of kindness. He also seemed very wise for his age and seemed to have a positive outlook despite his past.

“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.” 

I enjoyed Sierra and Caleb together and it gave me a warm feeling to see that love can conquer all things big and small. What light is a good holiday read that is a bit slow at first but then it quickly picks up and gets you into the holiday spirit.


By Jay Asher
Published: October 18th 2016
Publisher: Razorbill
Source:  Book provided by publisher for an honest review

From Jay Asher, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Thirteen Reasons Why, comes a romance that will break your heart, but soon have you believing again. . . .
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.

An Evening with Jay Asher

On November 3rd Jay Asher came to visit at Copperfield's in Petaluma. It wasn't the first time that I had the pleasure of seeing Jay but this time hot cocoa was on the agenda.

Jay Asher introduces himself and begins to talk about the inspiration for What Light. A story he has had on the back burner for many years.


Jay decided to share the gift he just received from his publicist.

Jay introduces Devin Druid who plays Tyler in Thirteen Reasons Why came by for a visit.

Devin Druid looks on as Jay talks about Thirteen Reasons Why and how he loved the entire production process.

Jay tells his audience about the inception for What Light


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