Book Reviews

Review: The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

The Light We Lost will burn through you like a shooting star. The way it is narrated keeps you reading as the mystery becomes even more complicated. Described as a combination of One Day and Me Before You, that description is one hundred percent spot on. Ultimately, it all comes down to taste, the love between the characters, and overall message about love.


What starts off as a chance meeting between Lucy and Gabe transforms into an event that will change both of their lives. Meeting on September 11th, their relationship inspires them to make their lives matter. However, their career aspirations take them in different directions and, with heavy hearts, they decide to part ways. But fate has a way of keeping them together and the love they share holds them in orbit. Is fate able to bring them together?


The love between Lucy and Gabe is the foundation for the entire book. Their relationship is, as described by Lucy, like two planets orbiting each other. There is a certain pull that keeps them together, one that influences their lives in both positive and negative ways. Describing their love saga, of about thirteen years, I think that empathy to their particular brand of love is crucial to your enjoyment of the novel. A friend of Lucy’s describes love relationships as different types of fires: wildfire, hearth fire, and bonfires. The relationship that Lucy and Gabe have is a wildfire, and much like an orbiting planet, it is difficult to know whether that relationship is the one you want. What made it difficult for me to love the book was the actual relationship with Gabe.

I felt that their love was selfish at times. And even though I understood her decisions and their love, it made it difficult for me to like Gabe. Now the point isn’t so much whether you can love Gabe, because we are all human and have flaws. We make mistakes and a lot of time we aren’t even likable. So I discounted this personal feeling and focused on the rest of the novel.

From a pure narration technique, Lucy’s voice is fantastic. The chapters are short and there are many of them, but each one keeps your hanging onto her next words. By telling us a story, as if she’s talking to Gabe, it introduces a mystery. Her tone tells us that something has happened between the events on the past, as they slowly make their way to the present. This reveal doesn’t occur until the very end (however, I predicted it from the start), but when it does, the pieces begin to fit together.

Lucy herself is an intricate character. I can see that may people will be able to relate to her passionate love and the difficulty to break that orbit. In that respect, I enjoyed Lucy’s character, even though I didn’t agree with all of her decisions. (Except her choice of friends, especially Kate, was spot on. I loved their supportive relationship and all the conversations between them).

All in all, I ended up enjoying the book, the way the mystery unfolds, and the little details within it (some side characters, and the observations Lucy makes). However, it’s hard not to like the book because it’s written in an intriguing way, with characters you can love and hate. I stand by the description from the beginning, the combination of One Day and Me Before You, so if you enjoyed those, this is for you.

If you are interested, you can pre-order it on Amazon (it comes out tomorrow!), or add it to your Goodreads.

Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review from First to Read.


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