There are no spoilers in this review.
Katy Upperman is making her way in my favorite young adult contemporary writers, friends. Last summer, I read The Impossibility of Us and fell in love with her characters and writing and, once again with How The Light Gets In, that happened again. Packed with emotions, great characters to root and feel for and a soft, quiet yet heartbreaking and beautiful premise, How The Light Gets In is a wonderful little gem.
A BEAUTIFUL, HEARTBREAKING STORIES ABOUT SISTERS
You might know this if you’re a regular reader of this blog and know me a little bit by now. I am very close with my sister. She is my best friend and is absolutely my whole world and I think that’s mainly why I always seek sisters stories and, most likely why How The Light Gets In hit me this hardly, too. Katy Upperman perfectly depicts sisters relationships through flashbacks and fantastical encounters, being a role model, following her sisters’ footsteps, never, ever being able to refuse anything from that person. Fights and makes-ups, a deep, deep bond that was broken way too soon in that story yet still remained within its pages here and, damn, it hit me hard at times and made me want to sob.
Thorough the story, Callie is dealing with her grief, overwhelming, scary, heartbreaking and angry, taking all of its forms and shapes. Callie might seem like a complicated character to like, at first. Closed off and angry, snapping and smoking, she deals with her pain in her own way and I honestly found myself wanting her to feel better, to let go of this anger and rooted for her right from the beginning. Her growth and acceptance as she slowly let go of her guilt, of what happened to her sister and slowly take hold of her life again, was wonderful to read.
A ROMANCE, A FAMILY MYSTERY AND LOVELY SIDE CHARACTERS
How The Light Gets In gives us a lovely cast of secondary characters, too. As, during the summer, Callie helps her aunt putting together her future B&B, we get to meet this warm, wonderful, 80s’ music fan aunt and I really liked her. Tucker, hired by Callie’s aunt to do some gardening work, was such an interesting character, too, three dimensional and filled with secrets and layers we slowly peeled as the story went on. His relationship with Callie might feel a little insta-lovey at first, yet I found their growing relationship so endearing to follow, I loved them together so much.
As any book dealing with such a tough subject, it might seem like a hard read, yet I ate its pages in the matter of a couple days, captivated by the plot lines perfectly weaving together and the lovely setting.
Katy Upperman blends into this contemporary story some paranormal elements, with unnatural, mysterious things appearing here and there and her sister’s ghost haunting her. It doesn’t take much of the storyline, but it creates this little intriguing, mysterious aspect to the story that I loved following. We get to see Callie grow, a love story blooms and an old family mystery resurfacing into the old B&B, all of these plot elements joining together perfectly, giving dimension and most of it all an entertaining story from beginning to end.
And the setting! The small coastal town setting with its little houses, its library, its cliffs and beaches and 4th of July fireworks gave me all the summery vibes.
I’d definitely recommend How The Light Gets In. Packed with all the emotions, with a lovely, flawed, complex and amazing main character and an adorable romance, it’s one of these contemporaries I love very fondly.
Final rating: 4,5 drops!
A million thanks to MacMillan International & Swoon Reads for sending me a free ARC copy of this book. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts and rating.
Trigger warnings: death, suicide (mentioned), self-harm, dealing with grief of a loved one, smoking (pot).
Diversity: POC side characters.
Katy Upperman, How The Light Gets In, Published on August, 6th, 2019 by Swoon Reads.
Since her sister’s tragic death, seventeen-year-old Callie Ryan has basically given up. Her grades have plummeted, she’s quit her swim team, and she barely recognizes the people her parents have become.
When she returns to her aunt’s run-down coastal Victorian one year after Chloe’s death, Callie resigns herself to a summer of guilt and home renovations. She doesn’t expect to be charmed by the tiny coastal town or by Tucker Morgan, a local boy brimming with sunshine.
But even as her days begin to brighten, Callie’s nights are crowded with chilling dreams, unanswered questions, and eerie phenomenon that have her convinced she’s being haunted. Will Callie be able to figure out what her sister is trying to communicate before it’s too late?
Did you read How The Light Gets In? Do you want to?
Do you know some other books with siblings at its heart? I’d love to hear from you in comments!