Monday, May 21, 2018

All the Little Lights - Review

All the Little Lights

By: Jamie McGuire

Expected Publication: May 29th 2018 by Montlake Romance


Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)

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Goodreads description--From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jamie McGuire comes a riveting tale of first love that starts young but runs deep.

The first time Elliott Youngblood spots Catherine Calhoun, he’s just a boy with a camera, and he’s never seen a sadder and more beautiful sight. Both Elliott and Catherine feel like outcasts, yet they find an easy friendship with each other. But when Catherine needs him most, Elliott is forced to leave town.

Elliott finally returns, but he and Catherine are now different people. He’s a star high school athlete, and she spends all her free time working at her mother’s mysterious bed-and-breakfast. Catherine hasn’t forgiven Elliott for abandoning her, but he’s determined to win back her friendship…and her heart.

Just when Catherine is ready to fully trust Elliott, he becomes the prime suspect in a local tragedy. Despite the town’s growing suspicions, Catherine clings to her love for Elliott. But a devastating secret that Catherine has buried could destroy whatever chance of happiness they have left.

I've read several of Jamie McGuire's New Adult books, but to see her publish something young adult was really exciting for me because I tend to like her writing in general and her stories, but I don't really enjoy the descriptive scenes that come with the New Adult genre.

The description of All the Little Lights reminded me of Tillie Cole's A Thousand Boy Kisses. While the two certainly have pieces in common (a friendship from youth that has an undertone of the potential for more, the boy has to leave, and the betrayal of being apart that needs to be reconciled once the two find their way back to each other), plenty was certainly there to separate the two books.

While reading All the Little Lights, I had a lot of questions. Things didn't make a ton of sense in several areas. I wondered if Catherine's big secret would turn out to be something trivial. I didn't understand the guests of the Juniper or their motivations and how they played into the story. Catherine at times mentioned being afraid of certain guests but then at times said there was nothing to be afraid of. She also seemed to like other guests but would at time respond to them with bitterness. I wondered if Jamie McGuire could pull off answering all of my questions in a way that would satisfy me without feeling like a letdown. She really, really did. I was genuinely surprised and enjoyed how everything worked out and revealed itself.

I will say that I had two questions at the end of the book that were left unanswered. I didn't understand Tess as a character really and I wish there'd been some more information concerning her and how she fit in. She felt like either she didn't fully belong in the story or she was left out of a major plot point that she was maybe originally designed to be. Either way, I felt a disconnect there. And then my other question revolved around Catherine's future. I can't go into detail without spoiling certain parts of the book.

Of course, I really enjoyed the romance between Catherine and Elliot. I did roll my eyes at Catherine's "maybe you're better off without me" attitude at times. But overall the two really clung to each other in a way that I loved.

I particularly loved Mrs. Mason and as an adult found the side story between her and Mr. Mason particularly enjoyable and complex.

Favorite quotes:

-"My Uncle John says people can only make us angry if we let them, and if we let them, we give them power."

-You are in control of your emotions. You're in control of your reaction. You can, at any time, change the way you feel.

-It's good, you know, for things not to come easy.

-"You can't get someone out of quicksand if you're stuck in it, too," I said.

All the Little Lights was more than I expected it to be. Maybe I should have seen the big surprise coming, but I totally didn't. I really enjoyed the romance between Elliot and Catherine. I read this one really quickly which is always good. And I was ultimately happy with the way that Jamie McGuire wrapped up this puzzle leaving me with only a couple of questions. All the Little Lights gets 4 Stars. Have you read All the Little Lights? What did you think? Let me know!

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