100 Days of Sunlight
Author: Abbie Emmons
Published: August 7, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: July 8-15, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
When 16-year-old poetry blogger Tessa Dickinson is involved in a car accident and loses her eyesight for 100 days, she feels like her whole world has been turned upside-down.
Terrified that her vision might never return, Tessa feels like she has nothing left to be happy about. But when her grandparents place an ad in the local newspaper looking for a typist to help Tessa continue writing and blogging, an unlikely answer knocks at their door: Weston Ludovico, a boy her age with bright eyes, an optimistic smile…and no legs.
Knowing how angry and afraid Tessa is feeling, Weston thinks he can help her. But he has one condition — no one can tell Tessa about his disability. And because she can’t see him, she treats him with contempt: screaming at him to get out of her house and never come back. But for Weston, it’s the most amazing feeling: to be treated like a normal person, not just a sob story. So he comes back. Again and again and again.
Tessa spurns Weston’s “obnoxious optimism”, convinced that he has no idea what she’s going through. But Weston knows exactly how she feels and reaches into her darkness to show her that there is more than one way to experience the world. As Tessa grows closer to Weston, she finds it harder and harder to imagine life without him — and Weston can’t imagine life without her. But he still hasn’t told her the truth, and when Tessa’s sight returns he’ll have to make the hardest decision of his life: vanish from Tessa’s world…or overcome his fear of being seen.
100 Days of Sunlight is a poignant and heartfelt novel by author Abbie Emmons. If you like sweet contemporary romance and strong family themes then you’ll love this touching story of hope, healing, and getting back up when life knocks you down.
OMG, 100 Days of Sunlight knocked The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue out of my #1 read for this year (my double review with Kim is here.) Though we still have plenty of time left in 2021, I was not expecting this when I started reading this book: It made me cry! Addie LaRue came very close, but this one did it to me! I have had this book since the beginning of the year and was able to get it read for June’s prompt for #Diverseathon, which is a main character that is disabled. In fact, in 100 Days we get both characters with a disability: One whose blindness should go away and another who lost his legs.
100 Days deals with grief through loss, acceptance, recovery, hope, and multiple types of love. Both Tessa and Weston are our narrators and the book takes place in present day and also Weston’s past with him losing his legs. At the beginning of the novel Tessa has already been blind for 21 days and she is an angry and scared girl. Her sight is supposed to return around 12-14 weeks which is 98 days, but what if it doesn’t? She is also dealing with her loss of independence. She is a poetry blogger, but how is she to continue when she can’t see? Her grandparents try to help by placing an ad in the paper for help and in the picture comes Weston. He asks Tessa’s grandparents not to tell Tessa about his missing legs and Tessa treats him as anyone else: terribly.
Over time the two connect and grow close. Both are determined, yet stubborn and also scared. Weston is conflicted: Should he tell Tessa about his lack of legs and be treated differently once her sight returns or vanish from her life afterwards?
OMG, I had so many emotions reading 100 Days. Weston took so much from “Angry Tessa” but he understood her feelings. Over the course of the novel you really grow to care about both characters and want a happy ending, but not sure what will happen. And I totally started crushing on Weston- I have a book boyfriend! I don’t think I have been able to say that for a long time.
I absolutely loved this novel, and it is a debut novel by indie author Abbie Emmons. And the cover is just gorgeous! Every object shown on the cover has a meaning that we see over the course of the novel.
This novel would work for those ages 12 and up and is on the mild side of language and thematic elements.
100 Days of Sunlight is 1000% recommended!
July’s host is Kesara at readswithkesara over at Instagram. She is having a giveaway of One book valuing up to $20 from the Book Depository or Amazon (for US based winner) Be sure to check out her Instagram for full details on that giveaway.
Be sure to check out her YouTube Channel!
The In Between
Author: Marc Klein
Published: June 1, 2021
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 21- June 30, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
After bouncing around in foster homes for most of her childhood, seventeen-year-old Tessa Jacobs doesn’t believe she deserves love — not from her adoptive parents, and certainly not from anyone at school.
But everything changes when she has a chance encounter at the local movie theater with Skylar, a senior from a neighboring town who’s a true romantic. Their budding relationship quickly leads to the kind of passionate love you only see in the movies. And Tessa starts to believe she might be deserving of a happy ending after all.
When tragedy strikes, Tessa wakes up alone in the hospital with no memory of how she got there. And Skylar has passed away. As Tessa begins her relentless search for answers, Skylar’s spirit reaches out to her from the other side. Desperate to see him one last time, Tessa must unravel the pieces of their relationship — and the truth might even lead her into the afterlife itself.
The In Between is a sweet YA story that deals with first love and the loss of that love. Tessa has gone from foster home to foster home and feels she doesn’t deserve any kind of love and she has built up walls. One morning after snow has fallen, Tessa decides to go out and take photos with her ‘vintage’ 35 mm camera versus today’s digital camera. Photography is Tessa’s passion and she even develops the photos herself. And yes, she only takes black and white photos.
Taking a break from the cold, Tessa goes to the old movie theater to watch a film… That ends up being in French… And Tessa doesn’t know French…One other person comes into the theater who ends up sitting next to her and says he will translate for her. He’s a teenage boy around her age. His name is Skylar and this is the start of what will end up becoming first love for Tessa.
But this first love isn’t to last, as we know from the book description that Tessa wakes in the hospital with no memory and then has to be told that Skylar has died in an accident. And Tessa literally died and was brought back. She has a literal and figurative broken heart.
This is just the beginning of The In Between. The novel jumps back and forth from before the accident and just days after the accident. We see the relationship between Tessa and Skylar grow, and we also get some possible paranormal activity: Skylar is seemingly trying to reach out to Tessa from beyond the grave.
Yes, this story is an ‘insta-love’ one that mainly takes place over a summer, but it is a YA story and don’t most of those novels deal with insta-love? The chapters are short and this is a quick moving story that is a short novel at just over 300 pages. It appears that it will become a movie at some point, and I will see it. No, I did not cry reading the book though I wondered if I was going to as we already know the end of Tessa’s and Skylar’s story from the start. I do see myself crying when the film is released.
I really enjoyed this novel and look forward to the future film. Many thanks to the publisher for granting me a copy to read and review through Amazon Vine.[Top]
The Soulmate Equation
Author: Christina Lauren
Published: May 18, 2021
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 29- June 2, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. Raised by her grandparents–who now help raise her seven-year-old daughter, Juno–Jess has been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in. After all, her father’s never been around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before Juno was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close, but working constantly to stay afloat is hard…and lonely.
But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: This Jess understands. At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98% compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Pena. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Pena. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate. But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess–who is barely making ends meet–is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River. As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond” pairing that could make GeneticAlly a mint in stock prices, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist–and the science behind a soulmate–than she thought.
I am not much of a romance reader; in fact, this is the first book I have read from writing duo Christina Lauren. (They are writing partners and best friends). What piqued my interest in The Soulmate Equation was the similar concept to John Marrs’ The One. Other than the same basic premise, these are two very different books, and surprisingly I really enjoyed The Soulmate Equation!
Basically dragged by her best friend into doing the GeneticAlly DNA test, Jess matches at an unheard of number with the founder, whom she has previously met and yes, they clash. GeneticAlly says that they will pay Jess to spend 3 months with Pena to see what happens as the business is about to go public and stands to make a. lot. of. money. And the business wants to capitalize on this match! Being Jess is struggling to make ends meet and take care of her daughter she agrees.
This is one of those typical romance tropes (I hate you then later on maybe not), so you know where it is going and it was fun to see the journey. I did like that the main character’s name is Jess and her daughter’s name is even more unique: Juno. There is even something unexpected that happens in the last quarter of the novel that I enjoyed.
Remember that Jess is a ‘number person’ and there is a lot of science explained behind GeneticAlly where the reader can understand. I liked Jess and adored her best friend Fizzy: Everyone needs a Fizzy! And as this is a romance book the chemistry gets hot and there are sex scenes which are not explicit, but enjoyable to read.
For not being much of a romance reader, giving it a 4-star review is saying something and the fact that I listened to it as often as I could and had it finished in just a handful of days says I liked it! I enjoyed this novel and might just have to read more by this writing duo. I listened to the audiobook which was narrated by Patti Murin and she did a great job of bringing Jess to life for us. She might be another narrator for me to be on the lookout for![Top]