The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

The Light We Lost

Jill Santopolo

Me Before You meets One Day in this devastatingly romantic debut novel about the enduring power of first love, with a shocking, unforgettable ending.

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The New York Times bestseller and Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick
“This love story between Lucy & Gabe spans decades and continents as two star-crossed lovers try to return to each other…Will they ever meet again? This book kept me up at night, turning the pages to find out, and the ending did not disappoint.”—Reese Witherspoon

One Day meets Me Before You meets your weekender bag.”—The Skimm

“Extraordinary.”—Emily Giffin

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.

This devastatingly romantic debut novel about the enduring power of first love, with a shocking, unforgettable ending, is Love Story for a new generation.
“It's the epic love story of 2017.”—Redbook

Advance Galley Reviews

I hated this book. I couldn't understand what Lucy saw in Gabe, and I couldn't bring myself to care what happened with them.

A good book with excellent plot line and beautiful characters.

This book was amazing! I loved every moment and was not able to step away for a moment. The characters were enthralling and the storyline brilliant! Thank you so much for giving me the chance to read this.

4.5 stars. My rating for this book is mostly based on the fact that I could NOT put this it down. I read it in two sittings and then thought about it a lot for hours after. Lucy and Gabe meet on September11, 2001 in college in New York City. They eventually fall deeply in love and are together until Gabe decides to move to the Middle East to become a photojournalist. This book is Lucy talking directly to Gabe, telling the story of their life, her life without him and their sporadic correspondence through it all. I found so much to relate to in this book. I am approximately the same age as these characters and just felt so much for these characters and their story. It's not a perfect book but is incredibly, compellingly readable. I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Enjoyed this book. Good story flow and characters. Turmoil and hard life choices. First love does not always win but it is a powerful thing. Would recommend this book.

Very late in writing my review, but moving states and graduation got me swamped! Lucy and Gabe.hmmm... they have a chance meeting on September 11 which binds them together, but their own desires pull them apart. Is living your dream more important than living with your soul mate? This is sad and depressing, so not my favorite kind of read

I consider this a very interesting read. I did enjoy it and would recommend it to those who are fans of Me Before You, however I found that I did not connect to it as much as I would have liked. I went into reading this a little bit blind as I did not remember much of the synopsis by the time I got around to reading it. From the first line, I was immediately aware that this would not have the typical happy ending so I found that I prepared myself for the inevitable. I did like the characters and appreciate how Gabe, Darren and Lucy are all flawed as it would have been easy for Gabe to be written as perfect and Darren to be the villain. I do think that Gabe and Darren's characterization were a little bit conventional for books of this genre, but I didn't expect much depth as this is told from Lucy's perspective. Even though I wasn't very emotionally connected to the material, I do think this book will stick with me. For the subject of the book, it was a light read which seems odd to say. I am actually very interested in the continuation of Lucy's story and what happens in her life. All in all, I would recommend this to people and will definitely be on the lookout for future releases from this author.

You can sense that Lucy is reminiscing about her past to someone. She tells the story of the last 13 years of her, her ex (Gabe) and her husband (Darrin). Gabe and Lucy met in college and their relationship lasted a year and a half. But Gabe was fighting his past, he wanted to make sure he fulfilled his dreams. Lucy found it hard to overcome. So when she starts her story, she starts from the very beginning. But when she gets to the end.....the "this is how I got here." the only remark I will make is, have a box of tissues next to you.

"Usually we were even, usually we were equal, but once in a while I'd find myself down at the bottom, trying to spring back up, afraid that you'd jump off to be with someone else, and I'd be stuck without any chance of reaching equilibrium." I received a copy of this ebook from in exchange for an honest review. Ohhh this book hit me right in the feels. It's beautiful and harrowing as it navigates the relationship between two people who may or may not be meant to be together. This book is raw and wonderful. Despite being fiction it's almost impossible not to feel for Lucy. While the book starts out in a way that builds from an already volatile point it captures how relationships change over time and how external factors influence those changes. Seeing Lucy's vulnerability and unpacking of her relationship with Gabe is an almost cathartic look at relationships that blur the line of romantic and friendship. This book is both beautifully written and shines a light on sadness and hope in relationships that isn't often captured this well in fiction. The narration threw me off at first, but I felt myself sucked into Lucy's world and whirlwind life. This is a heart wrenching and necessary read.

I give this book 3 stars. I wasn't in love with the characters, but still wanted to know what happened to them qhich kept me reading. It also was a quick read. The ending was predictable, but still a heartbreaker.

3 stars because I liked the pacing, the writing style, and all those sorts of the technicalities of the book. I would definitely read another novel by Ms. Santopolo. However, unlike the majority it seems, I found Lucy to be insufferable and selfish, especially in regards to her relationship with Darren. I often wanted to reach across the page and slap her for not letting go of someone who easily let her go.

I loved this book. It was a light yet emotional read that is perfect for summer. Highly recommended.

I really enjoyed following along as Lucy tells her story and the story of her relationship with Gabe. It was an emotional tale of two people who fall in love but can't be together and pursue their dreams at the same time. It is a story of love, hope, longing and loss. I was glad to have been given the opportunity to read it.

This is a beautiful story of two people who meet, fall apart, and then reconnect. The story is full of heart. I appreciate the opp to read!

The Light We Read is a charmingly written story that swept me up and left me quietly crying on a park bench as I finished the novel. It recounts a love that spans more than a decade and many countries. While I could tell how the story arc would unfold from a relatively early point, I loved the language used and how clearly Lucy's emotions were conveyed to the reader. I have some issues with Gabe — he seems like a selfish man-child who never really considers the ramifications of his actions — but I would be very interested in reading chapters from other characters' POVs, and I'll definitely check out other books by Jill Santopolo!

I loved this book. I thought it was beautifully written. It is a heartbreaking story of love and loss. It is a love storytelling that begins on September 11th and like One Day carries the reader through the characters' search for their dreams together and apart. It is about the impact of that one great big love.

This novel was heartbreaking. Lucy and Gabe were wonderful in the beginning, however, when they broke up, I didn't feel that either one could carry the book by themselves. The story was still great and there were some wonderful parts, so I will definitely give Jill Santopolo another try.

Such a beautiful story that covers joy and heartbreak beautifully. I fell in love with Lucy and Gabe and thought their situation was so realistic. It made me wonder what could have been for them. Great book!

A chance meeting on September 11th intertwines Gabe and Lucy for the rest of their lives. They start a love affair that lasts close to 13 years. Throughout this time you see each character grow as their life unfolds. Unfortunately the reader can tell very early on that something has happened to Gabe as the story plays out as Lucy retelling their history to him. It is a heartbreaker. But I kept myself from sobbing since you know early on that there probably won't be a happy ending.

This book left me conflicted. I wanted to love it so much, but it fell a little flat for me. Perhaps using Me Before You and One Day as comparisons was a little unfair, as it did not live up to either in my opinion. The other titles left me in tears and emotionally spent so that I had to read them again when I was prepared for the angst in the end. The Light We Lost ended and I parted ways with it only a feeling a slight melancholy. The beginning started strong with the love story of Lucy and Gabe, but once they split up I kept hoping for them to reunite as that was the compelling piece of the plot and they spent the majority of the book apart. Perhaps if the author had included some of Gabe's point of view, that complaint would have been lessened. There were lines of pure beauty that I highlighted to read again, and I sense a lot of potential in Jill Santopolo. I believe it was a bit unfair to compare it to two books of such raw emotion that out of the starting gate it did not have much of a chance in my eyes. However, the prose and promise are enough to have me try more of Jill Santopolo's writings. A solid attempt, but not the classic I was wishing for.

3.5 stars Let's start positive! I could relate so closely to the storyline involving 9/11 being a pivotal moment throughout this book, as I was also in college on that horrible day and remember it from that perspective. I loved the style of writing of this book, with Lucy narrating to Gabe - it made for a really fast read and one that wasn't weighed down with a lot of extraneous dialogue or description. I liked the love story and themes of lost opportunities and second chances. All of that made this book an enjoyable and riveting read as I kept reading to find out how and why Lucy was telling Gabe the story. But. Hype can help a book, and hype can kill a book for me. In this case, it definitely killed it. If I hadn't read the blurb about the "unforgettable and shocking ending" I wouldn't have been dying to find out the massive shocker, which I was expecting to be along the lines of "Behind Her Eyes" or "Allegedly" by Tiffany Jackson, both of which completely blew my mind. If I hadn't been waiting for that, possibly I would be rating this a 4 instead of a 3.5. So, for all my reader friends, don't expect a shocking end! You'll like the book way better going into it without that expectation. My recommendation? I'd grab this one from the library rather than buying it.

I had very mixed feelings about this book. When the relationship between Lucy & Gabe first started I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Once they broke up and the story became about Lucy's life without Gabe, I started to lose interest. By the time the end of the book came, I really didn't care much for either character, especially Lucy. I thought the author's idea of using 9/11 for the start of a couple's relationship was an interesting plot point, but I also think she used it as an excuse for why this relationship was so intense.

This one broke my heart. What an emotional read. I definitely felt all these characters felt so keenly.

I would give this book 3 stars. I had a hard time with the first person narrative. The story is told completely from Lucy's point of view. It wouldn't have been bad if the points of view from the other characters were included, but they weren't. As a result, I felt like I was missing out on what Gabe was thinking or how he was feeling. I found Lucy to be a bit wishy-washy and annoying. She wants to move on past Gabe and gets involved with Darren, yet she keeps thinking of Gabe and lets him back into her life time and time again. It wasn't fair to Darren, as she wasn't truly giving him all of herself. Gabe himself was a little irritating, as he keeps appearing, expecting Lucy to let him back in her life whenever he wanted back in. It made him come across as selfish. While I liked the concept of the book, the execution just fell a bit flat for me. I would have enjoyed it more if I could have gotten a better feel of what the other characters were thinking and feeling. As it was, I didn't really feel a connection to any of the characters.

I'm not much of a writer so it's not often that I read a book and feel compelled to write a review about it. This book was right up there for me with my favourite book "One Day" by David Nicholls. From the first chapter I was drawn into Lucy's story. I loved the way it was written and it kept me coming back for more as the story got more complicated and I got more drawn in. It was an emotional rollercoaster but I loved every single word of it and never once wanted to get off.

The first and second-person narrative drew me in right away and helped flame my curiosity for what would happen next and when I'd catch up to the present. It was interesting to take that journey with Lucy and explore the feelings that she experienced as her relationship with Gabe goes from sweet and simple to very complicated. The story was very entertaining and hard to put down.

I feel like I'm the miniority here, but I'm not enjoying this book. I'm about 25% through it and deciding it's a DNF for me. I feel like I haven't connected with any characters. I'm not really interested in Lucy and Gabe's love story. It really pissed me off how Gabe just up and decided to go to to the Middle East and give Lucy like one day to be okay with it. I wanted to read this because of its comparison to Me Before You but I don't see much similarities.

Summary:          Lucy narrates to Gabe, an old love.  In this she begins with the start of their story, their meeting on 9-11.  Their relationship is crazy and inspired- they push each other toward their dreams.  When Gabe finally has to leave to follow his, Lucy has to pick herself up.  Leaving nothing out, she talks about her time without him.  The pain, separating herself from the things that were "them", and meeting a man that made her laugh... Darren.  She explains her love for both men, neither relationship perfect yet part of her.  Lucy talks of her life, her dream, her children.        Every so often there's a moment where the two- Gabe and Lucy- reconnect.  The last time starts another path in motion.  This book is all about chances taken, roads not gone down, and living with the consequences of both.  My thoughts:            There are books that break your heart.  Books where the characters are so real, so imperfect, that you bleed for them.  For me, this was one of them.  While a little odd at times, I loved the layout of this story- just Lucy talking to Gabe.  While I often disagreed with Lucy's choices, and at times wanted to shake her, it did not lessen my love for her.  I loved Gabe, selfish and self centered dreamer that he could be.  I loved Darren who wanted so badly to be the one for Lucy, and loved her so dearly.  I loved the children, and the friends.  Each character was special and unique.  I think I just loved this story over all.          If there was one complaint, it would be that I am desperate to see into both Gabe and Darren's minds.  I understand that this wasn't possible with the layout of the book, but I almost- almost- feel cheated out of their emotions.  Still, this is a definite five star book for me.        As far as the adult content goes, there is a lot of sexual content.  There is also language and drinking to a lesser degree.  I would still let a mature teen read this, but... yeah... while not extremely graphic, there is a lot of sexual content.  A seven.

I liked the story of Gabe and Lucy. It was definitely an emotional roller coaster, but very worth the read. :)

It took me awhile to get into this one. I wasn't sure why she was telling Gave the story of their relationship like he wasn't there. But then there were hints along the way and I wanted to know what happened to him. I loved Lucy's husband Darren. He's such a loving wonderful man that it kept me wondering why Lucy kept looking for more with Gabe. And then the ending...what a tearjerker!! I hate books that make me cry, but I'm glad I won a copy of this one. It will keep me thinking for a while. Just wish I knew what happened between Lucy and Darren after.

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. The love between Lucy and Gabe is what centers this 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. Because of this, I sometimes had a hard time relating to Lucy and her love. I have been in love, and am actually married, but I am a hearth fire person. My love is like fine wine that gets better with time, and I prefer the smoldering heat, then the burning passion that threatens to consume. But it wasn’t only my personal taste in love. We all have loves that will haunt us forever, or passions we can never quite forget. What made it difficult was the actually relationship with Gabe. I felt that their love was somewhat selfish at times. And even though I understood her decisions and their love even, 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. 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. But I also think that everyone who has been in love, or is in love, and remembers your first love, will find this book relatable.

As a fan of both Me Before You and One Day, I was excited to read The Light We Lost and this did not disappoint. I loved this book! I liked that it was told from Lucy's perspective and that she was retelling her and Gabe's love story to him. That part intrigued me because as the book moved along, I wanted to know why she was telling him and asking him questions. What happened to Gabe? It was beautiful and touching and I may have shed a tear or two at the ending!

Pardon me as I gather up my emotions and put them all back together. A great read full of soul searching, heart connections and lost love. The only thing missing was a beach to read this book on :)

I really enjoyed this book - especially in the beginning. I was pulled right into the story and the connection between Lucy and Gabe. I also love how Lucy was telling the story. My issues were I was slightly annoyed with Lucy and Gabe along the way in some of their actions and what not. Also, I wasn't completely satisfied with the ending. I feel like it was supposed to be more emotional and I just didn't feel it. Still, I liked the story and love and connection between Lucy and Gabe. I would love to read more from Jill Santopolo.

I enjoyed this book of love and loss but I think I would have enjoyed it more if I was younger. The main character's flair for drama really kind of bothered me throughout the book - actually I didn't like her much. Overall though it is an interesting and well written book and I read it until the end. The author's way of writing - like Lucy was writing in a journal - took me a little time to get used to but now that I've read the entire book, I think that it was the perfect way to tell the story. Lucy and Gabe met at college in NYC on 9/11 and could see the smoke and the dust in the city from their dorms. They developed an immediate lust (for lack of a better word) for each other and even though they quit seeing each other soon after, Lucy's memories of Gabe stayed strong. They met again in the city after they had both graduated and had a passionate love affair until Gabe left to go the Middle East as an embedded correspondent. Even as she continued to live her life without him, Gabe was never far from Lucy's mind. How she deals with his memory and goes on with her life is the basis of this book. Pure and simple, this is a love story about two people who can't forget each other no matter where life takes them. It was well written and an enjoyable read. Thanks to First to Read for a copy to read and review.

3.5 stars I loved the storyline but did not care for the journal type writing in how it was told. I can see why the author wrote it that way, but it kept me from really being able to connect with Lucy. This book explores fate and choices and looks a bit at the road not taken. I would have liked an epilogue 6 years in the future or so.

This was exactly the kind of book I needed to read after a long line of dark, suspenseful reads. It was heartwarming, tpichimg, and at times beautiful. I tend to shy away from romance books. Glad I requested this one.

I had the pleasure of receiving an ARC, and I knew on the first page that this would be a book I loved reading. You become immersed in the life of the main character, as she shares her journey after meeting the man who could be her one true love. On one hand, you are enjoying being a part of Lucy's New York City lifestyle. On the other, you get to experience the intensity of her love and passion, while reading a story filled with beautiful imagery, meaning and significance--the kind that gently slips in and does not smother you. I loved the characters and the quick pace. Thank you for the chance to love this amazing book.

Let's begin with the simple review: I loved this book. I loved it so much that I couldn't sleep the night that I finished it because I could not stop thinking about the characters. I just loved it, and I dearly hope you read this so that we can talk about it. Lucy and Gabe meet on a day that alters their lives forever. If it had been any other day, perhaps their story would have turned out differently. But this particular day, this particular time, impacts them profoundly. Theirs is an insta-love kind of thing. They know, immediately, that they have a connection they have not, will not, and cannot find in anyone else. Yet life is strange, and sometimes we do lose the titular light. They reconnect about a year, and it seems like destiny finally sorted itself out. The thing about love, though, is that it rarely turns out the way you think it will. For one thing, Lucy and Gabe have diverging life dreams. What if the person you love has a dream he or she loves just as much? How can the two be reconciled? Gabe and Lucy make choices that may not keep them together, yet Jill Santopolo shows you that they are ever aware of each other. The love they shared together at the beginning of their relationship was so passionate, so affirming, so deeply charged that it cannot evaporate. It remains, even if it does not occupy all of their hearts. Santopolo asks you what you would do if you were Lucy and Gabe. Would you sacrifice your dreams for someone else? Would you sacrifice moments of what you know are temporary happiness if they jeopardize the steady, secure happiness you have elsewhere? How can you open your heart to love someone else if you feel like you gave it away to another? Lucy narrates this book as a letter of sorts to Gabe, showing him the cycle of how they found, lost, found again, and lost again their light. Despite the title, though, Santopolo lets you see that some lights cannot be fully extinguished. Some lights will shine forever. As trite as this sounds, Jill Santopolo shows you that you must, indeed, make the most of every minute. You need to let light shine, however temporarily, and you also need to see that lights have different flames. Some shine brighter, some stronger, some briefer, some longer. Grab some tissues and immerse yourself in this poignant, beautifully written book. **** Scheuled for publication on the blog on May 7:

What a beautiful, intense, emotional and moving debut book! Lucy and Gabe met in New York City on September 11, 2001, an event that impacted and shadowed their lives forever. Theirs is a tumultuous love but is it a sustaining one? We see how love can be in different forms and can affect your life and dreams in many ways from the beginning to the end. The book is wonderfully written drawing the reader into the lives of the Lucy and Gabe; event and character descriptions are deep and compelling. The Light We Lost is an unforgettable and heartbreaking romance. It made me look at my own life choices and paths taken reconsidering some and content with others. I received an early e-book reading copy of the book from Penguins First To Read site.

3.5 stars Let me start off by saying that I have never been a fan of contemporary romance novels. Nothing against the genre per se, it’s just that I prefer stories with more depth to them and unfortunately, a lot of the books I’ve read that fall into this specific category are typically lacking in this area. While I would consider The Light We Lost as one of the better-written contemporary romance books I’ve read, it still didn’t quite hit the mark for me, especially from an emotional perspective. In reading the reviews, I know a lot of people loved this book and found it to be a heartbreakingly romantic and moving love story, which I guess it was to some extent depending on how you look at it, but to be honest, I didn’t really feel it. The story started off well and in the beginning, I truly was moved by the special bond and love that the central couple Lucy and Gabe shared, but as the story progressed, I found myself becoming increasingly frustrated with the direction things were going, especially with the main character Lucy. It was hard for me to understand Lucy’s thought process at times and some of the actions she took as well as reactions she had to things that happened actually frustrated me to no end. While I didn’t really like Lucy all that much, I do appreciate the author’s attempts to make her character realistic in that, like all human beings, Lucy is not perfect – she makes mistakes (big ones as well as minor) and bad choices that of course have devastating consequences and have the potential to ruin the good life that she had worked so hard to build. In this regard, even though I disagreed with a lot of Lucy’s actions, there were some parts where I was truly able to empathize with her. One of the things that I found disappointing with this book was the lack of character development outside of Lucy. She was pretty much the only character in the book who was fully developed – everyone else was essentially one-dimensional. I’m assuming this has to do with the way the story was structured in that the entire narrative was told from the first person point-of-view, with Lucy “talking”’ to Gabe and essentially recounting her perspective of their story from the day the two of them first met. This “spin” on the first-person narrative is indeed unique, but I also felt it kind of backfired in that I was basically able to guess the ending early on, barely a few chapters into the story. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why I was not able to relate to the story as much on an emotional level. The summary hints at similarities to Me Before You in terms of romantic, “tug at your heartstrings” love story, but to me, both books were at different levels. Me Before You had way more emotional depth – that book made me laugh but also made me cry, the ending especially. This one didn’t have the same emotional pull – or perhaps it was just lost on me. Overall, I would say that this was a good book, just not my type of book. It’s definitely well-written and as far as contemporary romances go, this one deserves to be near the top of the list in that genre. Some of the dialogue was meaningful and the message about the consequences of choice definitely rings loud and clear. Received advance reader’s copy from G.P. Putnam via Penguin First To Read program.

I found this book enjoyable to read, but full of twists and turns. It follows the love story of two young people as they grow, make decisions and live with their choices. Sometimes world events, out of their hands, had an impact on them. This book has sadness, happiness and love. It was written in an usual form, which I found interesting. The characters were likeable and the reader feels their emotions as they go through their times together and apart.. I would recommend this to someone who likes contemporary romance.

The Light We Lost is a melancholy story written to the main character's, Lucy, love of her life. She looks back on her life from the time she met Gabe until the end of their story. This book is a story of love and loss and the choices we make in between. It is easy to get to know the characters in the story and understand the choices they make. All in all, an enjoyable read.

Outstanding book! The second person point of view made the book more intriguing, more suspenseful, more heart shattering. The clues of what could be coming kept me turning pages to confirm what I hoped against hope was not going to happen. The ending is painful, but nonetheless it is a beautiful story.

The Light We Lost is a gorgeous book about love that never leaves, despite life and new loves. A book that examines all encompassing love versus comfortable, sustained love that sometimes turns into tedious love. Lucy loves Gabe intensely, blindingly but Gabe chooses a meaningful career over his love for her, his light. So she settles for Darren, a love that's steady, reliable. But her love for Gabe never leaves and when she makes a mistaken assumption about her marriage she makes a decision that sends her back into Gabe's arms. The ending is painful but not unexpected as the book is Lucy retelling their story to Gabe and she hints that something has gone wrong. So worth the read

It took me a while to get into The Light We Lost- nearly 75 pages... but once I did, I couldn't stop. I felt so invested in all of the characters, and even though I found the 2nd person voice almost uncomfortable at first, it felt right after a while. The ending. Sigh. I don't know how to feel about the ending. Lucy's path between Gabe and Darren was so fraught with emotion, and I was hanging on every word. The last chapter was beautiful, and perfectly in tune with the rest of the book... I just didn't want it to be the last chapter. I want to know what happened, or at least more of what happened after the last page. (this is really hard to write without spoilers, btw) Maybe it made sense to end where it ended... but the book doesn't feel complete to me. I feel like I read 3/4 of an incredible novel. I loved The Light We Lost, I did. But I don't have that warm, fuzzy feeling I usually get when I put down a book that I enjoyed as much as this one. I don't need a happy ending, but having absolutely no idea how Lucy will handle what happens in the last few chapters is kind of a letdown. Like going to McDonald's and not getting fries, you might be full... but you're not quite satisfied.

I cannot decide if this is a sweet and romantic love story that transcends time and space, or the story of an unhealthy relationship and the inability to let go. I began to suspect what was transpiring part way through the story, so I was not shocked by the outcome. Despite that, the story kept me interested and it was a quick read.

This book touches on a raw subject. 9/11 still to this day haunts people and people struggle with life because of it. I struggled with this book and while it wasn't my favorite book of the year I'm glad I did stick to it and ride it out. Warning to some that 9/11 could be a trigger for you.

I received an advanced copy of The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo from First to Read in exchange for an honest review. On September 11th, Lucy & Gabe met for the first time and with the events of the day their lives were forever changed. This story is about Lucy & Gabe's romance that started on September 11th and over the years their love continued even though their paths & lives were going in different directions. It is also the story of Lucy & Darren's romance and how their lives were with Lucy still loving Gabe. This novel made me think about how there could possibly be more than one person out there you are meant to be with in. I enjoyed this book & found that it was an easy read however, I would like to know what happen in Lucy's life after the book ended.

I loved the style of the writing. It was very touching. It was like seeing one complete side of an infatuation. We all make choices in life and there is always the one that got away. I think a lot of people will relate to this. The ending was very tragic and unsettling. It really made me wonder what happened afterward.

An affecting and beautifully-written story about love and missed chances, and how global events can change the course of a single person's life.

This was a bit of a mixed bag for me. The good: Despite the story being written as a letter to someone/a person talking to someone, Santopolo did a good job at pulling the reader in and evoking emotion. I was invested in the story - I wanted to find out what happened next, and what all the foreshadowing meant, so it became a sort of page-turner for me. The bad: All the characters were pretty unlikable. Lucy acts like a doormat for Gabe, and a snob with Darren. Gabe is selfish throughout the whole book. Darren is conniving underneath a "good guy" facade. They all treat each other pretty terribly, and the never-ending stream of bad decisions (combined with the tone-deaf yuppie lifestyle that Lucy and Darren live and Santopolo describes ad nauseum) gets to be pretty cringe-worthy. Overall, it was a good read. The story and suspense kept me interested.

This book tells the story of two relationships: Lucy and Gabe and Lucy and Darren. Similar to One Day, Lucy and Gabe have a will they/won't they relationships that lasts for ten odd years. The book has a similarly sad ending, which makes me think that the author really was trying to write something similar to One Day. Unfortunately, this book doesn't reach the same emotional depths. While I enjoyed the book, it felt a bit heavy handed at times. At times, Lucy directly addresses Gabe. We are led to believe that she's telling this story to him, but this viewpoint doesn't really land once you get to the end. Each chapter begins a heavy handed remark about life before Lucy dives into her relationships with Gabe and Darren. It as if the author is striving for meaning, but can't quite make the connection between these deep thoughts and what is actually happening with the characters. One thing that bothered me about this book is that Lucy is solely defined by her relationships to these two men. We hear her talk about her career and about her family, but I can't think of a single scene in the book that isn't' somehow tied to her romantic relationships. She alludes to friends, but we never see her interact with these friends, other than phone calls that last five lines. It is difficult to like Lucy because she also defines herself by her relationships. While Gabe and Darren both have some appeal, neither one of them is the best partner to Lucy, which is why I struggled to get into this book. Essentially, Lucy spends the entire book discussing two men who aren't suited for her. There are some nice moments peppered throughout the book, but for the most part this book left me wanting more.

Lucy and Gabriel met in a college class the morning on 9/11. After spending this life changing day together in NYC their lives will be forever linked. I liked this book book and it was a quick read. I wasn't always happy with the characters though. Gabriel was selfish, Darren while a good guy was a bit too regimented and his need for everything to follow a certain path could be tiresome and condescending and it bothered me a much as Lucy that she rarely is ever called him out on this. I would definitely recommend this book which a major tearjerker for me.

First, thank you Penguin "First to Read," program for an honest review. I'll start off with a brief summary, my dislikes, my likes, and then my personal thoughts about this book. This book is about Lucy and Gabriel Samson. It's about their complex love affair that spanned over fifteen years. They met during 9/11 and the story takes off from there. What didn't I like about this book? 1. I do believe that I wanted to scream at Lucy a few times. She isn't a sympathetic character. I found her narcissistic, controlling, and manipulative at times. 2. I didn't like the ending. 3. None of the men were likable. At different parts of the book, I kept saying "really." 4. It did bring out my judgmental side. 5. The grammar was off for me. There were quite a few huge grammatical errors that was hard for me to avoid. I'm sure they will clear it up when this arc is released in the future. What did I like about this novel? 1. I loved Lucy's devotion to her kids. 2. I loved how the author treated 9/11 with respect. 3. It wasn't too overly political for me. 4. I did love the ending of this book. It did make me cry. So, A++ in my book. I can ignore the grammatical errors for a good story. 5. I love the yin and yang part. You had the nice guy vs the rebellious guy. You have to find out what happens. As for my personal thoughts? How do I say this, while remaining spoiler-free. I felt that the story did drag a little bit. After a while, I wanted to scream at the main character "get your shit together!" I did roll my eyes quite a few times. The "good" guy, I felt was an asshole at times, but charming the next. He was too nice at times when he could have been firmer/tougher. Overall, I looked past the errors and loved the beginning and end. This plot maybe predictable. That's all I'm saying. You have to figure out what happens between Lucy and Gabe if this is the type of book you're interested in. It wasn't good nor bad for me. It was just a meh... I've seen it before.

Much of it is a love story about love lost and hoping to recapture that love. Do we just have one soulmate and no one else compares to him/her or can we learn to love someone else just as much? I don't want to give away spoilers, but if you like heart-tugging love stories then you might enjoy this one. I didn't love it and I didn't hate it, but it fell sorta in the middle.

In the almost two weeks since I finished this book, I've been trying to pinpoint exactly how I feel about it. I know I didn't love it. I didn't hate it, either. But I requested this ARC because it was compared to "Me Before You" (which, incidentially, is one of my favorite books, ever), and even though one dies tragically at the end, that's sort of where the similarities ended for me. I found the relationship between Gabe and Lucy to be everlastingly frustrating, for one thing. There's a small part of me that understands Lucy's "what if" sentiments. There's another small part of me that can even empathize with her situation. But, you know, Gabe made his choice. He was the one who walked away. Lucy had every right to move on with someone else; and yet, I kept asking myself, why did she? Because it felt an awful lot like she felt like she settled. If she could be so quickly pulled back into Gabe's orbit, then honestly she had no business getting married to someone else. I felt more empathy for Lucy's husband than for anyone else, even though he could, perhaps, be a little old-fashioned (i.e., misogynistic) in his beliefs of a woman's place (i.e., in the home). But Lucy was just so goddamn WHINY about it all. Throughout the whole thing, I was groaning, PLEASE STOP WHINING. GET OVER IT. MOVE ON. The characters also never felt more than one-dimensional for me. The ultimate test, for me, in reading a book like this, where the ending is supposed to make your heart break is: Did the book make me cry? Tear up, even? The answer is no. There were no tears. I was hardly even sad. That being said, there was some VERY beautiful language in this book; there were portions of the writing that was flowery and poetic and flowing, and that I could admire and appreicate. To sum up: My three-star rating basically just means I felt lukewarm about the book. I wouldn't say it's bad, but I wouldn't necessarily run through the streets recommending it, either, nor would I anxiously anticipate any other books written by this author.

4.5 stars. This novel is both beautiful and sad. The way Lucy tells the story is honest and real. She isn't perfect, neither is Gabe. Or anyone in the novel. But every event and person is seen through her eyes and through her reflection in hindsight so there's attachment there. These are people she loves, events that were meaningful to her and I appreciate how everything was tied into where she is now. The hints about where she was in the present and her current situation were perfectly laid. I wish there was more closure, which is the reason for the -.5, but at the same time this is a story of Lucy and Gabe and well...the end made sense and I can't say I didn't see it coming. Overall, a beautifully written story. I can't think of much else to say. This is a novel that leaves you feeling rather than talking. If you feel like you can handle, or are looking for, a little heartbreak then pick this up. Lucy is an excellent narrator and the pain is a slow burn.

When I started this book, I questioned the writing style, but soon I understood that Lucy was telling Gabe their love story and I was dying to know why she was writing her story to him. This was a journey of love, choices, passion, dreams and desires, and how each of them impact two souls that were bound together. Even though I had to wait until the last few chapters to learn why the book was written in this way, I ended up loving every step of Lucy's journey, and further appreciated Santopolo's storytelling. This was a quick read that I highly recommend for those that enjoy contemporary romance.

Wow what a novel, I loved it, it was emotional, well written, the characters well developed, it was inspirational in the most emotional of moments, I throughly enjoyed this book, from start to finish. Seriously good read for all.

The Light We Lost follows the passionate relationship of Lucy and Gabe, through college and their early twenties, through jobs abroad, marriage to other people and, finally, tragedy. This book packs an emotional punch, and keeps the reader guessing until the final pages. I'm not sure I can say I 'enjoyed' this book, although I did like it, but now, almost three weeks after finishing it, I think about it quite often, which is usually a sign that it resonated with me. This book also made me glad I'm a grown up; how utterly exhausting to go through life as Lucy does in this novel.

This book gets you thinking about every "bad" day you had in life in general. Love the way it's written. This story definitely sparks a lot of emotion and takes you on a ride that you do not forget. A must read for all ages.

I have a love hate relationship with this book. I finished it all because I genuinely wanted to know what happened to the characters, but they just seemed so unlikable. The narration took sometime to get used to. It wasn't all bad, but wasn't the greatest book.

I'm not ordinarily a fan of works written in the second person voice, but it works for this story. On the one hand, the story feels slightly cliche, and the plot is relatively simple, but on the other, the writing is engaging and draws you in strongly. The novel is likely going to stay with me for some time to come.

A beautiful, emotionally powerful debut novel. At first, I struggled to get through the narration style (Lucy narrating their past to Gabe, asking him questions), but it did not take long for me to get into it. I enjoyed their story and the prose that brought it to life.

When I first started reading this book, I wasn't sure if I was going to like it. I didn't like the way Lucy was telling Gabe about their relationship. It felt weird to me. But then I got used to it and was pulled into Lucy's life. She and Gabe meet in college and it seems like their love is meant to last forever. But Gabe is unfulfilled. He wants to head to the Middle East and do more with his photography. Lucy loves her job and loves Gabe so how can she hold him back and possibly make him resent her. So he goes and they move on in their separate lives. But things keep pulling them back together. I think there is a kind of love where you can completely love someone but want them to succeed at the thing they love because if you don't have passion in your work, you don't have happiness in your life. So sometimes you have to sacrifice. I liked Lucy's husband Darren but there were points when I wanted to smack him. I LOVED their daughter Violet. The Light We Lost made me smile but it also made me cry and it broke my heart in so many different ways. This was such a good book.

I can't do this anymore. I have given up at page 145. What do we have but yet another young New Yorker examining the lint in her navel and imagining that it is fascinating for us all. The problems of a woman who falls madly in lust and thinks it's love is so small, so petty, that I cannot generate enough enthusiasm to continue. As usual, the prose if lovely. The sentences are put together nicely, the voice comes through clearly. It's the fecking story. It isn't strong enough to support an entire novel. Sure there are those who enjoy a soap opera, or those who are twenty-something elitists in New York who believe their problems have deep relevance to the world. I am not one of them. This is not a book for me. Sorry, Penguin Random House. You gave me the book for a review, but I can't finish it. I wouldn't inflict this on anyone I know because they like good books with substance. If you're wondering why book sales are down, well, you can start here.

This was a very quick read. I'll admit I got choked up at the end. There were a couple misspellings, but nothing major. The plot had enough twists to keep you interested and shows the power of different kinds of love and the hold it can have over a person. I would definitely recommend this book!

This is a quick and easy read - it will make a great summer beach read. Lucy is telling the story starting from when she met Gabe on Sept. 11, 2001 to where they are today. It is a story about what it means to love someone and the different kinds of love you have for different people. A little predictable at times and I would have liked a better conclusion. Fans of books like Me Before You and novels in that vein will like this book.

This is a heartbreaking story of love and how the choices we make can still effect us years to come. This was a fast and easy read, and really lives up to the description of being Me Before You meets One Day. If you liked either of those books you'll like this one as well.

I really struggled with how to review this book. I found the writing and plotting juvenile, but I did read it in one sitting and was motivated to keep going. I did not like the ending (I thought it was silly and unnecessary), but I don't regret the time I spent with the book. I wouldn't press it into strangers' hands on the street, but it did a good job of keeping me entertained for a few hours.

This book had a unique plot that was very refreshing. The characters were easy to relate with. Love the twists towards the end but I was conflicted about the ending because I don't like to be left with hanging.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Started reading it this afternoon and couldn't put it down. I liked the writing style of perspective of one of the main characters. It is at once a biography of a love affair and a tribute to the object of affection. It brought up so many questions for me about the choices we make in life, large and small, that have consequences further in the future than we can see at the time. The ending might have been a bit predictable but the story needed this ending to make it the rare gem it is. I saw myself between the lines in this story at several points and it drew me closer to the characters. Definitely a tear-jerker and should be destined for the big screen.

This book was so great! I didn't want it to end but couldn't stop reading.

Here's a tip: If you're going to advertise your book as having a "shocking, unforgettable ending," it better actually be shocking and unforgettable. I thought it was totally predictable - I figured it out no later than halfway through. And it definitely needed more resolution than what we got. There's nothing new here, nothing I haven't read or seen in another book or movie. I would not recommend.

I truly enjoyed reading this book. I read it in 2 days .The story line was predictable and you knew it was going to be heart-rending but I just had to keep reading. I didn't want it to end the way it did; I want to know what happens next. Thinking about a book long after I've finished it is what makes a good book in my opinion. And this book definitely fits that criteria.

A light easy read,a bit juvenile at times especially at the way Lucy perceives love and relationships. The characters have just enough depth to keep the story moving. The ending was not surprising. The drama of Lucy goes on

I finished The Light We Lost in just two nights. It was an easy read but the end left me saying " that's it"? I reread the last chapter twice just because I thought I missed something. I had the story figured out from page two I think. Although I loved the character development the story just fell flat. This story proves there is always the "What if" person in our past lives leaving us in some sort of fantasy of how things were so much better with a person who doesn't treat you the way you deserve. It dangles a small part of a future life that will never be. I wanted more from this book. It left me disappointed.

It felt like reading a very intricate love letter. Even from the beginning you know it'll be heartbreaking, but you need to know, so you continue reading. I wished he could have read what she wrote. If he had, would it have made a difference? Heartbreaking, but the ending was appropriate. Made it perfect. Although I'll need to read something more cheerful to feel ok again.

I'll be honest, I had a hard time starting this since it starts on and uses 9/11 and the events following it as a backdrop. It's still a raw day for me. But I kept reading and eventually found I didn't want to put the book down and that the backdrop was fairly respectfully interwoven. I loved the writing style -- someone narrating the story of their life, or at least the highlights, as they remember them with small intimate details that still stick out through the fog of memory. The memories are immersive and flash by you, making the foreshadowing very subtle. You only get bits and pieces of memory-- the perceptions of what happened over a lifetime, the questions about what could have happened instead, the things that were left unsaid, the choices made. If you're completely honest with yourself, no one looks back on their life and says, "I made all the right choices. I wouldn't have done anything different and I'm not remotely curious about any other paths my life may have taken." The protagonist isn't perfect, but no one is, and in the end, I am left hungry for the other perspectives we didn't get to see and for what recent and future thoughts and choices may be made and/or remorsefully questioned going forward. As an individual, constrained to our own perspective and singular experience, those other perspectives and alternative paths are things we would never be privy to anyway, so that hunger is completely fitting with the tone of the book.

I was intrigued to read this book from the first line of the description where Me Before You meets One Day.......both of those happen to be favorite books of mine. I just finished reading The Light We Lost, and honestly, I am almost at a loss for words.......I thought the story was amazing. I had never read a book before from just one characters perspective. It was interesting because this is how we live our own story. We never know what the other person's perspective is. I have not been as captivated or touched by a book since I read Me Before You. The last 20 pages or so I found myself if events were happening to me. I am so glad that I read this I can not wait to see the movie. :)

I really wanted to love this book, but I don't even like it. The writing style was very hard to follow. It took a large portion of the book just to get into the flow of the book. Lucy and Gabe were self-centered and unsympathetic. I wish I could say something positive but I can't.

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo I wanted a little more substance from the events and characters in this book. We are basically 'told' the story in the second person (you,) and in the telling the stories seem to lose effect. The love between Gabe and Lucy, lost, is sad, and the conclusion of the book is quite powerful. I wanted to know Lucy, Gabe, Darren, her friends and children more than I could from the pages of this book. I wanted to understand their actions and choices. I felt I only got a taste of this and found myself skimming through the last third of the book to find out what happened. To the author's credit, I did want to know how the book ends. If you are looking for light, entertaining and emotional, I would think you would enjoy this book.

This book took a strike in your heart because it showed the devastation of the world but also how two people could make the best of it in that moment. I loved this book it shows how Lucy and Gabe could be across the country but still think and love each other. I recommend this book.

Gabe and Lucy meet in class at college on September 11 in New York City. The tragedy of the events that take place that day with the collapse of the twin towers while Gabe and Lucy observe the skyline from the rooftop of a dorm connect together their personal history for the rest of their lives. Lucy tells this story as if she's telling Gabe about their lives together, apart and how they reconnect throughout the thirteen year time span of this book. I read this story as if I was sitting with a friend listening to her relate to me what has happened to her over the last thirteen years, the highs, the lows and everything in between. The mistakes that are made, the chances that were not taken, the outcome that could have been different. The characters had me from the beginning. I didn't want to put this book down until I knew the ending. I would pick this book up in a heartbeat and reread it again.

Couldn't put it down. From the first page I was hooked and I knew this book would break my heart in away only a book lover could appreciate. It didn't disappoint. The story of Lucy and Gabe, as told through Lucy's eyes, is one that I expect will stay with me for awhile. Between the laughter and tears, this story becomes a part of you. You'll find yourself asking the same questions Lucy asks herself: Can you love more than one person at a time? Sacrifice or compromise when it comes to relationships? Is there really such a thing as fate? This story will have you reevaluating everything you thought you believed and wanted in a relationship.

The alight we Lost was an extremely captivating book. Lucy and Gabe were lovers meant to be, even when circumstances tore them apart. The life Lucy built with Darren was a good marriage, but it never did Feel complete for Lucy. Gabe was always tucked into her heart. It reminds the reader of their first love and what could have been if life hadn't interfered. We all make choices and we all have choices just like Lucy did that could change everything. The climatic ending was not what I expected but, it so fit this story. Highly recommend this book but keep tissues near by.

This is a beautiful story of a love that was lost but never stopped. It kept me interested to see where the story was going. I had planned on reading a little when I first picked it up, then looked down to see I was already 70 percent into the book. This story is heartbreaking and raw. It'll leave you wanting to hug the ones you love close to you.

I alternately loved and hated this book. It's very moving and the writer gives voice to the thrill of finding your soul mate, losing a love, wanting a career while still being a mother, and dealing with the day to day ordinary things that can zap the romance right out of a relationship. But I found the main character, Lucy, to be a spoiled whiner. She married the other guy and then complains when he does any grand romantic gesture!

The format of this was different and slightly difficult to get used to, but once I did, I had a hard time putting it down. Lucy and Gabe's story is one of epic proportions. Throughout her adult life, his life kept intersecting with hers. It seemed as fate was drawing them together. I wasn't expecting the ending, but I had an inkling about some things. This was a great story and I would definitely recommend it to other people to read.


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