The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo (325 pages)
Overview: Gabe and Lucy met in college on one of the worst days in American history, September 11, 2001. That day, and the tragedy that surrounded it, brings them together and leaves a mark on them that they cannot shake. Over eleven years, with more time apart than together, their lives move and change, influencing their love story, but uniting again never quite falls into place. I enjoyed getting to see the scope of two ill fated lovers's relationship, and the way it was built toward the ending made the book impossible to put down. Overall: 4.5
Notes: I did want to point out, this is the first book I've read in the adult fiction category. This story follows two people who meet senior year of college into their thirties. While the story focuses on a different time of life, it still held the delicious YA feel I love, which, after reading the author bio, I was not surprised by as she has written YA and children's novels before.
Characters: 4 I really liked these characters. It is told from Lucy's prospective which I thought was a strong choice. This does create a bit of distance from the other characters in the story, as we only see them through Lucy's eyes, but the way that Santopolo chose to direct the novel as a letter or story told to Gabe, the reader gains a better feeling of whole he was too.
Plot: 5 It's hard to discuss the plot in too much detail without spoiling the story, but, on a basic level, the book chronicles the eleven years Lucy and Gabe knew each other. The reader follows Lucy's life, and her major moments, but, even when she's marrying another man, they all hold connections to Gabe. The short chapters and meaty action creates a book that you can't put down. I started the book in the evening and finished it the next morning.
Writing: 5 I thought that Santopolo demonstrated skill in her writing. The choice to tell the story in near second person, addressing it to "you", but you as Lucy speaking to Gabe and not you the reader, was a strong one. It draws the reader in from the start. I thought the author was able to create a realistic portrayal of people and families in her characters and give the readers a strong understanding of the motivations. I also loved her in depth thoughts on free will vs. predetermined paths, and how she was able to explore that in the character's lives throughout the novel.
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