Friday, April 19, 2013

Review + Giveaway: Under the Light by Laura Whitcomb

Title: Under the Light (Light, #2)
Author: Laura Whitcomb
Pages: 237
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Helen needed a body to be with her beloved and Jenny needed to escape from hers before her spirit was broken. It was wicked, borrowing it, but love drives even the gentlest soul to desperate acts.

When Jenny returns to her body, she finds that someone has been living her life while she was away. She doesn’t remember being Billy’s lover or defying her family. But now she is faced with the consequences. And Helen, who has returned to warn Jenny—to help her—finds herself trapped, haunting the girl she wished to save.

In this captivating companion novel to A Certain Slant of Light, the love story between Jenny and Billy begins out-of-body—where they can fly and move the stars--and continues into the tumultuous realm of the living, where they are torn away from each other even as they slowly remember their spirits falling in love.

My Thoughts: I remember adoring A Certain Slant of Light and loving the way it ended. However, I did have some lingering questions: What exactly were Jenny and Billy up to while they were away from their bodies? Was Jenny really pregnant? And most importantly, what happened to Jenny and Billy afterwards? When I heard the author was writing a novel about them I was ecstatic! At the same time, I wondered if these questions would be answered at all and if the story would even be as amazing as the first book. Having read it now, though, I realize I had nothing to worry about. 

Laura Whitcomb truly delivered beyond anything I could have ever hoped for in this follow up to A Certain Slant of Light. Under the Light was a dream come true for me. The entire book was just as mesmerizing and breathtaking as its predecessor, if not more. It flowed so well and gave me the same wonderful feelings I had while reading the first book. These were my thoughts as soon as I finished: 'Wow. Could a sequel be any more perfect?' I really couldn't have asked for a better outcome for Jenny and Billy and Helen.

Although this novel focused on Jenny and her relationship with Billy and her family, Helen was also an integral character. She might have had her happy ending, but she ended up coming back to Jenny's world out of guilt. She wanted to make sure Jenny didn't suffer the consequences of her actions while she was in Jenny's body, so protecting and looking after Jenny until her life got back on track became Helen's main goal in the book. It wasn't always easy for Helen to communicate with Jenny though. Some moments I wished she could get through to Jenny quickly, other moments I was relieved she couldn't interfere. Overall, I was just glad Helen was there by Jenny's side to guide her and to witness everything Jenny had to go through to reach her own happy ending.

For me, Jenny and Billy were the stars of Under the Light. Whenever they had moments together, I smiled like crazy. Their interactions with each other were done so perfectly. Once they figured out ghosts had inhabited their bodies, they retraced the steps the ghosts had taken in their bodies. It was great because there was a sweet awkwardness between them. They knew something special had happened, but it was hard for them to understand why they were important to each other. It was very adorable to read. I couldn't get enough.

The questions I mentioned before about Jenny and Billy were addressed, of course, and the answers were unexpected and surprising in a really good way. I loved learning more about their lives, especially Billy's, even though his story broke my heart to pieces. It made me even more thankful that they found each other because the bond they shared kept them both anchored during the hardships they faced. I just LOVED how their relationship developed. It was such a beautiful thing. There's so much more I could say, really. I can't quite find the words, though, to describe how amazing it was to read about them. But I will say that I don't think Jenny and Billy fans will be disappointed at all.

Under the Light was a highly satisfying and emotional conclusion to the stories of Helen, Jenny, and Billy, all of which began in A Certain Slant of Light. It left me feeling happy and content, the way I love to feel when I finish a novel. I honestly wish it never had to end. Not because I thought it needed more, but because I couldn't quite bring myself to let these characters go. I hope fans of A Certain Slant of Light love Under the Light as much as I did. It's a worthy sequel and deserving of all the praise it will no doubt receive.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

P.S. A song that reminded me of this book and that I listened to nonstop while writing this review: Look at the Light by Sin Fang

I want to share the Under the Light love, so I've decided to part with my precious ARC and pass it on to one lucky reader! This giveaway is open to US residents and ends April 30. Be sure to read my Giveaway Policy. Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I have never read A Certain Slant of Light but I really am looking forward to reading this book. It sounds like a great read.

    1. I love both books! I definitely recommend reading A Certain Slant of Light prior to reading Under the Light.

  2. I remember loving Certain Slant of Light so much and I was thrilled when I heard about this sequel! Glad to hear you loved it--now I'm even more excited to read it! I do remember how it ended, but it's been so long I don't remember alot of details---do you suggest a reread before reading this or was there a pretty good recap?

    1. I didn't re-read it and there was some recapping, but I do wish I did re-read it. There were just some details from the first book that I didn't quite remember. Obviously it didn't interfere with how I felt about this book. Still, I would recommend a re-read. :)

  3. I haven't read A Certain Slant of Light yet, but i bought it a while ago because of a recommendation from a friend. I definitely have to read it soon especially since this book is coming out.

  4. I haven’t read A Certain Slant of Light yet but I’ve head a TON about it :) Thanks for the amazing giveaway!


  5. I haven't read A Certain Slant of Light yet, but I hope to really soon!
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  6. I got this book for review and now desperate to read ACSoL. It's highly recommended so I'm chomping at the bits to read them. :) Great review, Alexa.

  7. Oh man, I read A Certain Slant of Light way back when I was in middle school and loved it so much that I loaned it to all my friends! I'm so excited for the sequel! :)

  8. I haven't read the first book yet but I do have a copy waiting for me on my shelf. I'd love to read these back to back, they look sooo good!

  9. I enjoyed reading a A Certain Slant of Light. It was a book completely original and with an amazing love messages, specially the one concerning Helen and her child. But also Billy and Jenny, both so much different from one another, both alike at the same time. It is my favorite book indeed and I´m looking forward to read its sequel "Under the Light".

  10. I haven't read A Certain Slant of Light, but I think I'm going to now =D This book sounds amazing!

  11. I haven't read A Certain Slant of Light so I could only skim your review in fear of reading any spoilers. However I am happy you enjoyed both books and Under the Light left you satisfied!

    thanks for the giveaway and great review!
    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf