Where to start with this book!? I loved The Light We Lost. A quick Google search of reviews for the book will tell you that just about everyone else did too. It’s a book that stayed with me long after I finished it (a common thought by many readers) and I have recommended it to many. It is the author Jill Santopolo‘s first novel for adults, though she has a robust background in writing and editing, as has written books for both kids and teens. As I often do to grow my book list, I was looking at online book club suggestions and found this one suggested by the Hello Sunshine book club for February 2018.
This book is a love story, but it’s also has a bit of a sliding doors feeling to it. A lot of what ifs cross the mind of the main character, and really, who hasn’t thought about what their life would be like if they would have stayed with a past loved, moved to a certain place, broken up sooner with someone – every single person has defining moments like that in their lives and maybe that’s what makes this book so enchanting.
The story focuses on the power of a first love. That all encompassing, feel like you’re going to die if you don’t see them, your heart physically hurts thinking about them, starry eyed kind of love. The love that makes you abandon reason and fall deep into the world the two of you have created. Love like that leaves a mark on your heart and your soul and can certainly influence just about every decision around love you make after that point. Is it weird that Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber come to mind? Probably.
It was really nice to be drawn into a story that was romantic and heartbreaking at the same time. The doses of reality (making decisions about careers, practical life events) made the story really relatable and I thought the author did a great job of moving Lucy along in life while still exploring her inner thoughts about love and relationships and how that changed over the course of her life.
This book will pull you in. Don’t abandon it based on the start of the book surrounding 9/11 events. There were several reviews that said they were turned away after not wanting to read about that time period – it’s really not about that, nor does it focus on that very much at all.
Let yourself lean into the story. Remind yourself about how deep emotions can run when it comes to fierce and fiery love and let yourself be carried away with Lucy and Gabe. If you love love, you will love this book. The word on the street is that there is already talk to turn this book into a movie. I put this book on my suggested summer reading list and I can also suggest Kristin Hannah’s The Night Road for another book that will pull you away as you read about another explosive emotional journey.