Review: How The Light Gets In, Katy Upperman

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.



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.



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!





Twitter ☂️ Goodreads ☂️ Bloglovin ‘☂️ Support the blog

Posted by

Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

38 thoughts on “Review: How The Light Gets In, Katy Upperman

  1. Oooooh it sounds really good! Added to my TBR. I’m reading Summer Bird Blue right now and it’s sort of similar. It has sisters at the heart of the story and like How the Light Gets In it has a hard topic at the core of the story about coping with grief after a loved one was taken too soon. All of that set with Hawaii as the backdrop. I highly recommend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh yay, so happy to hear it!
      Ohh I’ve read Starfish by the author and really enjoyed it, I’ll have to give Summer Bird Blue a try sometime 😀
      Thank you so, so much!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, this sounds so good! I definitely have now added this to my TBR and want to read it. As someone who also has a sister I’m close with, I feel like this will also be close to my heart as well! This looks like the perfect combination of all the feels + paranormal vibes. Lovely review, Marie!😍

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think this is my new favorite Upperman book. Upperman combined so many elements together to produce this story, and it was done brilliantly. I think I cried every time Callie talked about or flashed back to Chloe. She was a great sister.


  4. This book sounds amazing! The coastal setting is what draws me the most, and I feel like that’s what’s most attractive to me. The mystery and paranormal elements are super interesting as well!!


  5. Ooh!! I am really excited to give this one a try! I haven’t read any of this author’s books yet and I keep meaning to. Books that have a sister theme are always ones that I gravitate towards and I have a feeling that this is going to be one that I enjoy as well. Lovely review! 🙂


    1. It was really, really great, I hope you’ll read and will love it! 😀 and yes please, come back to the contemporary ya world, there are so many little gems 😀


  6. I’m so glad you enjoyed this one, Marie! Sister stories are some of my favourites as well, although for the exact opposite reason: I don’t have any siblings, but sort of feel like I do while reading these heart-warming tales. Your relationship with Nyx is so amazing and absolute goals, so I can totally see why you would be drawn to these types of books!
    I’ll probably cry my eyes out and laugh out loud in equal amounts whenever I decide to pick this up, but in the meantime your review was absolutely fantastic and I already feel like I need How The Light Gets In in my life. Probably need to get to it before summer ends! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Whoaa, I had no idea that this book had paranormal elements within it?? That’s actually so cool! The only book by Katy Upperman that I read was Kissing Max Holden, which… was wild because there was cheating and I’m not a fan of that lmao. You’ve read Summer Bird Blue, right? It has kind of similar themes with grief and a sister’s relationship, and it was sooo amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah LMAO I’m pretty sure that Max Holden is in a relationship and then the main character starts making out with him and I was just like GOOD BYE but it looks like this one doesn’t have cheating, THANK GOD.

        omg PLEASE read Summer Bird Blue. High quality fiction.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. This is just reminding me how I really need to read The Impossibility of Us 😅 I love books with siblings at the center of them, but the truth is, I can’t really think of that many of them? I *always* see books where the MC is either an only child, or they have a sibling or two that they’re not close with, so this sounds super refreshing! Lovely review! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AH YES YES YES you really do, I loved it so much ❤
      I hope you'll get to read more siblings books and I agree, we NEED way more of them, I adore them so much ❤
      Thank you so much! 🙂


    1. Thank you so much! I’ve heard a lot about Sadie, but I’m not certain it’s a book for me, might be a bit triggering unfortunately. But thank you!! 🙂
      I hope you’ll get to read this one 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I haven’t heard of this author before but as they’re becoming I favourite of yours I’ll be sure to look them up (: this sounds like a very emotional, touching story and I’ve got to admit that the paranormal element has also for me intrigued.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.