Holiday Reads for 2016: What Light and The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily

When Christmastime comes around I cannot help but want to read holiday themed books that bring me happiness and cheer. This year I was able to pick up two new releases that highlight the season and below are short reviews of each of them.


whatlightWhat Light by Jay Asher

Published by Razorbill on October 18, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Holiday

Pages: 251 Format: Hardcover Source: Library

4/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

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 from Jay Asher was such a ridiculously enjoyable holiday read. It brought back so much nostalgia for the tree buying experience and how simple things can bring so much cheer. Sierra tries so hard to keep everything separate between Oregon and California, but life has other plans when Caleb comes for a tree. He is kind and charming but haunted by his past. No matter what he does, Caleb struggles for forgiveness, and it was heartbreaking to read. Sierra though let’s him in and opens herself up at the same time. I honestly think it would be kind of cool to live on a tree farm but I totally understand the difficulties of pulling up your life for a month out of the year. I mean, one life is hard enough, try wrangling two. Overall I really liked What Light and felt the holiday spirit shone through so I’d definitely recommend for a winter read.


twelvedaysdashlilyThe Twelve Days of Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on October 18, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Holiday

Pages: 272 Format: Hardcover Source: Library

3/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Dash and Lily have had a tough year since they first fell in love among the shelves of their favorite bookstore. Lily’s beloved grandfather suffered a heart attack, and his difficult road to recovery has taken a major toll on her typically sunny disposition.

With only twelve days left until Christmas—Lily’s favorite time of the year—Dash, Lily’s brother Langston, and their closest friends must take Manhattan by storm to help Lily recapture the unique holiday magic of a glittering, snow-covered New York City in December.

Honestly I was kind of disappointed with The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. I loved Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares so much and I just thought this one lost that magic. Maybe that was the point though. After a year of struggles it’s Christmastime again but Lily has lost her passion. Thankfully Dash is there to help her find it. I will say this story was wonderfully honest about how life and relationships have moments of brilliance and others that are lackluster but to not lose sight of the bigger picture. I, of course, still love both Dash & Lily dearly and think they grew tremendously in this book, which I truly appreciated. All in all this sequel was just alright but if you loved the first one I definitely recommend reading this follow up.


Overall What Light and The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily were excellent books to put me in the mood for the holidays and think they’re are great additions to the winter collection. Do you like to read holiday themed books this time of year? What are some of your favorites? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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