Saturday, February 11, 2017

What Light, by Jay Asher

Every year, Sierra and her family spend the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas selling trees in California.  It's something that Sierra both dreads and enjoys.  She'll miss her friends back in Oregon, but she has a Californian BFF as well that she looks forward to seeing each year.  This year, however, may be the last time she gets to go -- her parents are thinking of switching to wholesaling their Christmas trees and foregoing the trip.

This year is also special in another way:  Sierra meets a new boy named Caleb and falls in love for the first time.  But Caleb has a dark history and just about everyone wants to break them apart.  Will their relationship be able to withstand the pressure (as well as the fact that the two lovers only have a few weeks together)?

You can probably guess what will happen.  And if you know Asher's writing you'll also know that a great deal of winding up of the tension will be met with a fizzling climax (why anyone likes his works is incomprehensible to me -- I'll consider this my last attempt to understand his success).  For example, the parental disapproval (based upon the rather smothering desire to protect their daughter from the heartbreak of a relationship doomed to fall apart more than concern over Caleb's dark past) is diffused shockingly uneventfully.  And conflicts with friends and other peers never fully solidify.  The most interesting subplot (an estrangement between Caleb and her friend Jeremiah) is resolved bizarrely.  The writing is pretty but the action of the story really goes nowhere and often makes no sense.

No comments: