Thursday, December 10, 2020

Book Review: The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

Title: The Light We Lost
Author: Jill Santopolo 
Publication Date: May 9, 2017
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Pages: 328
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He was the first person to inspire her, to move her, to truly understand her. Was he meant to be the last?

Lucy is faced with a life-altering choice. But before she can make her decision, she must start her story—their story—at the very beginning.

Lucy and Gabe meet as seniors at Columbia University on a day that changes both of their lives forever. Together, they decide they want their lives to mean something, to matter. When they meet again a year later, it seems fated—perhaps they’ll find life’s meaning in each other. But then Gabe becomes a photojournalist assigned to the Middle East and Lucy pursues a career in New York. What follows is a thirteen-year journey of dreams, desires, jealousies, betrayals, and, ultimately, of love. Was it fate that brought them together? Is it choice that has kept them away? Their journey takes Lucy and Gabe continents apart, but never out of each other’s hearts.

The Light We Lost is the second book I’ve read this year that incorporated the events of 9/11 into the plot; and coincidentally, they’re both romance novels. I probably won’t write a review on it, but The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves was a five star read for me this year that I highly recommend!

The Light We Lost is a book about fate, love, and life. I purchased this ebook on sale thanks to BookBub and as soon as I started it, I was hooked. Lucy and Gabe met on 9/11 at Columbia University. On the roof of Columbia University, watching the smoke rise and the destruction that happened on that tragic day, they both made a promise to make their lives mean something; to make sure that what they do helps other people.

“There are moments that shift the trajectory of people’s lives.” We are taken on a journey of Lucy and Gabe’s fated lives through the first person POV. It reads as one big love note from Lucy to Gabe. I will be honest: this isn’t your typical romantic story and there are moments and themes in this book that will make you want to rip your hair out and throw the book across the room, but that’s what I loved about it. It’s easy to go pick up your typical romance novel that has predictable twists and turns and a predictable ending. Those are the easy stories to read because they’re what people want out of life. This is one of the hard ones because it’s full of jealousy, hatred, betrayal, and constant bad decisions, but that’s real life. It’s messy and it’s complicated and we make mistakes that can never be fixed and we find a way to move on.

They say you never forget your first love and that is evidenced in Santopolo’s alluring and affecting book. This was an absolute five star read for me. If I had a machine that allowed me to unread a book just to experience it for the first time all over again, this is one of the books I would choose to unread. Lucy and Gabe, along with the other people in their lives, are anguish personified and I highly recommend this book. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll internally scream, but if you’re like me, you’ll also smile.